Stonewall Talent Programme 2013

People Perform Better When They Can Be Themselves

5-6 September 2013, London 

“The programme has shown me that being authentic is more important than being perfect – I have learnt to be authentic and not have to push myself to the limit to be a role model or leader.” 2012 Talent Programme participant


What is the Talent Programme?

Stonewall’s Talent Programme, sponsored by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, is a free two day programme for lesbian, gay and bisexual people who are yet to begin - or are at the early stages of - their career. The Programme provides a space to explore how sexual orientation relates to your career ambitions and the kind of influence you are able to have in your future working life. 

"I came here hoping to gain confidence in this and I'm leaving with the thoughts that I have nothing to worry about." 2012 Talent Programme participant

Why did we set up the Stonewall Talent Programme?

Stonewall research has demonstrated that lesbian, gay and bisexual people perform better at work when they can be themselves and don’t feel like they have to hide who they are.  We know that people who feel comfortable to be honest about who they are, are more productive and it can also make them a positive role model to people around them, gay or straight by inspiring other people to be themselves too.  This makes people enjoy their work more and feel more loyal to their employer.

The Talent Programme allows each participant to look at these issues so that they are able to think about the kind of influence they want to have on their future workplaces and through their career. Stonewall set up this programme to support the development of a new generation of lesbian, gay and bisexual role models.

“I have identified how I can become a better leader and that I can one day have a job I love being an LGB person.” 2012 Talent Programme participant

How does the Talent Programme work?

The Talent Programme is led by Caroline Ellis, an Associate Director of Stonewall Consult and a highly experienced facilitator.  Caroline is supported by facilitators from the Stonewall team.  The programme uses individual and group work to explore ideas moving from a personal focus on the first day to wider thinking about the workplace on the second day.  By the end of the two-day course, participants will have had the chance to think about the relevance of their sexual orientation to their own career ambitions and choices; what being a role model means to them and how they can be a role model.  Participants will leave with some practical ideas to take action on, related to their own development.

“The Talent Programme has inspired me to continue being proud and to pursue my aspirations.” 2012 Talent Programme participant

How will the programme benefit you?

Stonewall have been delivering a flagship Leadership Programme for the last eight years. Working with senior lesbian, gay and bisexual leaders from a wide range of workplaces, we have supported the professional and career development of over 250 lesbian, gay and bisexual people.   The Stonewall Talent Programme uses this experience to provide participants with clarity about their future career and the relevance of sexual orientation to this.

 Previous participants have said that the Talent Programme has helped them to see how their sexual orientation can be used to positively influence their future workplaces and the people they will work with.  Others have felt that the programme has helped them build their confidence as a lesbian, gay and bisexual person starting out in their career.   The Talent Programme has also enabled participants to build a network of new friends and contacts that they can stay in touch with to support one another’s further development.  For many participants this was one of the main benefits. 

“Before this programme I was really confused about my ambition and ability.  In just two days I have found a confidence I never thought I would find and I am excited about my future prospects.” 2011 Talent Programme participant

Who is the Talent Programme for?

Stonewall wants to support the development of diverse lesbian, gay and bisexual role models across all sectors.  We believe anyone can be a role model, whatever their background and whatever sector they are looking to work in.   Whether you can easily imagine yourself as a role model or even currently consider yourself one to your peers now- or not, the programme can benefit you.  Some of the most inspiring role models didn’t realize at first they could be one- it took an experience like the Talent Programme to help them feel comfortable with this idea.

If you are aged 18 to 25, identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual and are interested in finding out how you can be a role model and create a positive influence in your future career in any sector, the Stonewall Talent Programme is for you.

Whether you are currently a student, volunteer, employed or involved in other activities, if you think the programme could benefit you, we’d love to hear from you. We don’t expect you to have pinned down a career choice.  Lesbian, gay and bisexual people work and succeed across every sector including the voluntary sector, health, financial services, the creative industries and everywhere else. Wherever you end up working, the Talent Programme can help you make an impact.

“The Talent Programme was the best thing to happen to me in my professional life so far. It was a privilege to experience it now rather than in twenty years’ time when I've already done a job.” 2011 Talent Programme participant

Applications for Talent 2013 are now closed