The annual event provides lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer young professional leaders from around the world the opportunity to network, learn, and improve their skills so they emerge stronger and more confident in the business world.
“We are thrilled to arrive at this landmark moment in our organisation’s history. Our 2017 ROMBA Conference commemorates two-decades of uplifting and empowering the emerging LGBTQ business leaders of tomorrow and ensuring they have a pathway to the C-Suite of companies that have demonstrated a commitment to diversity and inclusion,” said Reaching Out MBA Executive Director Matt Kidd. “This occasion allows us to celebrate our ongoing efforts to create a safe and welcoming environment at business schools and corporations across the globe. It also gives us the opportunity to continue encouraging up and coming LGBTQ talent to pursue their career dreams while living openly as their true selves.”
When the conference began, 100 people attended along with 3 companies. This year, 1,600 students, prospective LGBTQ MBAs and business graduates, professional business leaders, alumni and recruiters will participate in the conference, and more than 90 corporations will take part in three-day gathering, 50 of which are Fortune 500 companies. Keynote speakers include business superstars Jim Fitterling of Dow Chemical; Beth Ford of Land O’Lakes; Jan Siegmund of ADP; Dominic Barton of McKinsey & Company; and Martine Rothblatt of United Therapeutics. CNN’s Anderson Cooper caps off the conference by headlining the ROMBA Gala Dinner and Celebration on October 14. The event includes a special performance by the beloved comic, Margaret Cho
“The ROMBA Conference and Gala Celebration attracts the best of the best among business leaders, prospective MBA students and media and entertainment stalwarts like Anderson Cooper and Margaret Cho because of its long and robust track record in promoting and advancing LGBTQ business diversity,” said Reaching Out MBA Board Chair Hannah Yankelevich, an Engagement Manager with McKinsey & Company in Minneapolis. “This 20th milestone represents a major turning point for this event and the organisation as a whole. We have grown to become the leading voice in building and facilitating the business school to corporation pipeline for LGBTQ MBA students and alumni. At a time when more and more corporations are speaking out against discrimination in the midst of a daunting political climate, Reaching Out MBA is poised to expand our leadership and exponentially grow the number of influential LGBTQ executives in corporate America in the decades ahead.”
Reaching Out MBA is most known for its ROMBA conference, but the organisation’s other key initiatives continue to gain more prominence including its global program to connect more LBT women with business schools internationally and its fellowship program, a partnership with top business schools around the world that will administer over 2.5 million dollars in scholarships to 101 MBA students in 2017. Reaching Out MBA’s new fellowship class will be announced in mid-September.
Photo by Reaching Out MBA ( in the picture Laverne Cox )