Happy World Pride! This year WorldPride is descending on Sydney, with three weeks of activities that include a Human Rights Conference, parties, theatre events, and of course, the world-famous Mardi Gras parade.

But what about for the LGBTIQ+ business community? In order to contribute meaningfully to WorldPride, the AGSM Student Association will be hosting a half-day professional development conference to coincide with Sydney World Pride, including a line-up of LGBTIQ+ sector experts and networking opportunities.

Ahead of the event, we spoke with Sonia Clark (she/her), Co-President of the AGSM Student Association (ASA) and current AGSM Full-Time MBA candidate, about what pride in the workplace means to her in 2023 and what LGBTIQ+ community and allies can get out of the upcoming Pride event.

Tickets are available here.


What has been your best experience of allyship in the workplace? 

Sonia: It’s where sexuality or other characteristics are irrelevant and you are treated on your merits and allowed to just be you. The Navy (my most recent employer) was fantastic for that. For me, who I'm with and how I look should be of no concern to others. Treat me for the skills and results I bring to the table. 

What do you see as recent wins for the LGBTIQ+ business community?

Sonia: It’s never been a better time to be in business and part of the LGBTIQ+ community. We talk as if things are worse than they’ve ever been, but in my opinion, things are better than they’ve ever been. 

20 years ago, I had a chair thrown at me on the street for holding my girlfriend’s hand and being out at work was often just a no-go zone. Now the main issue is how much rainbow-washing is going on. 

There are still issues, but things have come a long way. 

Where could we improve in the business world?

Sonia: I think there’s still a stigma in big business in terms of how you look and dress to get ahead. I think it can be challenging for anyone who looks different. I'm not sure if it will ever happen, but we need to be less obsessed with looks. 

And there's a long way to go to removing deep biases about what personal traits correlate with successful business leadership. 

What would be your advice to LGBTIQ+ community members who are still finding their feet in business? 

Sonia: Now really is the time to find your feet in business. As with any community - the stronger the networks the better the business - often it comes down to just being able to meet like-minded people that you click with. 

Sometimes this can be due to shared or similar experiences which is often why similar communities gravitate towards each other. The more avenues to connect and meet like-minded people, the better - not just for your own personal fulfilment but also to create important networks that form the backbone of successful businesses. 

Sonia Clark, Co-President of the AGSM Student Association (ASA) and current AGSM Full-Time MBA candidate Sonia Clark

Coming to the Pride @ AGSM event is also a great opportunity for non-LGBTIQ+ businesspeople to come along and meet some amazing individuals who often contribute something special to this world and can in turn elevate your business.

Sound good? You can sign up for the Pride @ AGSM Leadership Symposium: Negotiation and Networking Event, here.

To be held at The Beresford, Surry Hills, March 9th, 2023.