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Financial services firms unite for LGBT initiative

Financial services firms unite for LGBT initiative

LGBT Great has partnered with financial services firms to mark Pride month and spotlight executives from across the industry who have demonstrated leadership on diversity and inclusion.

The 2021 Global Top 100 Executive Allies initiative represents senior leaders who influence the diversity agenda, support the LGBT+ community and demonstrate a commitment to future action.

Earlier this year, firms and individuals across the financial services industry were encouraged to nominate executives who had gone above and beyond from firms including HSBC, Blackrock, BNY Mellon, Northern Trust and Fidelity International. 

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Each executive had to sufficiently satisfy the nomination criteria and fifty-five different firms are represented in 2021. All executives were nominated by industry employees.

Ten executives have also been awarded an Ally Award for their sustained commitment to advancing LGBT+ inclusion.

Matt Cameron, global managing director of LGBT Great, said: “In the last year, the financial services industry has intensified its focus on diversity and inclusion issues. 

“However, much of the sector is still falling far short of the support needed for LGBT+ people at a time when this support is needed the most.

“The visibility of authentic executive allies is one of the most important factors for the community and we must continue engaging and role modelling support from those at the top”.

The launch of the Global Top 100 comes the weekend before postponed Pride events in London and New York. 

LGBT Great said the Global Top 100 Executives Allies will be celebrated for Pride, and through July, as a beacon of progress within the financial services industry.

The initiative is sponsored by Fidelity International, Legal and General, Blackrock, Allianz Global Investors, Northern Trust, T. Rowe Price, Sirius and St James’s Place Wealth Management. 

Low awareness of LGBT

The Top 100 is part of LGBT Great’s flagship Project 1000 drive – a five-year mission to find and shine a light on one-thousand LGBT+ supportive ally role models globally.

This comes as research by LGBT Great in partnership with the Diversity Project and Nicsa – the Diversity Project North America - found that firms were continuing to prioritise gender and ethnicity diversity despite the increasing number of people identifying as LGBT+.

A second study by LGBT Great also confirmed that awareness of LGBT+ diversity amongst investment companies was low with 70 per cent of firms not thinking about this inclusion in particular.

Meanwhile, the same research found 82 per cent of LGBT+ talent said their career move would be influenced by how LGBT+ friendly the firm is.

“There is an opportunity to modernise and change and the executive leaders within our member firms are working to help transform our industry into one which is the most trusted sector of choice for LGBT+ talent, clients and investors,” Cameron said.

“Specific interventions will make a big difference to the working lives of LGBT+ people in our sector”.

During the last twelve months, industry executives have been engaging with LGBT Great to improve the awareness of same-sex orientation and gender identity.