Big brands give backing to LGBT diversity campaign

Some of Britain’s best known chief executives and business leaders gathered in London this week to encourage greater diversity in the boardrooms and management teams of the country’s iconic brands.

Fri, 10 Oct 2014Some of Britain’s best known chief executives and business leaders gathered in London this week to encourage greater diversity in the boardrooms and management teams of the country’s iconic brands.

LGBT network OUTstanding unveiled two lists recognising the business elite who have excelled in the campaign to encourage greater diversity.

Burberry chief executive Christopher Bailey topped the list of Top 100 LGBT business executives ahead of HSBC’s Antonio Simoes and EY’s Beth Brooke-Marciniak.

Richard Branson, meanwhile, was voted top straight ally edging out Lloyd Blankfein at Goldman Sachs and Valerie Sorrano Keating at Barclays.

Bailey said: “At Burberry we pride ourselves on being an equal opportunities employer and we work hard to ensure that an individual’s talent and potential are the only criteria we look at when considering who should be working with us.”

Virgin Group CEO Branson added: I passionately believe it’s everyone’s responsibility to create an environment where all people can thrive – not in spite of who they are, but because of it.”

This year’s campaign claimed significant progress after adding three times more members from the technology sector to its list this year than in 2013.

However, a statement from OUTstanding said that 41% of LGBT employees remain uncomfortable coming out at work and a staggering 90% of transgender workers experience harassment in the workplace.

Founded by CEO of recruitment consultancy Audeliss, Suki Sandhu, in June 2013, OUTstanding provides its members with peer‐to-peer professional and social connections. It exists to drive change in the business world by broadening the boardroom diversity debate beyond gender or race to include LGBT issues.

Sandhu featured on the cover of Recruiter last October, highlighting his – at the time – new venture OUTstanding in Business.

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