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50 executives to ‘come out’ in support of Pride

The C-Suite representatives backing LGBT+ people in the financial services industry

To mark five decades since the Stonewall movement began in New York, LGBT Great, a financial services representative organisation focusing on diversity and inclusion, has unveiled its #50for50 campaign.

The initiative urges leaders in the industry to support LGBT+ equality throughout the sector.

LGBT Great reached out to 50 C-Suite representatives who have committed to work towards greater equality.

As Expert Investor‘s parent company Last Word is the exclusive media partner of LGBT Great, here are the first five leaders who have pledged their support:

  • Simon Haslam, group chief financial officer and board member of Fidelity International;
  • Laura Mason, chief executive of Legal and General Retirement Institutional;
  • Penny Biggs, executive vice-president of Northern Trust;
  • Peter Harrison (pictured above), chief executive of Schroders;
  • Andrea Rossi, chief executive of Axa Investment Managers.

Catalyst for progression

Peter Harrison

Matthew Cameron, managing director of LGBT Great, said: “This campaign marks a clear turning point for the industry and proves that there is real appetite to drive LGBT+ equality forward from the top.

“We have been encouraged by the overwhelming support from leadership to influence the agenda and hope that the campaign will be a catalyst for future progression in the industry and beyond.

Laura Mason

“The progress in fifty years has been monumental and with a stand of inter-sectional solidarity from those in power, there is a real opportunity to move the agenda forward at a much faster pace.”

The full list of 50 industry leaders will be published on 5 July 2019.

A long way since Stonewall

The Stonewall riots of 1969 are widely considered as the starting point for the LGBT+ equality and human rights movement.

Andrea Rossi

This is why, 50 years later, inclusion and diversity are still important issues that need talking about, said Colette Comerford, inclusion and culture leader at Legal and General Investment Management.

She is also one of LGBT Great’s industry role models.

“This continues to drive the importance of visible leadership support for LGBT+ inclusion, and sends a strong message to LGBT+ people, those working in the investment profession or prospective talent, that they can be themselves.

Penny Biggs

“These leaders recognise the value of an inclusive culture and in driving equality on gender, gender identity and sexual orientation – across all aspects of diversity.

“I am encouraged by seeing LGBT+ leaders across the industry step up, take action and make a difference for everyone.”

Support progress

“There is no doubt that we have seen positive progress for LGBT people since the movement started,” said Jan Gooding, chair of Stonewall, one of the leading LGBT+ charities in the UK.

Simon Haslam

“However, there is still a lot to do to translate legal change into everyday experience. Employers therefore need to ‘come out’ as supportive allies and what’s more, this is a way of signalling an actively inclusive culture to everyone who works in your company.”

The #50for50 campaign follows LGBTGreat’s research, Aiming for Great, which found 92% of LGBT+ employees working in the financial services industry highly value visible support from board-level executives.

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