The OUTstanding Top 50 Allies 2021
The 2021 OUTstanding LGBT+ Role Model Lists, supported by Yahoo Finance, are a powerful reflection of the incredible achievements of LGBT+ people and their allies in the business community.
The lists, prepared by diversity and inclusion membership organisation INvolve, highlight role models for others to follow when it comes to being out and proud at work, driving positive change in the office, or supporting your LGBT+ colleagues. Executives on the allies list work within at least three levels from the chief executive at large companies or lead small organisations themselves. All of the allies on the list — who are not LGBT+ themselves but support LGBT+ inclusion — were nominated by peers and colleagues, or put themselves forward.
Read more: The OUTstanding Top 100 Future Leaders 2021
Nominations were then reviewed by the OUTstanding judging panel, who scored each person on the influence of their role, their impact on staff inside and outside the workplace, and their business achievements.
1) Marc Pritchard, chief brand officer, Procter & Gamble
Marc Pritchard is a pioneering ally to the LGBT+ community and to P&G’s (PG) LGBT+ network, GABLE, and uses P&G’s considerable voice as the world’s largest advertiser to promote equality and the accurate, authentic portrayal of LGBT+ people globally.
He has integrated LGBT+ brand building into inclusive marketing efforts, advocated for LGBT+ intersectionality at P&G, and championed programming which effectively brings brands into the LGBT+ conversation through thoughtful platforms including ‘Can’t Cancel Pride’ and a new platform with Athlete Ally to combat LGBT+ inequality in sport. As a result of these efforts, P&G has been named LGBT+ Marketer of the Year by Out & Equal.
2) Francesca McDonagh, group CEO, Bank of Ireland Group
As Bank of Ireland Group CEO, Francesca McDonagh has overall accountability for the group inclusion & diversity (I&D) programme, which includes the With Pride LGBT+ Network, one of the program’s strongest components. McDonagh has ensured that the voice of the network is heard resoundingly, with an executive committee and an HR champion aligned to the network to bolster support at a senior level and support the delivery of the group’s I&D strategy.
She has also spearheaded key inclusion initiatives, such as mandatory I&D goals for senior leaders, group I&D training, LGBT+ allyship training for group executives, regularly reviewed I&D success measures, and the promotion of an inclusion environment through all gender signage and accessible bathroom facilities.
3) Rich Lesser, global chair, Boston Consulting Group
As global chair, Rich Lesser is a top ally for Pride@BCG, a global LGBTQ+ network. Throughout his career at Boston Consulting Group (BCG), including as CEO from 2013-2021, he has placed LGBTQ+ diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) at the core of BCG’s values, and has overseen network growth of ~20% each year. He was named the 2021 Top CEO in the US by Glassdoor, based on employee reviews.
Lesser supported the publication of a report entitled ‘Why the First Year Matters for LGBTQ+ Employees’, a guide for businesses on LGBTQ+ inclusion, and has championed numerous LGBTQ+ specific recruitment events. He is keen to provide a platform for LGBTQ+ role models, having given Pride@BCG center stage at large conference events, and having launched two podcasts featuring LGBTQ+ role models and emerging leaders to discuss LGBTQ+ topics and the landmark findings from BCG’s thought leadership. He put the spotlight on intersectionality by introducing the Intersectional Task Force in North America to address the needs of LGBTQ+ individuals with intersectional identities.
4) Jimmy Etheredge, CEO, North America, Accenture
Jimmy Etheredge is a long-time advocate of programmes that improve LGBTQ+ inclusion. A trained ally in Accenture’s (ACN) Pride network, he championed the company’s LGBTQ+ anonymous self-identification initiative. Leading discussions within and outside of Accenture, Etheredge strives to help members of the LGBTQ+ community feel comfortable being their authentic selves. In 2019, he fully backed Accenture’s decision to sign the Human Right Campaign’s landmark Amicus brief to protect LGBTQ+ workers from discrimination. Etheredge also supported the Equality Act and LGBTQ+ non-discrimination legislation at the state level in Georgia.
5) Frédéric Oudéa, group CEO, Société Générale
Frédéric Oudéa is a visible role model for LGBT+ allies everywhere. In March 2020, he became the first French CEO to give an interview in the French LGBT+ magazine ‘Tetu’, highlighting the group’s commitment to LGBT+ diversity and inclusion (D&I). More recently, Oudéa led Société Générale (GLE.PA) to become a signatory to L’autre Cercle Charter, which was broadcast live internally and externally.
