LGBT Great calls on industry to spotlight diversity-savvy executives

Organisation is publishing Top 100 leaders list the day before postponed Pride celebrations


Sebastian Cheek, Portfolio Adviser

LGBT Great is calling on the investment industry to shine a light on executives from across the globe who demonstrate exceptional leadership on LGBT+ and diversity issues

The financial services representative organisation is asking the industry to nominate individuals as part of its Project 1000 initiative which aims to highlight 1,000 LGBT+ and ally role models within the industry over the next five years.

Nominations opened on Tuesday and will run for five weeks until 5 June. The process will culminate in the publication of a Top 100 leaders list on 26 June, the day before Pride celebrations were due to take place in London and New York.

Pride is very much alive 

LGBT Great managing director Matt Cameron (pictured) said: “As covid-19 impacts businesses and societies, clear and visible allyship for the LGBT+ community is now more important than ever because those marginalised in our communities are being impacted disproportionally.

“Just because the Pride events are cancelled, does not mean that Pride is. In fact, it is very much alive. We are delighted to be bringing this initiative to the industry and we are thankful for the support of our members who enable us to do the work that we do”.

Who should be nominated?

LGBT Great said in order to meet the nomination criteria, industry executives are required to demonstrate advocacy and positive actions to support the LGBT+ community within their firm and across the industry.

Nominees are required to evidence the work they do as ‘allies’ such as sponsoring employee resource groups, influencing policy, mentoring others and raising awareness for LGBT+ equality and inclusion.

Nominate: Executives who demonstrate exceptional leadership on LGBT+ and diversity issues

Each nominee is required to complete a video interview with LGBT Great and commit to supporting the group.

LGBT Great has backing from more than 60 global firms

Since it launched in September 2018, the LGBT Great project has attracted 350 representatives from more than 60 global firms, including executive leaders from LGIM, T Rowe Price, Quilter, Schroders and Fidelity.

> See also: LGBT Great taps LGIM for lead role model ambassador

Schroders group chief executive Peter Harrison has endorsed LGBT Great’s campaign. “This is an inspirational initiative which has the full support of me and Schroders,” he said.

Quilter chief operating officer Karin Cook said: “I am really proud that Quilter is one of the first 10 founding member firms of LGBT Great. Now, even more than ever, when it’s easy for us to feel remote from one another, inclusion should be front and centre of any business agenda.”

Sanlam Investments chief executive Jonathan Polin, who LGBT Great said is the only openly gay CEO in the industry, has also backed the initiative.

“I’m immensely proud to support LGBT Great’s campaign,” he said. “If these past few months have taught us anything it’s that we are all equal regardless of our sexuality, gender or race and that our society is stronger when it stands together.”

This article first appeared on ESG Clarity‘s sister title Portfolio Adviser.

Last Word is the exclusive industry media partner of LGBT Great, a financial services representative organisation focusing on diversity and inclusion.

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