As told to AGSM @ UNSW Business School

AGSM @ UNSW Business School this year awarded three Scholarships to LGBTIQ+ students in the 2022 MBA Full-Time cohort. Coming from India, Chile and Sydney, Reno LeonElizabeth Paya and Emily Scott all arrive at AGSM with diverse experiences of belonging to the LGBTIQ+ community. 

To celebrate their achievements, the three students were asked about their experience of being part of the LGBTIQ+ community, why promoting LGBTIQ+ inclusion in workplaces is important and what they are most looking forward to during their MBA at AGSM.

Today, we speak to Emily Scott.

Leon and Paya are both recipients of the AGSM Leadership Excellence Scholarship – LGBTI Leadership Award, while Scott is the recipient of The Luminis AGSM Wharton Business Innovation Scholarship and is a member of the LGBTIQ+ community.

Read Reno Leon's story here, and Elizabeth Paya's story here.

Emily Scott: Director of Pride@AGSM and recipient of Luminis AGSM Wharton Business Innovation Scholarship
Pronouns: she/her
Hometown: Sydney, Australia
Previous role title and employer: Manager, Nous Group

What are you most looking forward to during your MBA at AGSM? 

So many things! I'm looking forward to being part of the diverse AGSM network of current students and alumni, across the full-time, part-time and MBAX programs. I'm also looking forward to serving as Director of Pride@AGSM and helping promote the inclusion and success of LGBTIQ+ students at AGSM and equipping other students with the tools to be great LGBTIQ+ allies in their future workplaces.

I'm already loving the opportunity to expand my learning particularly in the areas of entrepreneurship and innovation, sustainability, and responsible management. 

What is your experience of being part of the LGBTIQ+ community and has that changed over time?

At school and university, I didn't know many LGBTIQ+ people (particularly LGBTIQ+ women) and as a sporty kid, there was still homophobia on many sporting fields. However, when I was ready to come out in my early twenties, I was lovingly accepted by my friends, family, and workplaces. 

I know I am lucky in this regard and since coming out have been passionate about creating inclusive environments for others. I helped set up a pride network at my workplace (Nous Group), helped other workplaces better include young LGBTIQ+ people as CEO of Out for Australia, and helped set up an LGBTIQ+ women's team at Sydney Stingers Waterpolo club. We still have a long way to go, particularly in breaking down barriers to inclusion for our trans and gender diverse friends and LGBTIQ+ migrants. 

Why do you think promoting LGBTIQ+ inclusion in workplaces and communities important?

We spend so much time at work and being able to bring our whole self to the workplace is fundamental for wellbeing and performance. Despite marriage equality and other advances in LGBTIQ+ rights in Australia, many LGBTIQ+ people (particularly young LGBTIQ+ people) continue to avoid coming out at work. 

Leaders and managers need to do more to ensure every aspect of their workplace is genuinely safe and supportive for LGBTIQ+ people. This involves visible commitment from allies, calling out of bad behaviour, and having a culture of continual learning.

Curious to find out more? Read Reno Leon's story here, and Elizabeth Paya's story here.

If you would like to know more about The Luminis AGSM Wharton Business Innovation Scholarship, The AGSM Leadership Excellence Scholarship – LGBTI Leadership Award, as well as other AGSM Full-Time MBA Scholarships, please visit the AGSM scholarships page.