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Christopher Bailey Tops List of LGBT Business Leaders

thumb c6a04c090328bfe3f633039acdb3352ea8ede44a header image headerProfessional network OUTstanding publishes annual ‘Top 100’ to raise the profile of LGBT business leaders alongside first ever ‘Top 20’ list of straight allies.

The campaign to encourage greater diversity in Britain's boardrooms was given a boost today as OUTstanding revealed two lists recognising the business elite who have gone above and beyond for the cause. Bailey and Branson are joined by industry heavyweights such as LGBT executives Antonio Simoes (CEO HSBC UK) and Beth Brooke-Marciniak (Global Vice Chair - Public Policy EY) and straight allies Mark Zuckerberg (CEO Facebook) and Lloyd Blankfein (CEO Goldman Sachs).
Following the phenomenal response to its inaugural 2013 ‘Top 50’ list of inspirational LGBT executives, this year OUTstanding is announcing twice as many LGBT business leaders and, for the first time, championing 20 straight allies. Both lists includes senior executives from some of the world’s biggest brands, including Google, IBM, Nike and EY. Those on the list were nominated by peers and colleagues. All nominations were reviewed by OUTstandingsAdvisory Panel before being ranked based on five factors. Everyone included in the list has given their permission to be included.
CEO Virgin Group, Richard Branson said, “I’m honoured and humbled to receive this OUTstanding Ally award, because 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. Across the Virgin Group, we have seen time and again how embracing diversity will help you spot opportunities, anticipate critical issues and come up with original solutions before your competitors do. It’s the right thing to do, and it’s good business, too.”
2014 has been a significant year for the LGBT business community: Christopher Bailey’s appointment alone is testament to the progress which has been made. Bailey is the first ever openly 'out' CEO of a FTSE 100 company. In just one year, OUTstanding’s ‘Top 100’ list has changed significantly too; it’s twice as long, includes three transgender business leaders and almost a quarter of the list members work within the traditionally less LGBT friendly Banking and financial services industry.

Chief Executive & Chief Creative Officer Burberry, Christopher Bailey said,“I am honoured to be chosen as the recipient of this year’s OUTstanding business leader award.  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.”

The technology sector, which has come under fire in recent months for a lack of diversity in its workforce, has made strong progress too. This year, almost three times more list members are from tech companies than in 2013.
But there’s more to do. 41% of LGBT employees are not comfortable coming out at work and a staggering 90% of transgender employees have experienced harassment at work. Most worryingly, these experiences are having a negative impact on the future generation with 62% of graduates who have been out at University going back into the closet when they start work.
OUTstanding founder Suki Sandhu said, “Our Top 100 list is bigger and better than before and yet again proves you can succeed professionally when you are authentic at work. Self-disclosure is best for employees and for the businesses that support them. Our hope is this list will inspire others to embrace who they are, paving the way for change in the corporate world and society as a whole.”
Sandhu continues, “We need publically visible role models in business to show that the workplace welcomes all talented people, regardless of their backgrounds or identities. This is a human, rather than an LGBT issue which is why we’re also celebrating those trailblazers outside the LGBT community who promote the issue of diversity within their businesses.”
The top ten OUTstanding LGBT Business leaders. A full list can be found here.
1. Christopher Bailey, Chief Creative & Chief Executive Office, Burberry
2. Antonio Simoes, CEO UK, HSBC
3. Beth Brooke, Global Vice Chair - Public Policy, EY
4. Anthony Watson, Global Chief Information Officer, Nike Inc.
5. Stephen Clarke, CEO, WHSmith

6. Jason Grenfell-Gardner, President & CEO, IGI Laboratories

7. Alex Schultz, Vice President - Growth, Facebook

8. Paul Reed, CEO, BP IST

9. Robert Greenblatt, Chairman, NBC Entertainment

10. Claudia Brind-Woody, Vice President & Managing Director, Global Intellectual Property Licensing, IBM


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