Fostering Inclusivity: The Role of Scholarships and Student Initiatives in Supporting the LGBTQIA+ Community at INSEAD

Manel Calle Teixeira MBA’24J
Manel Calle Teixeira MBA’24J

Nestled in the heart of Fontainebleau, INSEAD stands as a beacon of diversity and academic excellence. However, beyond its prestigious programmes and global reach lies a vibrant community with a commitment to inclusivity. The intersection of scholarship support and student-led initiatives plays a pivotal role in nurturing a supportive environment for LGBTQIA+ students, facilitating dialogue, and fostering a sense of belonging.

Manel Calle Teixeira MBA’24J, a student from Portugal, embodies the diversity and dedication prevalent at INSEAD. Manel's journey underscores the transformative power of education and community support. His story intertwines his involvement in OUTSEAD, the LGBTQIA+ student club at INSEAD, reflecting the interconnectedness of personal growth and collective advocacy.

In a candid conversation, Manel sheds light on the challenges and triumphs experienced by LGBTQIA+ students within the INSEAD community. "Visibility and representation cannot be overstated” he asserts, acknowledging the need for greater allyship and understanding across diverse cultural contexts. Despite the progress made, Manel recognizes the ongoing work required to ensure equal opportunities and support for all LGBTQIA+ individuals.

“Receiving the ROMBA (Reaching Out MBA) fellowship was pivotal for me. It exemplifies INSEAD's commitment to supporting LGBTQIA+ representation in business education.”

Scholarships serve as a cornerstone in fostering inclusivity at INSEAD, breaking down financial barriers and empowering students from diverse backgrounds. Beyond financial assistance, scholarships provide affirmation and validation, affirming the value of LGBTQIA+ voices in the academic landscape.

Complementing scholarship initiatives are student-led endeavours like OUTSEAD, in which Manel plays an active role as the Vice President of Outreach. “OUTSEAD plays an important role in fostering community and ensuring LGBTQIA+ voices are heard” Manel emphasises. Through mixers, networking events, workshops and talks, OUTSEAD cultivates a sense of community and amplifies LGBTQIA+ representation within and beyond the campus. Nonetheless, as Manel underscores, there is a need for greater engagement and representation, particularly for underrepresented groups within the LGBTQIA+ spectrum, as well as more active participation from allies of the community.

Looking ahead, Manel envisions a future where LGBTQIA+ inclusivity remains a cornerstone of INSEAD's ethos. He emphasises the importance of alumni involvement and industry partnerships in sustaining supportive environments beyond graduation. By leveraging platforms like alumni networks and professional forums, Manel aims to promote greater visibility and advocacy for LGBTQIA+ rights in the corporate world.

Manel's journey serves as an excellent example of how providing scholarships and encouraging community involvement can bring about significant positive change and foster a more inclusive environment for LGBTQIA+ people around the world. In the mosaic of diversity that defines INSEAD, Manel's story shines brightly, inspiring future generations to embrace authenticity and advocate for change. 

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