As an official partner of Ligue Nationale de Rugby since 1987, Oudéa and the bank are proud to support the #PlaquonslHomophobie initiative to eradicate homophobia on and off the field.
6) Beatriz Martin, UK CEO, UBS London Branch, group treasurer, UBS Group
Beatriz Martin is the group treasurer at UBS Group (UBS) having been appointed in December 2020 and is also the UK CEO for UBS London Branch.
Martin served as global chief operating officer for UBS Investment Bank from 2015-2020, UK chief operating officer for UBS AG London Branch from 2014 to 2019, having joined UBS in 2012 as chief of staff to the CEO of the investment bank.
Before joining UBS, Martin held senior positions at Morgan Stanley (MS) and Deutsche Bank (DB). Martin has a Masters in business administration and is fluent in English, Spanish and German. She is also a member of the supervisory board of UBS Europe SE, as well as a member of the board of the industry body UK Finance.
7) Seiji Yasubuchi, president and CEO, AXA Holdings Japan
Since becoming AXA (CS.PA) Japan CEO in 2019, Seiji Yasubuchi has worked to raise awareness of unconscious bias and to promote LGBTQ+ I&D. He has supported the Tokyo Rainbow Pride and Business for Marriage Equality, as well as AXA Asia’s study into mental health challenges faced by LGBTQ+ people in the workplace. He has also created the Business Name Use Guidelines to foster trans inclusion.
At an inclusion conference event in 2021, AXA Japan invited two Japanese famous drag queens to learn about 'What is LGBTQ+?' and 'Diversity within LGBTQ+'. Yasubuchi encouraged the event and promotes I&D facts and aspirations.
8) Laureen Seeger, chief legal officer, American Express
At American Express (AXP), Laureen Seeger works closely with the global pride network to embed LGBT+ inclusion and allyship throughout the organisation. She launched a self-ID programme in major office locations to help inform the organisation’s programmes and resources for colleagues, diversity strategies, and efforts to meet DE&I commitments.
Seeger has also implemented inclusive leadership training for people leaders globally, hosted events worldwide on unconscious bias, transgender awareness and allyship, and launched a global executive pride network for VP+ LGBT+ leaders to advocate for the community at the most senior levels in the company.
9) Takefumi Kawasaki, partner, EY Japan
Takefumi Kawasaki chairs the D&I steering committee called Assurance and has been one of the executive sponsors for Unity, the LGBT+ and ally ERG, since 2014.
In the first half of 2021, Kawasaki sponsored and facilitated a seminar titled ‘EY people who identify as gay and transgender, and the role of allies in the workplace’. This was also released across EY’s global community which led to an increase in senior allyship commitments.
Kawasaki launched the D&I Steering Committee in Assurance, to seize the momentum created by the seminar to effect meaningful change and to embed a truly inclusive culture. He has also shared his allyship publicly at the Tokyo Rainbow Pride in the march with the LGBT+ network.
10) Caroline Frankum, global CEO, profiles, Kantar
Caroline Frankum is the global executive sponsor for the Pride@Kantar ERG, working to create a safe community for all LGBT+ employees across the globe. She brings the group’s priorities to Exco meetings in an effort to ensure Kantar is as genuinely inclusive as possible and encourages all Kantar employees to show explicit support and allyship for LGBT+ colleagues.
Frankum also plays an instrumental role in creating, supporting, and funding a more inclusive world for the LGBT+ community externally through Kantar’s award-winning Inclusion Index and through actively creating important partnerships and collaborations with other purposeful entities. This includes championing an industry manifesto for inclusion and opportunity with The Market Research Society (MRS), and supporting DIVA Media and Stonewall shine a more authentic spotlight on how to better support LGBT+ women in the UK during Lesbian Visibility week.
11) Danielle Harmer, chief people officer, Aviva
Danny Harmer is executive co-sponsor for Aviva (AV.L) Pride, regularly meeting with the LGBT+ network co-chairs to support LGBT+ colleagues across the business and is an active attendee in community events in and outside Aviva.
Prior to her move to Aviva in Feb 2020, she was executive sponsor and ally for Mpride, Metro Bank’s (MTRO.L) LGBT+ network, and signed the organisation up to the Armed Forces Covenant, the Social Mobility Pledge and Stonewall Diversity Champions. She was also instrumental in the implementation of key initiatives, such as equal parental leave for all regardless of gender and sexual orientation, and becoming the first bank to enable customers to identify as non-binary on their accounts.
