The Cambridge MBA Class of 2020 formed the Student Diversity Coalition and welcomed Randy Boissonnault as the keynote speaker at its first event – Leading Multidimensional Teams, held in November 2020.

‘Diversifying the Workplace’ – was a series of events bringing thought leaders at the forefront of diversity and inclusion, together with students who are traditionally under-represented in global MBA programmes, to discuss real-world initiatives and innovations at Cambridge Judge.

Randy Boissonnault, the Canadian Prime Minister’s first LGBTQ+ Special Advisor and former Member of Parliament, gave the Keynote speech at the first Student Diversity Coalition event.

Entrepreneur. Community Builder. NGO Founder. Ironman Triathlete.

Former Member of Parliament. For over 15 years, Randy Boissonnaulthas advised leaders of owner-managed companies and social profit organisations on matters of leadership, strategy and community development. He is a graduate of Campus Saint-Jean at the University of Alberta and holds an M.A. (Oxon) from Oxford University, where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar. 

Randy served as Special Advisor to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on LGBTQ2 Issues. He is a tireless advocate of LGBTQ2 rights, inclusion in the workplace and supplier diversity. As Special Advisor, Randy lead the work of the LGBTQ2 Secretariat in the Privy Council Office, coordinating legislative, policy and program changes across government. He spearheaded the development of the 2019 Canada Fund, that will provide $30M over five years and $10M each year afterward, for Canadian LGBTQ2 civil-society organizations working to advance sexual orientation, gender expression, and identity rights in developing countries around the world. Thanks to his advocacy in office and through the 2019 campaign, Randy and his team secured $50M over 5 years for the Canadian LGBTQ2 organisations to conduct their work at the community level. 

Referring to a research report in 2014 by the World Bank for example, on exclusions in India. The report demonstrated that one of the effects of homophobia and misogyny and racism on the economy overall – in fact it was costing the Indian economy something like 31 billion dollars – or if you look at it another way – that is a 15% drop in productivity.

This is the economics of exclusion, and it adds up. So, the cost of exclusion is real, and the question is what do we do about that? In a 2016 report in the UK looking at LGBT rights and inclusion, there was a large body of evidence suggesting that companies that foster a diverse environment are more successful.

He concludes, ‘We find that the most diverse companies recognise inclusion and diversity as more than a social justice imperative. They also see it as a core enabler of growth and value creation. These diversity winners are pulling ahead of the rest”.

Randy’s key message as we wage the war of the pandemic globally, is to cultivate allies in the workplace and we need to go from being allies to champions – and we all need to be warriors for inclusion and diversity.