OUT in Business Club opens up new experiences for members

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Photo by Sadman Sakib Rahman

Laurier’s new LGBTQ+ business club is challenging stigmas in the workplace

OUT in Business is Wilfrid Laurier University’s business club on campus for the LGBTQ+ community and allies.

The founder of OUT in Business, Colin Puigmarti, explained OUT in Business,their mission at Laurier and how they’re stimulating pride in the business community.

In association with the Lazaridis Students’ Society, OUT in Business is geared towards helping students find corporations that are seeking to increase diversity and culture within the workplace.

“As a gay man, there wasn’t a lot of resources in terms of places I can go,” Colin Puigmarti, fourth-year economics and finance student at Laurier, said.

Early on, Puigmarti recognized that the LGBTQ+ community needed a platform to identify with on campus that will help further career aspirations and provide support.

This observation was the main inspiration and vision for OUT in Business.

After a long two-year process, the club has finally come to fruition. They’ve begun organizing events to support the

LGBTQ+ community, and allies with career-related goals, and to encourage students to identify in the workplace with the help of their abundant resources and workshops.

“We have students from all over Laurier,” Puigmarti said.

“The club doesn’t really care about your program, it’s more so about having the passion and the drive to create a better culture on campus … it’s a pretty open space.”

Earlier in March, OUT in Business held a ‘LinkedIn Crash Course’ which offered students valuable information about creating a professional LinkedIn page and how to approach wanting to identify as LGBTQ+ to your potential employers.

OUT in Business and its executive panel of 18 students have received nothing but positive reinforcement from Laurier’s student and faculty body and the Lazaridis Students’ Society.

Their flagship event of the year, ‘Breaking OUT in Business’, will be taking place on Fri., March 23, 2018 in Downtown Toronto.

The free event, sponsored by the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, will be an afternoon of networking, panel discussions and guest speakers, featuring Brien Convery, RBC’s Director of Early Talent Acquisition.

“It’s really focused on being comfortable with yourself and incorporating that into your personal brand,” Puigmarti said.

OUT in Business will be providing transportation to and from Laurier’s campus for the event and tickets are made available through the event’s Facebook page.

This event will provide students with the opportunity to hear about growing diversity in the workplace and some insight from industry professionals about their own careers and experiences identifying as LGBTQ+ in the workplace.

“People are nervous about coming out in the workplace and feel that maybe they’ll be judged or treated differently… I think that needs to be changed because it’s not right for anyone to feel scared in the place [where] they work.”

OUT in Business and its executive panel of 18 students have received nothing but positive reinforcement from Laurier’s student and faculty body and the Lazaridis Students’ Society.

“Everyone has commented on the club saying how important it is to have on campus,” Puigmarti said.

Puigmarti has high hopes for OUT in Business moving forward.

He hopes that the club will only continue to provide a safe-space and resources for LGBTQ+ and allies in the business community in the future.

“Expanding our network is something I’d really like to see in the future,” Puigmarti  said.


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