In The South

Are you a future LGBT+ leader?

Besi Besemar June 22, 2017

Do you know an inspirational LGBT+ or ally executive, or LGBT+ future leader?

OUTstanding, the professional network for LGBT+ executives and their allies, today launches a call for nominations for the 2017 Leading LGBT+ & Ally Executives and LGBT+ Future Leaders lists, presented by the Financial Times.

The lists celebrate the top 100 LGBT+ Executives, top 50 Ally Executives, top 50 LGBT+ Future Leaders and for the first time, top 20 LGBT+ Public Sector Executives.

OUTstanding’s lists champion LGBT+ and ally executives who deserve to be acknowledged for their role in encouraging greater workplace diversity.

Now in its fifth year, the Leading LGBT+ Executives list has previously acknowledged Antonio Simoes (2013) then CEO HSBC UK, Christopher Bailey, CEO Burberry (2014) and Lloyd’s of London CEO, Inga Beale – the first female and first bisexual to top the list – in 2015.

Richard Branson and Mark Zuckerberg were named top Allies in 2014 and 2015 respectively, and 2015 saw Aritha Wickramasinghe, an associate at law firm K&L Gates LLP, topping the inaugural LGBT+ Future Leaders list.

Last year saw Gigi Chao, Vice Chairman of real estate giant Cheuk Nang, become the first Asian business leader to top the list, with Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, well known for speaking out against discriminatory legislation, reaching number 1 position in the Ally Executives list.

Despite much progress in the UK and beyond around LGBT+ inclusion, significant obstacles still remain for LGBT+ professionals in the workplace. For example 75 countries still criminalise homosexuality1 and, even in more liberal societies, 62% of LGBT+ graduates who were out at university go back in the closet when they start their first job2. This should not still be the case in 2017.

Suki Sandhu, Founder & CEO, OUTstanding, said: “We’re so proud to be publishing these role model lists for the fifth year running. The lists exists to challenge the assumption that you cannot be out and successful in business, to highlight role models that will inspire the next generation of business leaders and encourage companies to use their far reaching voices for good. By recognising and celebrating the impact of those who are leading the charge, these lists will continue to inspire both businesses and individuals to drive LGBT+ inclusion forward. We greatly look forward to receiving your nominations.”

For the Leading LGBT+ & Ally Executive lists, celebrated business leaders will be at the executive level in business (no more than 3 steps from the CEO); a positive and out (i.e. visible) role model; and/or actively contributing to the LGBT+ inclusion agenda.

For the LGBT+ Future Leaders list, nominees will be high potential LGBT+ employees who are helping make the workplace a more welcoming environment for everyone. The final lists will be organised according to equally weighted scored questions on the themes of career, company and activity that would contribute to an environment where LGBT+ executives can succeed and will be ratified by an independent judging panel.

To nominate inspirational executives for their role in encouraging greater boardroom diversity, click here: