The Power of Pride: How Being An Out Leader Can Take Your Career To The Next Level

BANNER IMAGE - OUt leaders
One of Europe’s only LGBTQ+ Leadership courses helps employees learn how to lead with Pride – and transform their organizational culture.
June 8, 2021
Inclusive Futures
Everyone should bring their best self to work, no matter what that means. One course helps LGBTQ+ leaders in Europe explore their own superpowers.

“To unfold your personal superpower, everybody needs to be true and authentic,” said Claudia Kelz, Manager Executive Education at the ESCP Business School. She is responsible for leadership trainings focused around unleashing the power of diversity in teams, like a Women in Leadership or LGBTQ+ Leadership course. In addition, she offers tailor-made training programmes for companies.

One of the open classes, LGBT+ Leadership, focuses on employees who have taken over, or will take over, a critical role in their company. Over the course, participants will learn how to help transform organizational culture.

“The programme contains a unique blend of latest academic concepts, practical tools and space for reflection to address the head, hand and heart of the participants. We see an increase in their self-confidence after the programme. Participants gain trust in their own abilities and gain motivation to successfully face challenges and demands to increase organisational goals,” Kelz said.

Most of the course’s participants are in their 30s with five to ten years working experience. In coordination with diversity experts, their practice partner Proud at Work, and HR departments, the course determines relevant challenges and helps participants build a long-lasting community of best practices.

The course isn’t just about creating out leaders, though, Kelz said.

“From our point it´s not just about LGBT+. We feel that everybody should come with their full potential to the workplace,” she said. “LGBT+ people however can push this for all groups. They often are very sensitive for discrimination and can help to build rooms for exchange and co-creation.”

Many companies do not always recognize the true added value of diversity, at least in her experience, Kelz said. It’s one of the biggest issues she sees when teaching this course.
“Most companies and employees don't seem to have anything against other life models and value orientations,” the education professional said. “But when we work with managers, for example in unconscious bias workshops, they are often surprised, for example, which people or groups do not feel seen or represented by them.”

Organizations need to respond fast and accurately to these transformational times to benefit from the added value of true diversity. LGBTQ+ employees at companies, regardless of position or power, need to feel respected and safe while working.

“To unfold your personal superpower everybody needs to be true and authentic. It´s obvious that LGBTQ should feel safe and respected in their whole personality as well,” Kelz said. “Unfortunately, this is often not the case as people don’t feel comfortable. For LGBTQ, however, we see an additional benefit to serve their organisation. They can stand for the new normal and the willingness to transform and grow as a company.”

For more about the course, click here.