Sara Howard, MBA 19

Now Is the Time for LGBTQ+ Leaders
A growing shift is leading to unprecedented opportunity

Reaching Out MBA (ROMBA) estimates that only 3 percent of MBA students nationwide identify as LGBTQ+.

Some look at this statistic and see a barrier. I look and see an opportunity. An opportunity to tackle those barriers from within. After all, how can you make progress from the sidelines?

Now, more than ever, is the right time for LGBTQ+ people to pursue their MBA. The unwelcoming business world of yore is dissipating. We’re seeing shifts in how companies, big and small, approach diversity and inclusion. Company-wide cultures of inclusion are replacing one-off diversity initiatives. We can help expedite this shift with a seat at the table, whether that be in the classroom or the board room.

You have a home here at the UC Davis Graduate School of Management.

One of those shifts is happening right here at the UC Davis Graduate School of Management (GSM). This year I worked with the Associated Students of Management and Ryan Swinney MBA 19 to found the School’s first ROMBA chapter. ROMBA is an international network of LGBTQ+ MBA students and alumni. Top business schools from around the world have affiliated chapters of this organization. The Graduate School of Management has now joined those ranks.

The GSM Pride Network provides professional development, networking and advocacy services for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer-identified students and allies. We also have a keen interest in helping to recruit the next generation of LGBTQ+ business leaders.

To those future business leaders, I say: You have a home here at the UC Davis Graduate School of Management. What are you waiting for?