Lloyd’s of London CEO Inga Beale and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg named as top LGBT champions

Office Politics: A Rise to the Top

Professional network OUTstanding publishes annual ‘Top 100’ power list of LGBT Executives, alongside ‘Top 30’ Ally Executives and first ever ‘Top 30’ list of LGBT Future Business Leader role models.

Lloyds of London CEO, Inga Beale, and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg are today recognised for their achievements in helping to smash negative stereotypes and bring greater diversity to boardrooms in Britain and beyond.

They are among 160 leading LGBT and ally professionals today celebrated with the publication of OUTstanding’s 2015 power lists, released in partnership with the Financial Times.

First ever openly bisexual Top 100 LGBT Executive

Inga Beale is both the first woman and the first openly bisexual to top the LGBT Executives list. Inga is joined by three other openly bisexual business leaders – the first to ever be included in the Top 100.

This year’s Top 100 also celebrates its highest ever ranking transgender executive, Martine Rothblatt (CEO, United Therapeutics), at number 4 on the list. This is particularly important, when research shows 32% of transgender workers think coming out would have a negative effect on future promotions – the largest percentage of respondents when compared to lesbian, bisexual and gay people answering the same question and 90% of transgender individuals report mistreatment or harassment at work.

Alan Joyce, CEO of Qantas, makes his first appearance in the Top 100 list, at number 2, and 2013 winner, Antonio Simoes (CEO, HSBC) is at number 3.

Zuckerberg tops Allies list

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is awarded the number 1 position in the Ally Executives list for his work championing LGBT diversity both within his organisation and globally. Last year’s top ally, Richard Branson, is once again recognised at number 2 and Andrew Liveriss, Chairman and CEO of The Dow Chemical Company, features at number 3. 

Celebrating future leaders

Whilst the Top 100 LGBT and Top 30 Allies lists celebrate those at the very top of their organisations, for the first time in 2015, OUTstanding is also highlighting those emerging leaders who have catalysed change in the campaign for LGBT inclusion. The ‘Future Leader role models’ list is topped by Aritha Wickramasinghe, an associate at law firm K&L Gates LLP.

OUTstanding founder and CEO Suki Sandhu said, “Compared to 2013, we see far more people wanting to be associated with the lists – this year we have 42 brand new additions to the Top 100 alone. This is fantastic news as I hope it shows people are both more comfortable about being their true selves at work, and also that they see the value of 'going public' in terms of inspiring the next generation of leaders. I'm hugely proud that all of our featured role models continue to challenge the assumption that you can’t be openly LGBT in business and be a success. Those featured are an inspiration to anyone who fears that they may have to be closeted at work, and waste valuable effort muting their authentic selves. Our LGBT and Ally Executives all deserve credit for the leadership they show in welcoming people of all backgrounds, sexual orientations and gender identities. And I look forward to the changes our Future Leader role models will carve in this on-going and vital campaign.”

CEO Lloyds of London, Inga Beale 'It is a delight and honour to be listed in OUTstanding’s Top 100, but the praise should go to the whole London insurance sector. I am proud of the commitment of Lloyd’s and the London insurance market to celebrate diversity and ensure we are an attractive, globally relevant and inclusive sector. Inclusion is the foundation of innovation, and having an open, accepting, and diverse workforce will enable us to succeed in a changing and challenging world'.

Associate K&L Gate LPC, Aritha Wickramasinghe, said: 'Being out at work has meant that I can focus my energies on my career and contribute to the work place rather than hiding. People often underestimate the effort that's required to live a lie. Some people say that I am lucky to have been so well received as a junior lawyer who is out. But I disagree. There should be nothing lucky about being yourself. Whether it is because of your sexuality, ethnicity, religion, gender, disability or any other point of difference - no one should be made to feel out of place or treated differently because of who they are'.

CEO of HSBC Bank plc, Antonio Simoes, said: "I believe that the best performing and truly customer focused businesses will be those who have a meritocratic culture. To achieve this, companies need to encourage different ways of thinking from people with a mix of backgrounds and beliefs that reflect today's society. We still have some way to go before everyone feels confident enough to express themselves in an authentic way at work. I am honoured to once again be listed in OUTstanding’s Top 100. Initiatives like this are a powerful statement that attitudes are changing and we are making genuine progress".

Top 10 Leading LGBT Executives 2015

Top 10 LGBT execs 2015: Outstanding

Top 10 Leading Ally Executives 2015

Top 10 Ally execs 2015: Outstanding

Top 10 Future Leaders roles models 2015

Top 10 Future Leaders 2015: Outstanding

Source: OUTstanding

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