12) Roberto Quiroga, founding partner and tax lawyer, Mattos Filho Veiga Filho Marrey Jr e Quiroga Advogados
Since its inception, Roberto Quiroga has spearheaded the D&I programme at Mattos Filho, also sponsoring the creation of Mfriendly, the firm's LGBT+ affinity network. Since the beginning of 2021, he has also participated in the firm’s Diversity and Inclusion Commission. Comprised of the leaders of Mattos Filho's six affinity groups, the commission oversees the programme’s strategy to bring D&I and intersectionality efforts into the mainstream.
Quiroga also established the firm’s 100% pro bono practice, which in 2020 alone dedicated 930 hours to LGBT+ causes.
13) Pete Markey, chief marketing officer, Boots
In addition to being executive sponsor for Boots Pride, Pete Markey is executive sponsor globally for ‘Marketing for Change’, the Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) network for promoting inclusion through advertising and marketing. Since joining Boots in February 2021, he has overseen Pride Month campaign activity, including interviews with top LGBT+ executives at Boots, and he has championed trans rights with a Boots Health & Beauty front cover feature on Eva Echo, alongside a dedicated online interview conducted by Pete.
He has also undertaken a complete review of all marketing comms alongside Creative Equals to ensure Boots’ creative work is inclusive, and has spearheaded the ‘Feel Good as New’ campaign, which has inclusion weaved into the narrative and approach.
14) Sue Fox, CEO, HSBC Channel Islands and Isle of Man
At HSBC (HSBA.L) in the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, Sue Fox is executive sponsor of the D+I Allies group, and of seven strands, PRIDE is the most prominent. Fox contributes by profiling the activities of the group through videos, photos and attending events to help cement an inclusive culture.
She regularly raises D&I topics in her bi-monthly townhalls, people manager meetings and within the executive team, with a particular focus on LGBT+ inclusion and equality.
Fox often appears on panels and participates in speaking opportunities promoting LGBT+ inclusion in the workplace and in the wider community, and is executive corporate sponsor of The Diversity Network in Jersey.
15) Sarah Breeden, executive director for financial stability strategy and risk, Bank of England
Alongside her role at the Bank of England (BoE), Sarah Breeden is executive sponsor of the Bank’s LGBT+ & Allies staff network. In that role, Breeden has devised and spearheaded the ‘Out & Proud Charter’, a lasting public commitment by the BoE to create an LGBT+ inclusive workplace.
She has also led work to create an ambitious action plan, which publicly sets out the concrete steps that the bank will take to further LGBT+ inclusion. Breeden has a particular focus on inclusion for trans and bi colleagues, having encouraged conversations on bi visibility, pushed for more gender-neutral facilities and led work to rewrite trans inclusion policies.
16) Maria Abbonizio, chief administrative officer, investment management, Fidelity International
Maria Abbonizio is the global co-chair of Fidelity International’s LGBT+ Network, and is working to bring more focus on benchmarking, identifying appropriate regional KPIs, and driving the network’s agenda across Asia Pacific and globally. She is a passionate role model involved with allyship. Her work includes organising webinars and bringing allies into the LGBT+ Network.
Abbonizio is an active mentor, having mentored extensively over the last 10 years within Fidelity and more recently through INvolve’s cross-industry programme.
17) Georgia Dawson, senior partner, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
As managing partner for Asia, Georgia Dawson championed LGBT+ inclusion not only through symbolic displays in offices, but also through significantly increasing coverage of LGBT+ issues, celebrating the community’s achievements, and promoting LGBT+ inclusion and allyship in communications and town halls throughout the region.
In her new position as senior partner, Dawson ensures LGBT+ inclusion is firmly a part of the firm’s overall D&I strategy from her position on the global leadership team, including setting concrete targets across the partner level. She also passionately pursues LGBT+ causes through her legal pro bono work.
18) Amy Wilson, general counsel and corporate secretary, Dow
Amy Wilson is the executive sponsor for GLAD, Dow’s LGBT+ and ally employee resource groups (ERG), and has hosted numerous events highlighting topics related to LGBT+ inclusion, including moderating a virtual event during Pride 2021 with GLAAD president and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis and Dow chairman and CEO Jim Fitterling.
