Jordan Summers: Inspiring a Ripple Effect of Inspirational LGBT+ Leadership
Hi everyone! I’m Spiffy, your favorite interplanetary journalist reporting from Planet Earth with an eye on entrepreneur ecosystem builders. Today I’m going to talk to Jordan Summers, the program manager at Reaching Out MBA, Inc, the biggest organization supporting the LGBT+ MBA community. Let’s see what she has to say!
Spiffy: Welcome Jordan! I’m excited to talk to you today. Can you start by telling me about your work?
Jordan: Thanks for having me, Spiffy. We are working to support the LGBT+ MBA and graduate business community through inspiration, connection, and education.
Spiffy: I see, and what motivates you to do this?
Jordan: At Reaching Out MBA, I get to help members of the LGBT+ community reach their goals while growing in their personal development. My hope is that when one person succeeds, they will bring others along with them and inspire them to make positive changes in the world.
Spiffy: It sounds quite fulfilling! Can you tell me about how you’re helping to make the world a more equitable place?
Jordan: When evaluating speakers and organizing teams, we look at more than just LGBT+ status. We try to have a mix of ethnicity, age, sexuality, and gender which better reflects the population of our organization.
The staff of Reaching Out with the 2019 ROMBA Keynote Speaker, Lena Waithe. (Photo credit to Betsy McPherson, https://betsymcpherson.com/)
Spiffy: Representation is so key, isn’t it? I’m curious if there are any initiatives that you’ve undertaken recently. What kind of impact has it had?
Jordan: Our 2020 ROMBA Conference—despite being 100% virtual—had our highest number of attendees. It allowed those who were unable to travel due to cost, Covid-19, and scheduling, to attend from the comfort of their home. We are trying to incorporate more virtual programming throughout the organization to erase physical barriers that can prevent people from attending.
Spiffy: That sounds really promising! Can tell me about a project you’ve worked with that exemplifies the impact you’re striving to make?
Jordan: We are collecting information about how our constituents recruit LGBT+ and diverse candidates, and we are forming common practices to share so that everyone can be up to date with creating the most avenues for access.
Spiffy: Is there anything unexpected you’ve learned through your work with Reaching Out MBA?
Jordan: I've learned that one person can create ripples far beyond their own network. You never know who will see your work and be inspired.
Spiffy: Before we sign off, is there anything else you would love to tell our audience?
Jordan: Never lose that childhood sense of curiosity. It's gotten me far!
Spiffy: That’s great advice, Jordan! Thanks so much for sitting and talking with me today. It’s been an honor.
Jordan Summers, the program manager of Reaching Out MBA, Inc., holds a Bachelor of Music in Music Business from the State University of New York College at Potsdam. She has volunteered with Boston LGBT organizations in the past and is a former volunteer math tutor. In her spare time, Jordan enjoys cooking, reading, composing, and playing music. (Nominated by Inclusion NextWork. First published on the Ladderworks website on April 7, 2021.)
© 2021 Ladderworks LLC. Edited by Jill Landis Jha. Spiffy’s illustration by Shreyas Navare. Follow Spiffy’s stories of founders building a more equitable world at www.ladderworks.co/blogs/spiffys-blog