Nominations Now Open! For Inspirational LGBT+ Executives, Future Leaders and Allies

OUTstanding nominations are now open for the 2018 LGBT+ Executives, LGBT+ Public Sector Executives, Ally Executives and LGBT+ Future Leaders

Nominate yourself, or someone who has inspired you, via the OUTstanding website

Nominations for the inspirational role model lists close on September 7th 2018

OUTstanding, the membership initiative for LGBT+ inclusion in business, today launches a call for nominations for the OUTstanding LGBT+ Role Models 2018, presented by the Financial TImes (FT).

The annual OUTstanding lists champion LGBT+ and ally executives, in both the private and public sector, who deserve to be acknowledged for their roles in encouraging greater boardroom diversity. The lists also recognise the LGBT+ leaders of tomorrow, who are already breaking down barriers and driving diversity.

Now in its sixth year, the LGBT+ Role Model list has previously acknowledged Alan Joyce, CEO of Qantas (2017), Gigi Chao, Vice Chairman of real estate giant Cheuk Nanag (2016), who was the first Asian business leader to top the list, and Lloyd’s of London CEO, Inga Beale (2015) – the first bisexual and female to top the list.

Both Richard Branson and Salesforce CEO, Marc Benioff, have been named top allies in 2015 and 2017 respectively. Last year Stuart Barette, former Global CMB IT Programme Manager at HSBC topped the LGBT+ Future Leaders list and Dinesh Bhugra CBE, President of World Psychiatric Association, was number one in the inaugural LGBT+ Public Sector Executives category.  Those shortlisted in 2017 came from companies around the world who collectively employ nearly 10 million people and are committed to improving boardroom diversity.

Since launching in 2013, the nominations have become increasingly diverse, seeing:

–          200% increase in bisexual executives

–          Six times more trans* executives nominated

–          43% increase in lesbian executives

–          11% increase in executives from outside the UK

Despite much progress in the UK and beyond, LGBT+ professionals are still experiencing obstacles in their careers. This year, research found that 18% of LGBT+ professionals have received negative comments or abuse from colleagues.

Furthermore, over a third of LGBT+ staff have hidden their sexuality at work as they’re afraid of discrimination*. It is unacceptable that in 2018, LGBT+ employees are faced with this.

Suki Sandhu, Founder & CEO, OUTstanding & INvolve, says:

“We’re now into our sixth year of publishing these role model lists and it’s exciting to see the ever-increasing diversity. More lesbian, bisexual and trans* people are now being shortlisted, we’re receiving more nominations from outside the UK, as well as seeing execs from a wide variety of industries including, financial services, construction and defence

“These lists challenge the idea that you can’t be successful and out at work, whilst inspiring the next generation of LGBT+ leaders to live their truest lives. The lists should encourage companies to use the power and influence they have to create a more diverse and equal workforce. Workplaces should be an area where employees can be comfortable being their authentic selves. We look forward to receiving nominations and compiling this year’s lists.”

Margot Slattery, Country President, Sodexo Ireland, also comments:

“Ireland has rapidly modernised on LGBT+ rights, following the introduction of equal marriage and the adoption of a self-identification system of gender recognition. Leo Varadkar is one of the few openly gay heads of government and under his leadership, Ireland has led the way on global LGBT+ issues.

“Business has also changed rapidly, with most large multinationals and many SMEs very supportive of LGBT+ rights in the workplace. They are supporting groups like OUTstanding to ensure they are aware of how they can help to build a strong and inclusive leadership pipeline.

“However, in my view, there is still more work to do around the recognition of trans* people in the workplace and encourage and provide practical tools for their transition. This week, our government will look to apologise to gay men and people whose lives were affected and stymied before decriminalisation and to recognise the pain and hurt that was caused. We will always need to challenge homophobia and violence towards our brothers and sisters and thus being out and loud and proud at work and everywhere else is vital.”

*Stonewall, LGBT in Britain Work Report 2018:

OUTstanding is part of INvolve.

INvolve is a membership organisation championing diversity and inclusion in business. It sits above OUTstanding, EMpower and HERoes, membership initiatives working respectively across LGBT+, ethnic minority and gender diversity. Through the delivery of events, programmes, thought leadership and advisory services INvolve helps member firms drive cultural change and create more inclusive workplaces. In addition, OUTstanding, EMpower and HERoes publish role model lists annually in partnership with the Financial Times, celebrating business leaders and future leaders who are leading the charge in their respective diversity spheres.

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