Business Leadership Academy

The Iowa LGBT Chamber is proud to announce the launch of the Business Leadership Academy.

The mission of the Business Leadership Academy is to develop and foster the next generation of LGBTQ leaders in the workplace by providing quality and transformative programming. Today’s business environment for both small businesses or corporations requires leadership skills like effective communication, creativity, collaboration and the ability to motivate.

Learn about the Business Leadership Academy below, including when the program meets, what will be learned, and who an ideal participant is. If you’re ready to apply, click here now. Applications are accepted until 11:59 p.m. on January 8, 2019.

What will be learned through the Business Leadership Academy?
This Business Leadership Academy works to provide a small cohort of Chamber members with the skills needed to be successful out LGBTQ leaders in senior management positions. Topics that will be addressed during the program include:

  • Effectively Communicating Yourself to the Top
  • Taking Care of Yourself so You Can Take Care of Business
  • Productive Conflict
  • Managing People
  • Implicit Bias and Microaggressions
  • Being a Nonprofit Board Leader
  • Understanding Business Financials
  • Corporate Financial Leadership

Each of the sessions will be facilitated by industry experts, certified trainers, and other business leaders from the community. These are top-rated professionals who will help you achieve your best.

At the beginning of the program, each participant will engage in an Insights Discovery assessment to learn more about their personal and professional leadership style to build a framework of success as leaders in the workplace.

Additionally, through the program, each participant will be required to be a part of a small group project serving the LGBT and allied community. This group project will put participants in groups of 4-5 that will showcase the skills learned into real-world situations. Examples could be bringing awareness to a specific issue in the community, working with a non-profit on a specific activity, developing a new community initiative or project. Participants will present their projects at the conclusion of the program and are encouraged to remain involved following graduation.

Who should participate?
Any Chamber member is eligible to apply to participate in the year-long Business Leadership Academy. Ideal participants are those who possess:

  • An interest in expanding their leadership skills to new heights.
  • A desire to advance career opportunities within their organization.
  • A strong interest in influencing change and having a positive impact on their community.
  • A desire to develop new relationships and are open to challenging their own point of view.

The goal of the program is to provide the skills and tools needed to help more people move into senior leadership roles and help reshape the business. Successful candidates for the program are those that:

  • Are LGBTQ+ or allied and share a commitment to pro-fairness values.
  • Ideally have a minimum of 5 years of professional work experience.
  • Will commit to attending all Academy sessions during the course of the year and be an active participant in discussions and activities.

What is the benefit of the Business Leadership Academy?
In addition to gaining the skills needed that will help you advance in your career, at the conclusion of the Business Leadership Academy, all those that complete the program will receive a certificate of completion, public recognition by the Chamber as a program graduate, and the ability to list the program on your resume.

Completing this program will put you in an elite group of Chamber members and build a network of professional support and mentorship to help you “break the rainbow ceiling” and be a successful leader.

Successful completion of the program requires a minimum of 80% of the sessions and being an active participant in the work of the program.

What’s the timeline of the Business Leadership Academy?
The 2019 Business Leadership Academy will meet monthly from February to December on the second Tuesday of each month from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. These workshops will be held in the Milwaukee area at various locations. (In future years, the program hopes to expand to additional regions of the state).

The Business Leadership Academy will follow this timeline:

  • Applications Accepted: December 4, 2018 through January 8, 2019
  • Applications Due: January 8, 2019 at 11:59 p.m. CT
  • Phone Interviews Conducted for Applicants (if needed): January 9-17, 2019
  • Applicants Notified of Selection: January 18, 2019
  • Class Sessions: Monthly February – November 2019 on the second Tuesday from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m.
  • Program Conclusion and Graduation: December 2019

What is the application and selection process?
Applicants for the program will be required to submit an application between December 4, 2018 and January 8, 2019. Each applicant is also required to submit a letter from their supervisor stating that the individual has permission and support to participate actively in the program as part of the sessions will take place during a portion of the business day. Applicants will be required to submit a resume as well as short answers to a few questions.

Applications will be reviewed by a committee made up of Chamber members supporting the program. The Committee may choose to do interviews with candidates if desired.

Applications can be filled out here. You can submit the letters of recommendation and resume during this process or submit them later via email as well.

What is the cost to participate in the program?
The cost for each participant in the program is $1,500.

This fee includes the registration fee for all sessions, the Insights Discovery assessment, as well as additional leadership and program materials. The program will be run through the Wisconsin LGBT Chamber of Commerce Foundation, which is a 501(c)3 organization, allowing tax deductible contributions from businesses who are sponsoring employees.

Who can you contact with questions?
If you have additional questions on the program, please contact DAN JANSEN at

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