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NGO publishes first ever LGBT Top 50 business list

An NGO which aims to promote gay and lesbian executives has published a first of its kind & lsquo;Top 50’ list to raise the profile of LGBT role models and the organisations they work for.

Antonio Simoes, head of HSBC UK, tops the list, with Beth Brooke, global vice chair, public policy, EY second and Paul Reed, CEO, BP IST ranked third.

Made up of inspiring senior business executives and published by professional network OUTstanding in Business, the list has been compiled at a time when there are no openly LGBT CEOs leading FTSE 100 and S&P 500 companies

OUTstanding in Business, celebrates business leaders who are:  at the executive level in business, a positive and OUT role model and actively contributing to the LGBT agenda.

Suki Sandhu, founder of the network said, “I believe that business leaders need to be themselves, both inside and outside their professional working environment, to provide authentic leadership. The phenomenal quality of our Top 50 list proves that you can come out and succeed professionally without being held back by your sexuality. At OUTstanding in Business, our hope is this list will inspire others to embrace who they are, paving the way for change in the corporate world. Authentic leadership contributes to the development of diverse culture within companies, helping them achieve their business goals and improve the bottom line.”

Antonio Simoes, Head of HSBC UK, said, “I’m honoured 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. I’d love to think that it will help with the wider diversity agenda, creating a more equal and inclusive society generally.”

The publication of the list follows a campaign backed by Lord Browne to encourage greater diversity in Britain's boardrooms

Lord Browne, former group CEO of BP Plc, said, “The climate for LGBT employees in the workplace is steadily improving. Companies now understand that discrimination in any form is bad for business, and that a diverse workforce provides diversity of thought. But a culture of homophobia still pervades some businesses. According to one study, 41% of LGBT men and women do not feel comfortable enough to come out at work. These people invest a significant amount of time and energy into hiding an important aspect of their identity. As a result, they are less productive, less satisfied with their jobs and less likely to remain in those positions than their colleagues who have come out. That’s why I’m supporting OUTstanding in Business and the Top 50 list. Boosting LGBT visibility in the workplace is critical in order to empower others to bring their true selves to work. By stepping out of the closet employees can think outside the box. They can dream bigger and aim higher. And, with plenty of hard work, they can eventually take a seat in a corner office of their own”

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