For the third year going, a networking nonprofit named OUTstanding and the Financial Times have partnered to recognize the 100 most powerful LGBT executives in the world.
This year marks the first time that a woman has topped the list: Inga Beale, the first female chief of 327-year-old insurance market Lloyd’s of London -- who is also openly bisexual. (While Tim Cook may be the first executive who springs to mind in conversations about LGBT leadership, OUTstanding said it was unable to secure his permission to be included.)
Rounding out the top five are: Alan Joyce, CEO of Australian airline Qantas; HSBC Bank plc CEO Antonio Simoes; United Therapeutics CEO (and Sirius radio founder) Martine Rothblatt, who is also the top trans leader on the list; and Claudia Brind-Woody, the vice president and managing director of IBM.
You can check out all 100 honorees right here.
While anyone is eligible to be nominated for recognition via OUTstanding’s website, honorees had to be working one to three levels from the chief executive. OUTstanding’s judging panel says it was looking for role models “who are helping to make the workplace a more welcoming place.” LGBT activism outside of the workplace and recent business achievements were also taken into account.
The nonprofit says such recognition is critical given that closeted LGBT employees are 70 percent more likely to leave the company within the first three years, and 85 percent say non-inclusive workplaces have a negative impact on employees and can damage productivity, according to studies conducted by OUTstanding.