Imperial College Business School has increased its support of the career advancement of LGBTQ+ professionals by becoming one of only two schools in the UK and five schools in Europe to join Reaching Out MBA (ROMBA).
ROMBA seeks to educate, empower and connect graduate business students from the LGBTQ+ community to support the next generation of LGBTQ+ leaders. The organisation aids member schools in hosting outreach events on campus to build awareness of LGBTQ+ issues in the workplace and encourage positive change.
By joining ROMBA, Imperial College Business School will also be able to offer The ROMBA Fellowship, a scholarship worth up to £20,000, to an MBA student who has demonstrated leadership in championing LGBTQ+ representation within business education.
The ROMBA Fellowship also provides the recipient with exclusive mentorship and leadership development programmes alongside students from more than 50 participating global schools, providing an opportunity for LGBTQ+ leaders to network, and build their skills and confidence as business leaders.
Imperial’s Fellowship recipient will also be invited to join ROMBA’s annual summer retreat in New York, during which students will get to grips with the business and finance sector, as well as visit the location of the Stonewall riots which took place 50 years ago and sparked the modern PRIDE movement.
Joel McConnell, Executive Director of Marketing, Recruitment and Admissions at Imperial College Business School said: “Achieving diversity within the world of business remains a challenge. Imperial has had a long history of raising awareness of LGBTQ+ representation within STEM industries, so I’m optimistic that our membership of ROMBA will help us further enhance our diverse business school community and connect MBA students with leading companies which actively recruit LGBTQ+ professionals.”
Imperial’s ROMBA membership is the latest in a number of initiatives the school has designed to encourage greater diversity amongst the student community. The school’s LGBTQ+ Business Club, founded last autumn by Weekend MBA student Ivan Kovynyov, provides a means for business students to connect with leading companies which aim to hire more inclusively.
Mr Kovynyov said: “Whilst business schools have always encouraged students to be authentic and bring their whole selves to the classroom, there has been a lot of discussion about whether students should disclose their LGBTQ+ identity as part of their application. However, as more companies are now actively recruiting from the LGBTQ+ community, students are feeling more empowered to be open and champion the issues that matter to them. Imperial’s partnership with ROMBA will further the progress we’re making to create a more diverse and inclusive learning environment.”