As part of Dow's leadership education series for people managers, Wilson led the session on ESGs, inclusion and diversity in the C-suite and boardroom. In this session, she highlighted her extensive experience with Dow's board of directors as the company's corporate secretary and the importance of including all types of diversity, including LGBTQ+ diversity, at all levels in the organisation.
19) Amy Cho, CEO, Hong Kong and Head of Distribution, APAC, Schroder Investment Management (Hong Kong) Limited
At Schroders, Amy Cho is senior sponsor for SchOUT, a global employee resource group supporting LGBT+ inclusion in the workplace and the wider community. Cho shows by example that being an ally is to proactively tackle inherent biases, to embrace differences and to create an environment where people can bring their whole selves to work.
Cho also promotes best practices to enable a more inclusive community through sharing her views on the topic at public events and contributing to support groups such as the Hong Kong LGBT+ Interbank Forum. Cho has been recognised as a LGBT Great Top 100 Executive Allies in 2020 and 2021.
20) Caroline Griffin Pain, general counsel, Colt Technology Services
As leader of Colt's Inclusion & Diversity council, and being executive sponsor of the LGBTQ+ network Pride Matters, Caroline Pain drives LGBT+ inclusion in the company every day. In 2021, she supported the Pride Matters to grow globally, appointing regional leads across all Colt locations. With Pain's support, Colt launched its own LGBT+ ally training and in 2021 this launched as an e-learning course in multiple languages, driving active LGBT+ allyship across the global business.
Since its inception, more than 500 employees have taken part in Colt's ally training. Pain has also supported and hosted numerous external events held by the network, and has led projects to make public Colt’s commitment to LGBT+ inclusion.
Jessica Uhl, chief financial officer, Shell
Jessica Uhl has been an active executive sponsor of LGBT+ inclusion at Shell (RDSB.L) since 2018. This year she was instrumental in the decision to make diversity and inclusion a central theme of Shell’s new strategy, Powering Progress, which explicitly states our ambition to become one of the most diverse and inclusive organisations in the world.
Uhl has championed countless initiatives to drive LGBT+ inclusion, from new approaches to build psychological safety for LGBT+ staff through to ensuring equitable access to benefits and HR policies. Uhl has played a key role in building inclusive leadership across the company and hosts regular engagements with Shell’s LGBT+ community. During International Coming Out Day and Pride Month she chairs deep-dive sessions to help build a truly inclusive environment, where all our LGBT+ staff feel valued and respected.
Matt Krentz, managing director and senior partner, global DE&I and leadership chair, Boston Consulting Group
As BCG’s first diversity & inclusion leadership chair since 2019, Matt Krentz has responsibility for steering and growing the group’s LGBT+ network, Pride@BCG, of which he has been an executive sponsor and mentor since 2003.
He has spearheaded, authored and supported numerous landmark LGBT+ thought leadership projects globally, including ‘Why the First Year Matters for LGBTQ Employees’. He also pioneered and championed new roles with a dedicated focus on LGBT+ D&I, including BCG’s first global full-time Pride@BCG manager and three more regional managers in EMEA and APAC.
Krentz has onboarded MDs and partners in eight countries as senior allies to promote the Pride@BCG agenda locally, and has supported the creation of a task force to urgently address the needs of intersectional communities, with particular focus on LBTQ women, LGBT+ people of colour and trans individuals.
Stuart Welch, global head of personal investing and advisory, Fidelity International
As global executive sponsor for LGBT+ inclusion at Fidelity International, Stuart Welch drives the LGBT+ inclusion agenda through stakeholder engagement and setting clear actions. In 2020, he signed the UN LGBT+ Standards of Conduct of Business and supported a review of inclusive policies and trainings, among other initiatives.
This year, Welch has pushed globally for employees to share their pronouns, including materials to explain why these steps have been taken, how to share pronouns and what the next steps are. He has also promoted the launch of the Gender Transition, Expression and Identity policy and the Count Me In campaign focused on self-ID.
Sarah Melvin, head of UK, BlackRock
From her position as head of UK at BlackRock (BLK), Sarah Melvin role models allyship behaviours from the top, and has supported the internal LGBT+ Out & Allies employee network for more than 10 years, participating in events, speaking to the network and mentoring LGBT+ colleagues.
Melvin champions LGBT+ inclusive policies from recruiting and promoting talent to fostering a culture and environment of inclusivity. Her support for LGBT+ family planning directly impacted inclusive changes to policies in the UK and globally, extending parental leave and other benefits for LGBT+ colleagues.
