OUTstanding in Business Nominations

In this week’s episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race, ‘Platinum Card Executive Realness’ was one of the categories the queens had to compete in as part of RuPaul’s Glitterball. This was, of course, a nod back to the original ball culture as featured in the cult documentary Paris is Burning. Executive Realness was a category in the New York ball scene because it was perceived as an unattainable pathway for marginalised LGBTQ individuals (particularly POC).

While progress has been made, the FTSE 100 still doesn’t contain a single openly LGBTQ CEO. When we finish university and finally manage to land our first jobs, Human Rights Campaign believe 62% of us retreat back into the closet. It’s something I’m familiar with myself and an easy route to take as you’re desperately scrambling to get onto the ladder. Part of that has to be lack of role models. Outside of the ‘creative industries’ LGBTQ people tend to be a lot quieter about their sexuality in work.

Founded last year by Suki Sandhu, OUTstanding in Business aims to highlight the debate surrounding diversity in business – particularly in the boardroom. With corporate members including Barclays, BP, Google and IBM, OUTstanding released an inaugural list of the Top 50 LGBTQ business executives last year.  Heading list were Antonio Simoes, Head of HSBC UK, Beth Brooke (Global Vice Chair, Public Policy, EY) and Paul Reed (CEO, BP IST).

This year the not-for-profit professional network will be going even bigger, compiling a Top 100 list, which will be announced in the Financial Times in October.

OUTstanding recently took on Joseph Galliano, the former editor of Gay Times as Deputy CEO. Galliano will play an integral role in putting this years Top 100 list. Here’s what he had to say about OUTstanding:

“Harnessing the talent of all executives and allowing them to be themselves brings huge advantages to our companies, our economy, our society and more importantly, for the individuals themselves. I find it astonishing there are currently still no openly LGBT CEOs in any FTSE 100 companies and we need this to change if businesses are to reflect and serve the wider society in which they operate. The upcoming appointment of Christopher Bailey at Burberry is clearly a step in the right direction. I joined OUTstanding because it shares this passion and has a clear strategy of inspiring, connecting, informing and mentoring business executives and companies in place to achieve this.”

If you know any outstanding LGBTQ Business people (or feel like you are one yourself) you can nominate them for this years list on the OUTstanding website.

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