Business

Lloyd's of London chief tops LGBT executive power list

Inga Beale Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Inga Beale is chief executive of the Lloyd's insurance market

Inga Beale, the Lloyd's of London chief executive, has topped an annual power list of the top 100 LGBT executives.

It is the first time a woman, and a bisexual, has been placed at the top of the list, compiled by networking group OUTstanding and the Financial Times.

Alan Joyce, chief executive of Qantas, is in second, with HSBC's UK and European chief, Antonio Simoes, third.

The list aims to highlight positive lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender role models in business.

Suki Sandhu, chief executive of OUTstanding, said everyone on the list was helping to challenge the assumption that you cannot be both openly LGBT in business and be successful.

"Those featured are an inspiration to anyone who fears that they may have to be closeted at work, and waste valuable effort muting their authentic selves," he said.

Ms Beale, who became the Lloyd's chief in January 2014, said she was delighted and honoured to appear on the Top 100 list.

"I am proud of the commitment of Lloyd's and the London insurance market to celebrate diversity and ensure we are an attractive, globally relevant and inclusive sector," she said.

'Attitudes changing'

Mr Simoes, who topped the inaugural ist, said companies needed workforces that reflected modern society.

"We still have some way to go before everyone feels confident enough to express themselves in an authentic way at work. Initiatives like this are a powerful statement that attitudes are changing and we are making genuine progress," he said.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Burberry chief Christopher Bailey

Martine Rothblatt, the transgender chief executive of United Therapeutics, is in fourth place, with Burberry boss Christopher Bailey in eighth place.

Those appearing on the Top 100 list were nominated by peers and colleagues. Nominations were reviewed by OUTstanding's judging panel, which included former BP chief executive Lord Browne and Dawn Airey, the former Channel 5 boss who is now chief executive of Getty Images.

Nominees were scored on the seniority and influence of their role, their impact on LGBT inclusion inside and outside the workplace and their business achievements.

All nominees agreed to be included on the list. Tim Cook, the chief executive of Apple, was nominated by many people, but OUTstanding said it was unable to secure his permission to be included and had therefore omitted him.

Mr Cook wrote in a Bloomberg article last year: "If hearing that the CEO of Apple is gay can help someone struggling to come to terms with who he or she is ... then it's worth the trade-off with my own privacy."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Tim Cook says he is "proud to be gay"

OUTstanding's full Top 100 list can be viewed here.

The organisation has also compiled an Allies list, with Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg in first place for his work championing LGBT diversity both within his company and globally.

Last year's winner, Virgin boss Sir Richard Branson, is in second place on the 2015 list.

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