Elizabeth Campbell, senior director of marketing, cultural engagement, McDonald's
As senior director of marketing, cultural engagement, Elizabeth Campbell’s mission is to ensure McDonald’s (MCD) is committed to being better allies, better partners, and better leaders for the LGBT+ community. This year, she spearheaded efforts to more than double spending among diverse-owned media platforms. She also oversaw a new Pride campaign, livin’ it, encouraging inclusivity and celebrating progress, which included an ad on the company’s Times Square billboard and partnering with minority-owned, LGBT+ TV network, Revry, to host a day-long virtual celebration called House of Pride.
Campbell and her team continue to support LGBT+ causes through sponsorship of Out Magazine’s Out100 series, and through amplifying the McDonald’s LGBT+ message across the Pride Media Network.
Stuart Lewis, management board member and chief risk officer, Deutsche Bank AG
Stuart Lewis is the global sponsor for dbPride, Deutsche Bank’s (DB) LGBT+ and ally ERG, and is visible and vocal in his support of the bank’s global LGBT+ community. He supports Deutsche Bank’s continued work with diversity role models on the bank’s Born to Be Proud initiative, now in its fourth year. Over the past two years, Stuart has led Deutsche Bank’s marking of LGBT+ History Month, and recognition of IDAHOTB globally.
He has also participated in high-profile events to promote LGBT+ inclusivity, including an interview with Black Pride UK founder, Lady Phyll, with Open for Business, an interview with Jens Schradendorf or GaYme Changers, and events marking International Transgender Day of Visibility.
Lewis, alongside dbPride Tokyo, has also partnered with White & Case on providing a legal framework around family, same-sex relationships, gender identity and civil rights for people in Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong and Australia.
Anne Aslett, CEO, Elton John AIDS Foundation
As CEO of the Elton John AIDS Foundation, Anne Aslett led the full team through a revision of the foundation’s mission, vision, values and culture. This resulted in the introduction of new policies on culture and diversity, and drawing on external HR support on equal opportunities and diversity. She also invited LGBT+ activists from Russia and Kenya to share challenges surrounding homophobia in their countries, resulting in adding new LGBT+ stakeholders to the Advisory Grants Panel, which reviews all support offered by the foundation.
Aslett has overseen initiatives including an LGBT Fund supporting networks and activists, establishing safe spaces, and training health workers and faith leaders across Mozambique, Uganda and Kenya.
Rory Lamont, executive officer and chief procurement officer, Hitachi Rail
At Hitachi Rail, Rory Lamont has taken on the role of executive sponsor for the diversity and inclusion initiatives and is a visible role model for D&I across the organisation. Lamont is involved with D&I across all levels of the business and has chaired and driven working groups to drive the diversity agenda, has been instrumental in adopting and implementing global D&I initiatives and takes personal responsibility in driving the case for inclusive recruitment, improving the gender balance and generally promoting activities and policies that create an equitable workforce.
In addition, Lamont is an executive mentor for Hitachi Rail and an advocate and supporter of the Women of Hitachi Network. Lamont is committed to elevating Hitachi’s global profile as a welcoming and inclusive workplace for all.
Mairéad Nayager, chief HR officer, Diageo
Mairéad Nayager is Diageo's (DEO) executive member responsible for the design and implementation of the business' I&D strategy. Under her leadership, Diageo has fostered a culture where increasing diversity is led from the top but responsibility for change is felt across the organisation.
Her efforts were integral to the development of Diageo's Gender Identity and Expression Guidelines in more than 20 countries. The guidelines – developed in consultation with the organisation’s Rainbow Network – ensure that Diageo has support in place for employees who are transitioning, have transitioned, who recognize themselves to be a different gender from the gender assigned to them at birth, are gender-fluid or non-binary.
Sean Navin, managing director, Goldman Sachs
Sean Navin is a managing director ally for Goldman Sachs’ (GS) Asia Pacific LGBT+ network, and was previously co-head of the firm’s Hong Kong LGBT+ network. This year, Navin continued his support by being a trainer for the firm’s regional Straight Talk sessions, a series of discussions that shared insights, perspectives and the lived experiences of LGBT+ employees, as well as actions all colleagues could take to create an inclusive workplace for the LGBT+ community.
