From our Partners at LGBT+ Great:
Thursday 24 June 2021 -- LGBT Great has launched the 2021 Global Top 100 Executive Allies initiative to mark Pride and spotlight executives from across the financial services industry who have demonstrated excellent leadership on the diversity and inclusion agenda.
The 2021 Global Top 100 represent senior leaders who influence the diversity agenda, support the LGBT+ community and demonstrate a commitment to future action. All executives were nominated by industry employees and are engaged in support of equality and inclusion within their firm. This year ten executives have also been awarded an Ally Award for their sustained commitment to advancing LGBT+ inclusion.
The launch of the Global Top 100 comes the weekend before postponed Pride events in London and New York. Pride has become a global beacon of progress and affirmation for LGBT+ equality, with the movements’ success driven by the passion of the community and the support it’s received from allies. The initiative is a powerful reminder of the support from those in leadership positions and that allyship is a driving force of fully supporting LGBT+ people.
The Top 100 2021 initiative is sponsored by Fidelity International, Legal and General, Blackrock, Allianz Global Investors, Northern Trust, T. Rowe Price, Sirius and St James’s Place Wealth Management. The Top 100 is part of LGBT Great’s flagship Project 1000 drive – a five-year mission to find and shine a light on one-thousand LGBT+ supportive ally role models globally.
Global Managing Director of LGBT Great Matt Cameron comments that:
“In the last year, the financial services industry has intensified its focus on diversity and inclusion issues. However, much of the sector is still falling far short of the support needed for LGBT+ people at a time when this support is needed the most. The visibility of authentic executive allies is one of the most important factors for the community and we must continue engaging and role modelling support from those at the top”.
A recent research study completed by LGBT Great in partnership with the Diversity Project and Nicsa – the Diversity Project North America, found that firms are continuing to prioritise gender and ethnicity diversity despite the increasing number of people identifying as LGBT+. A second study by LGBT Great also confirmed that awareness of LGBT+ diversity amongst investment companies is low with 70% of firms not thinking about this inclusion in particular. This is at odds with the 82% of LGBT+ talent who say their career move will be influenced by how LGBT+ friendly the firm is.
“There is an opportunity to modernise and change and the executive leaders within our member firms are working to help transform our industry into one which is the most trusted sector of choice for LGBT+ talent, clients and investors. Specific interventions will make a big difference to the working lives of LGBT+ people in our sector”.
This comes at a time when LGBT+ rights are being rejected in many places across the world. Even in western countries such as the United Kingdom and the United States, transgender protections and rights are being disavowed. In Europe, the Hungarian government has recently banned adoption by same-sex couples. The Polish government has stoked anti-LGBT+ sentiments by pledging to block same-sex marriages and encouraging local authorities to declare themselves LGBT+ free zones. In Asia Pacific, most countries still do not have legal protection or recognition of LGBT+ people.
During the last twelve months, industry executives have been engaging with LGBT Great to improve the awareness of same-sex orientation and gender identity. This engagement has been delivered globally and has ignited a passionate interest in what organisations can do to support and empower LGBT+ people.
Earlier this year, firms and individuals across the financial services industry were encouraged to nominate executives who had gone above and beyond from firms including HSBC, Blackrock, BNY Mellon, Northern Trust and Fidelity International. Each executive has had to sufficiently satisfy the nomination criteria and fifty-five different firms are represented in 2021.
Chief executive officer of Fidelity International, Anne Richards, comments that:
“We are excited to be partnering with LGBT Great this Pride. At Fidelity International, we are committed to embracing our LGBT+ communities, clients and employees globally. We celebrate Pride because we believe having an inclusive culture where everyone feels they belong and can thrive benefits our people, our customers and our business. LGBT Great’s focus on insights, benchmarking and, above all, on profiling role models and supportive allies, is helping to shift mindsets and forge opportunities for so many talented professionals right across our industry”.
Board member and advisor of the Diversity Project, Jon Terry, comments that:
“The Diversity Project is proud to support the Global Top 100 Executives again this year. Senior leaders set the tone throughout their organisation and it is critical that they stand loud and proud in supporting all of their LGBT+ colleagues, so that they feel comfortable to be themselves. Celebrating those executives who lead on being allies to the LGBT+ community provides greater visibility for the importance of allyship and encourages others to step up and follow their lead”.
The one-hundred executives represent firms from the United States, the United Kingdom, Europe and the Asia Pacific region.
President and chief executive officer of Nicsa and The Diversity Project North America, Jim Fitzpatrick, comments that:
“We are pleased to partner with LGBT Great in support of allyship towards minority communities in our industry. Congratulations to this year’s Top 100 Executive Allies who have boldly moved the needle towards a more inclusive and equitable workplace”.
Managing Director and EMEA Executive Sponsor of the Out & Allies employee network at BlackRock, Ryan O’Keeffe comments that:
“Pride is a moment to mark the progress that has been made by the LGBTQ+ Community in achieving acceptance and equality over the last 50+ years. Pride month therefore offers us a chance to reflect on where we are, celebrate our successes, and then focus our energy on the road that lies ahead. There is still much more that needs to be done. I’m really looking forward to the rainbow of virtual events taking place across BlackRock this month”.
The Global Top 100 Executives Allies will be celebrated for Pride, and through July, as a beacon of progress within the financial services industry.
View Global Top 100 Executive Allies