The Financial Times, in collaboration with OUTstanding in Business, have compiled a list of the top 50 out LGBT executives. HSBC’s head of UK banking, Antonio Simoes, leads the list while Ernst & Young’s Global vice-chair of public policy, Beth Brooke, comes in second.
Nominations for the list were accepted by OUTstanding in Business through a social media campaign that was promoted by celebrities such as Stephen Fry. The list was also mentioned in the Financial Times Executive Appointments section.
The nominees were judged based on criteria developed by OUTstanding in Business, whose aim is to promote diversity in the workplace, highlight LGBT role models in order to encourage others to come out and influence corporate policies that affect LGBT workers.
Fittingly, the criteria for nomination was used to find those top LGBT executives who are making strides in their respective fields through policies that affect change, as well as those leaders who are well known in their communities and are making it easier for others to come out by sharing their own stories.
The criteria included considerations of leadership, a look at where the individual sits within the organization, how close they are to the the group or chief executive, how open they are at work and in the public sphere, their contribution to LGBT causes, their relative professional success and how far they have gone in challenging stereotypes in business.
“I believe that business leaders need to be themselves, both inside and outside their professional working environment, to provide authentic leadership,” OUTstanding in Business founder Suki Sandhu told the FyneTimes. “The phenomenal quality of our Top 50 list proves that you can come out and succeed professionally without being held back by your sexuality.”
“We can easily justify why Antonio Simoes is number one,” Sandhu told the Financial Times. “Antonio scores very highly in every criteria—he’s a chief executive, out in financial services, has driven the diversity agenda in HSBC, challenges stereotypes and won diversity leader of the year at the European Diversity Awards.”
“I’m honored to be part of the Top 50 list and to be in the company of such high quality business talent. I hope the list will help other LGBT executives across all sectors to feel more confident about their sexuality,” Simoes said. “I’d love to think that it will help with the wider diversity agenda, creating a more equal and inclusive society generally.”