He has amplified and encouraged participation in LGBT+ inclusion initiatives among colleagues on the trading floor, boosting network membership in the Global Markets division by over 60%. He is the founder of Pink Friday, one of the biggest annual events raising awareness for the LGBT+ community with more than 60 organisations joining the firm to celebrate LGBT+ inclusive workplaces across Asia Pacific. Navin was also the winner of the 2020 Community Business LGBT+ Ally award and has continued to be a great ally for the LGTB+ community.
Niccolo Polli, CEO Luxembourg, HSBC
Niccolo Polli is the country CEO of HSBC in Luxembourg. He sponsors the local Luxembourg Pride ERG, co-sponsors the Continental European Pride ERG and co-chairs the European Inclusion ERG. Throughout 2021, Polli and his ERGs sponsored Pride Week and participated in 24 hours of Pride, hosted several LGBT+ panel discussions and exchange sessions both internally and externally, introduced gender-neutral bathrooms, and launched the Inclusive Europe ERG and the Continental European Pride ERG.
Under Polli'S stewardship, HSBC Luxembourg engaged other private and public entities in Luxembourg to organise very visible support for Pride week by lighting up landmarks across the country including the HSBC HQ and Pont Adolphe, a Unesco site. Members of HSBC’s Global PRIDE ERG continue to recognise his ERGs for their active involvement in promoting LGBT+ inclusivity.
Susan Angele, senior advisor, board leadership centre, KPMG
Susan Angele's work focuses on corporate boardrooms, and given the importance of diversity to board effectiveness she has led KPMG’s founding and continuing support for Out Leadership’s Quorum board initiative. Since then, she has spoken at numerous Out Leadership events aimed at LGBT+ executives who are aspiring board members.
She has also authored articles and moderated a podcast on the topic of LGBT+ board diversity, and advocates for the inclusion of LGBT+ diversity alongside other strands of diversity at the board level. As a result, Quorum has been included as part of the Diverse Corporate Directors’ Coalition, and the LGBT+ community is increasingly visible as an important yet under-represented group in corporate boardrooms.
Daniel Klein, head of federal operations, Microsoft
As a sponsor for Microsoft’s (MSFT) Diversity & Inclusion Councils across global locations, Dan Klein helps ensure multiple diversity pillars are supported across the organisation. Klein has demonstrated incredible commitment to ensure LGBT+ diversity receives top mindshare, resourcing and support from the executive leadership level through to individual contributors – from keynote event speeches, sponsorship and mentoring of LGBT+ individuals, to sharing his personal journey to grow ally networks.
Through his global executive sponsorship, he created spotlight opportunities which resulted in reframing success goals and measures for D&I Councils and energised individual contributor and senior leaders to integrate LGBT+ messaging as part of culture development.
In addition, Klein is a funding supporter of the COVID-19 Global LGBTIQ Emergency Fund and BelongTo, and a member of The Human Rights Commission, the 30% Club, and Men Advocating Real Change (MARC). This is his sixth consecutive year on the Ally Executives Role Model list.
Peter Holden, global head of end user services, Citi
Peter Holden has been the business sponsor of the Citi Belfast Pride Network for many years, and has spearheaded numerous initiatives to foster LGBTQ+ inclusion. Recently, he was involved in organising training provided by a national LGBTQ+ charity for all members of the senior leadership team in Belfast on LGBTQ+ issues.
Holden has also participated in a number of workshops focused on non-binary awareness, trans awareness, and sexual health, provided by local LGBTQ+ organisations in Northern Ireland. During the pandemic, Holden supported the Citi (C) Belfast Pride Network in moving towards remote activities, to ensure activities retain consistency and key issues remain at the top of the agenda.
Heidi McCormack, CEO, Emerald Life
Heidi McCormack is a business leader, recognised for her thought leadership on the international stage and her career in investment banking, compliance and as a senior figure in one of the largest, global automotive companies – spending 25 years living and working in Russia.
McCormack is CEO and co-founder of Emerald, a disruptor insurance provider launched in 2016. Emerald focuses on diversity and inclusion in the general insurance and protection space, designing and providing products to underinsured cohorts, namely: women, LGBT+, non-traditional families and single people. A frequent public speaker, McCormack shines a spotlight on unconscious bias and how that greatly impacts peoples’ lives and, from an insurance perspective, impacts product design and customers’ experiences.
