The Shambhala Organisation: established to promote and support LGBT business leaders
The Shambhala Organisation was established by Dale Pudney in response to the lack of openly LGBT individuals in top-level business leadership positions.
The recent coming out of Apple CEO, Tim Cook, as the only openly gay CEO in the Fortune 500 is testament to the discrimination that is rife in the business world globally. It is no different in South Africa. There is a perception in the LGBT community of ‘glass ceilings’ and discrimination against LGBT individuals in the corporate world. This has also been experienced by Dale Pudney, a company MD doing business in Africa; he is acutely aware of the risks to business if clients in Africa were aware of his sexuality.
Potential LGBT business leaders face all the standard challenges of getting ahead in business, like lack of finance for entrepreneurial ventures, insufficient funding for appropriate education, and needing mentoring and coaching to enhance career performance. These are compounded by rife discrimination, none of which are challenges that can be overcome overnight.
The Shambhala Organisation seeks to help high potential LGBT individuals break through these ‘glass ceilings’ and take their rightful place in business leadership positions. The Shambhala Organisation is a network of initiatives that seek to promote and support proudly LGBT business leaders. These initiatives include scholarships, private equity funding for entrepreneurial ventures and career performance enhancement. With such a specific target market, these initiatives would struggle if each acted alone, but together they can start to make a difference for LGBT business leadership.
This network of initiatives will grow as more people lend their time and talents to the common objective of promoting and supporting proudly LGBT business leaders. Together, these initiatives hope to tilt the scale in favour of the LGBT community.