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HSBC Bank Canada has established new diversity scholarships at four Canadian business schools worth $80,000 and potential employment over the next four years. (Ryan Carter/The Globe and Mail)
HSBC Bank Canada has established new diversity scholarships at four Canadian business schools worth $80,000 and potential employment over the next four years. (Ryan Carter/The Globe and Mail)

Business School News

Business school scholarships offered to LGBTQ community Add to ...

The Globe’s biweekly business-school news roundup.

Building on an established relationship with those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) – and others who are their advocates – HSBC Bank Canada has established new scholarships at four Canadian business schools worth $80,000 and potential employment over the next four years. The announcement comes on the eve of the Vancouver Pride Parade on Monday.

“Our business model is all about different perspectives and diversity,” says Mike Webb, senior vice-president and head of human resources for the Vancouver-based bank, and also executive sponsor of its internal Pride Network.

For businesses, it is also about the bottom line. “If you look at the incredible economic impact that the LGBT community has in Canada and elsewhere, it is amazing the economic opportunity that is there,” Mr. Webb says. “If you neglect it, ignore it, you are losing out on a phenomenal opportunity.”

The scholarships will be offered to four students a year over four years at each of the following schools: Rotman School of Business at the University of Toronto; Schulich School of Business at York University in Toronto; Simon Fraser University’s Beedie School of Business in Vancouver, and Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.

The award recognizes academically strong students (gay or straight) who demonstrate leadership and community service through participation in LGBTQ organizations or initiatives on campus. Each winner receives $5,000, consideration for summer internships and, after graduation, potential acceptance into management trainee programs at HSBC.

Rotman’s winner for 2013 is Vincent Ho, 20, an undergraduate accounting student who holds a cumulative grade point average of 3.99 out of 4 entering third year in September.

He is the incoming president of the Rotman Commerce Pride Alliance, one of the few LGBTQ-focused student groups at an undergraduate business program in Canada. The group provides a networking venue for students to link to LGBTQ professionals and works with “ally” students to bring awareness and education about LGBTQ diversity and other issues. With host support from KPMG, his organization runs an annual live case competition. He also volunteers for various LQBTQ initiatives on and off campus.

A summer intern at KPMG, Mr. Ho says the HSBC scholarships send an important message to students and business.

“It signals to students that big companies like HSBC want to recognize LGBTQ talent and show they are interested in having these sorts of employees on their teams because they do bring enormous diversity,” he says. “Through that, you are able to better understand your customer and how the business works.”

Haskayne woos new faculty

While a lecturer at Harvard Law School this year, James Coleman saw a posting for a tenure-track job at the University of Calgary that seemed right up his alley: a joint appointment in the faculties of business and law on energy and environmental issues.

His friends thought so, too, sending e-mails of encouragement. “‘They seem to be looking to hire you,’” recalls Prof. Coleman. “Once I started here, I had a lot of people who thought, ‘I got James that job!’”

The Minneapolis-born scholar is one of 10 new faculty members and three new directors recently hired by Calgary’s Haskayne School of Business in its biggest recruitment drive in a decade, according to school officials.

“We are expanding our research capacity by almost 20 per cent,” says Loren Falkenberg, associate dean of research at Haskayne, with nine of the 10 new faculty hires in the research-oriented professorial stream. The new faculty come from eight different countries, though all pursued graduate studies in Canada or the United States.

With 79 full-time faculty, the school now aims to boost its research standing after a period of budget restraint and the loss of professors due to retirement and departures.

For Prof. Coleman, Calgary made sense as a destination because of his research interest in the business and legal aspects of energy and environmental issues. “Regulatory risk is such a big issue for oil and gas companies and for the companies where our students will go work,” he says.

He is based at the law school, but will teach at the business school as well.

As in any decision that involves leaving one’s home country, non-academic issues proved crucial as well. A Westerner at heart, Prof. Coleman is an avid hockey player and looks to join some men’s leagues in Calgary.

Along with new faculty, Haskayne has added three new administrative directors.

Kim Neutens, becomes director of the Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, after a 10-year stint as director of MBA program services at the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto. Jenny Krahn, a Haskayne undergraduate business graduate, has been named director of the Canadian Centre for Advanced Leadership. Hugh Evans, formerly vice-dean and director of corporate education at Henley Business School in Britain, has been tapped as director of executive education.

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Contact Jennifer at jlewington@bell.net.

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