Evan Mantis, executive general manager, consumer, financial & service industries, SAP Australia and New Zealand
Since 2015, Evan Mantis has been executive sponsor of Pride@SAP in ANZ, where he has worked on increasing LGBT+ self-ID rates and improving scores for LGBT+ colleagues on the employee engagement survey. He has also spearheaded efforts to introduce gender-neutral job adverts, and to create truly inclusive HR policies, ensuring that LGBT+ colleagues have equal access to benefits such as parental leave.
Mantis has led the organisation in sponsoring the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Business Association, and Pride festivals in Wellington and Auckland.
Gavin Kelly, CEO Retail Ireland, Bank of Ireland
Gavin Kelly is executive sponsor for Bank of Ireland Group’s With Pride Network, and is a vocal senior ally in his promotion of inclusion for LGBT+ colleagues, customers, and communities.
He has actively championed ally training, including the first training to the combined Group Executive Committee and senior leadership forum in Bank of Ireland, delivered in partnership with LGBT+ youth community organisation BeLonGTo.
Julie Linn Teigland, EY Europe, Middle East, India and Africa (EMEIA) CEO and area managing partner
Julie Linn Teigland co-chairs EY’s EMEIA Diversity and Inclusion steering committee, and over the last 12 months has spearheaded initiatives to promote LGBT+ inclusion. She has created and appointed the first EMEIA LGBT+ Partner sponsor role, and invited the LGBT+ Partner Sponsor to join the D&I Steering Committee to drive three priority actions: education, expansion of Unity, and visible celebration of LGBT+ inclusion.
Additionally, Teigland promoted EY’s IDAHOTB activities through personal communications to the partnership, filming a Q&A with the EMEIA LGBT+ Partner Sponsor to be broadcast across the entire EY community, and made IDAHOTB a specific discussion topic within her EMEIA leadership team.
Cheryl Guerin, executive vice-president, North America marketing & communications for Mastercard
At Mastercard (MA), Cheryl Guerin sits on several steering committees which support the brand’s DEI efforts, and has led and championed key LGBT+ and diversity initiatives, including participating in many panels and forums both internal and external to share the learnings and impact of the brand’s efforts on the business and its people. The most recent and prominent example is True Name, a ﬁrst-of-its-kind feature that allows transgender and nonbinary individuals to list their chosen names on their bank cards.
True Name, a Grand Prix Cannes Award winner, has grown across North America and Europe, as well as parts of Latin American and the Middle East, with an increasing number of partners, both banks and networks and an LGBT+ credit union. Guerin and her team have also launched Acceptance Street, in partnership with the NYC Human Rights Commission, and they underwrite and manage LGBT+ sponsorships with Heritage of Pride, growing the brand’s commitment and employee engagement over time.
Philipp Lohan, managing director small & medium business, NielsenIQ
Philipp Lohan is the global executive sponsor for NielsenIQ’s PRIDE ERG, which he helped to launch in Europe in 2016, the first chapter outside of the US. Since then, he has worked with LGBT+ associates and allies to launch more than 30 local PRIDE chapters, deployed LGBT+ inclusive policies to all HR leaders globally to ensure benefits are inclusive of the needs of LGBT+ associates, and helped to develop trans-inclusive guidelines for managers, which have been shared across the entire business.
He has also launched a new training pathway or LGBT+ allies via the organisation’s global training platform, championed a successful campaign to include pronouns in email signatures, and mentors junior LGBT+ colleagues. Externally, he collaborated with other LGBT+ employee networks to research the British LGBT+ consumer.
Mahesh Zurale, senior managing director, lead, Accenture Advanced Technology Centers in India (ATCI)
Mahesh Zurale is a passionate ally and is overall sponsor for D&I in ATCI. He has spearheaded numerous Pride campaigns, endorsed inclusive policies, and engaged clients and employees in open, honest conversations on Pride.
He has been instrumental in organising several sensitisation sessions, especially at the leadership level, to encourage inclusive culture makers who will drive Accenture’s D&I agenda. Under Zurale's leadership, ATCI has launched Pride High, a series of monthly events which provide an open platform to internal as well as external LGBT+ allies to discuss all things Pride.
John Tweeddale, senior vice-president, higher education services, Pearson
John Tweeddale is the global executive sponsor for Pearson’s LGBT+ ERG Spectrum and a member of the global Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Task Force. Across 2020 and 2021, Tweeddale supported work on LGBT+ content and editorial guidelines, developed with Stonewall and drawing on input from customers, markets and experts, regarding all content from marketing, talent, learning, and design.
He facilitated the final keynote session of Pearson Learning at Work Week 2021, discussing intersectionality and inclusion in the workplace, with a focus on LGBT+ inclusion and workplace equity. Tweeddale has also spearheaded numerous initiatives which have led to Pearson being named to the Stonewall UK Top 100 Employer list and the HRC Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality.
Charles Bendotti, senior vice-president, people and culture, Philip Morris International
Charles Bendotti is an unwavering ally and supporter of LGBT+ inclusion at Philip Morris International (PMI), and is executive sponsor of the organisation’s global ERG, STRIPES, which aims to create a safe space for learning, sharing, allyship, and support to members and allies of the LGBT+ community.
In 2021, STRIPES has set clear objectives for toolkits, understanding the needs of LGBT+ needs of affiliates and local STRIPES chapters, as well as developing a database of insights to facilitate support within PMI, as well as an 'OPEN stage', allyship training in collaboration with Accenture and a Pride Championship. Bendotti also championed the appointment of the company’s first chief diversity officer.
Sören Seitz, deputy global compliance chief, Manulife
In addition to being an active member of Manulife's PROUD Employee Resource Groups, Sören Seitz is on Manulife's global Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council.
He is a frequent host, presenter and contributor to Manulife's PROUD and other diversity events, including the hosting of a lead event in the Philippines on account of Manulife's inaugural Day of Reflection and Learning on LGBT+ topics.
Seitz also helped push for the adoption of more inclusive language for a number of Manulife’s insurance products, enabling the LGBT+ community to access better coverage and benefits.
Diony Lebot, deputy group CEO, Société Générale
Diony Lebot is an authentic supporter of LGBT+ D&I in the workplace and in society. She contributed to Société Générale’s signature of L’autre Cercle Charter, with a speech broadcast internally and externally, she promoted the launch of the Pride & Allies Reverse Mentoring Program to the SG Group Management Committee, and she opened SG’s IDAHOT celebration, hosted by the CEO of Têtu.
Katherine Verducci, CEO, 1903 Public Relations
In 2019, Katherine Verducci co-founded 1903 Public Relations. As an LGBT+ business, the agency aims to break ground for underrepresented business founders while also setting an example for D&I across the industry.
Verducci and her co-founder, Santiago Villegas, work every day to prioritise making their agency a safe space for all employees to be their authentic selves, and the agency takes pride in submitting employees for industry awards to celebrate the efforts of diverse individuals.
Ryan O'Keeffe, managing director, BlackRock
Ryan O'Keeffe is the EMEA executive sponsor of Out & Allies, BlackRock’s employee network focused on promoting the interests of the LGBT+ community at the firm. The network provides career advice, mentoring, education and training to its members, as well as the wider firm.
O'Keeffe joined BlackRock in 2018 as a managing director in the London office. He leads BlackRock’s corporate communications function in EMEA and is a member of the firm’s EMEA executive committee.
David Eyton, executive vice-president innovation & engineering, bp
David Eyton is an LGBT+ executive-level ally, and executive sponsor of bp’s (BP) Neurodiversity network. He actively works to understand, support and better represent diverse employee groups through a series of initiatives.
Recent examples include promoting the Pride transgender working group as a company award finalist, supporting a team member to present at the Lesbians Who Tech virtual pride summit, and championing the adoption of pronoun auto signatures and allyship across the organisation.
Bettina Kaemmerer, director sales, compensation EMEA, Fiserv
As a member of Fiserv’s UK/EMEA Unity ERG Chapter, Bettina Kaemmerer acts as an ambassador and ally within the Global Leadership Committee.
Her main focus has been in advocating for LGBT+ inclusion in company policies, handbooks, benefit programmes, and training material. She helped organise June Pride Month content, and hosted key events.
David Maraldo, vice-president, global vaccines & biologics commercialisation, Merck & Co
Dave Maraldo is a chapter sponsor for Merck’s (MRK) Rainbow Alliance LGBT+ Employee Resource Group (ERG), promoting events, helping to formulate engagement opportunities through ongoing mentorship and supporting financial needs.
He has supported recruiting outreach efforts, including a 2020 pilot with Out for Undergrad (O4U) Engineering which has led to annual, sustained, high-level sponsorship, funding and recruiting at O4U Engineering and Tech in 2021.
Maraldo has worked towards ensuring the Rainbow Alliance is attractive to LGBT+ and ally employees across the business through vocal advocacy and speaking engagements including a panel on allyship and a Lunch with Leaders event.