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The Out At Work and Telegraph Top 50

Category: Awards, LGBT, Government, Employee, telegraph, seniority

The Out At Work and Telegraph Top 50

The Out at Work & Telegraph Top 50 LGBT Executives, celebrates those making a difference in the workplace. Unlike other lists it is not a measure of seniority, but on how LGBT employees are going above and beyond to influence change at their companies and beyond.

The list will be published in the business section of the Telegraph newspaper in January 2016, with each member of the shortlist invited to a private launch.


The Top 50 LGBT Executives In Business list is compiled via public nominations, with each individual considered by a select advisory panel, including Lord Cashman of Limehouse, Lord Guy Black of Brentwood, Mary Portas Government adviser and CCO of Portas, Curt Hess - CFO Barclays, Aongus Hegarty - President Dell, Mark Palmer-Edgecumbe - Head of Diversity & Inclusion Google EMEA and GLAAD Board Director, Linda Riley, according to key criteria such as:

  • Impact on business
  • Involvement in internal / external diversity and inclusion events
  • Social influence within the workplace, i.e. educating the wider workforce on LGBT issues
    Helping policy or legislation on LGBT and inclusion issues
  • Role in inciting change through mentoring
  • Activities outside the workplace to promote LGBT issues

Meet the advisory panel

Lord Cashman of Limehouse

Michael Cashman was Labour Member of the European Parliament from 1999 until he stood down in 2014 and the former chair of the Labour Party NEC, receiving a Special Service Award from Ed Miliband. He has since been appointed to the House of Lords. He was awarded a CBE in the 2012 New Year Honour’s list for his work in fighting for equality and has had a distinguished career as an actor and singer.

Michael has been an active campaigner across a wide range of issues and, until June 2014, he was the Co-President of the European Parliament’s Intergroup on LGBT Rights. He co-founded the UK Stonewall Group in 1989 and has received a special service award from the American Association and an Honorary Doctorate from Staffordshire University for his work in the field of human rights.

Lord Guy Black of Brentwood, Executive Director, Telegraph Media Group 

Lord Guy Black began his political career in the Conservative party’s research department, Lord Black is now Executive Director of the Telegraph Media Group, a member of the House of Lords and the first openly gay conservative peer. He is fully out in all aspects of his life and last year gave an impassioned speech during the House of Lords debate on equal marriage publicly declaring his support for the marriage bill.

Mary Portas, Business Leader and Retail Expert

Mary Portas is one of the UK’s foremost authority on retail and brand communication. As founder of one of London’s most respected retail & brand communication agencies, Yellowdoor, Mary is recognised throughout the trade as the Queen of Shops. After beginning her retail career as a Saturday girl in John Lewis, Mary later became responsible for windows and display at Harrods and then Topshop. Mary went on to join Harvey Nichols in 1989 and is credited with transforming the brand into the world renowned store and restaurant group it is today. After leading the transformation Mary left Harvey Nichols as Creative Director in 1997.

May 2011 saw Mary’s biggest challenge to date – she was commissioned by the Prime Minister David Cameron to lead an independent review into the Future of the High Street. She delivered the report in December 2011, outlining 28 recommendations for rescuing the nation’s failing High Streets. Government is due to respond in spring 2012, but have already announced that 12 towns will have the opportunity to become Portas Pilots – receiving the support of the Local Government Minister, Whitehall, and Mary herself, as well as a share of £1m.

Mary opened her own shop and launched her own clothing, footwear, and accessories collection in August 2011. The collections received critical acclaim, and the process was featured in an observational documentary on Channel 4, called Mary Queen of Frocks.

Aognus Hegarty, President, Dell EMEA

Aongus Hegarty serves as President of Dell for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), following his appointment in January 2012. He is responsible for leading the recently privatised company across the EMEA region, with the aim to deliver innovative, efficient technology solutions to its customers.

In this role, Aongus is driving the on-going evolution of Dell’s go-to-market strategy, building EMEA’s end-to-end solutions capability, integrating acquired companies and strengthening the omni-channel approach across direct, partners and online routes-to-market; providing customers with greater choice and delivering greater value for their organisations.

In addition to driving Dell’s business in EMEA, Aongus is also the executive sponsor for Dell’s Global Giving Council in the region; overseeing the investment of important funding to not-for-profit organisations. He also co-leads the Dell EMEA Women's Network and is a member of the Dell Global Diversity Council, chaired by Michael Dell. An on-going commitment to fostering a better appreciation of diversity and inclusion within Dell has led to an increased focus at all levels of the organisation; recognised by Aongus being awarded 'Diversity Champion of the Year' at the European Diversity Awards in October 2014.

A fifteen-year veteran of Dell, Aongus has held a number of senior roles within the organisation including Vice President and General Manager for Dell’s Consumer, Small & Medium Business and Vice President of Marketing for Dell EMEA. He brought significant technology industry experience to Dell having previously held senior leadership positions with Modus Media, RR Donnelley and Digital Equipment Corporation. In October 2013, was presented with the Alumni Award for Outstanding Achievement.

Linda Riley, Managing Director - Global Diversity Awards - Chair of Judging Panel 

Linda Riley is founder of diversity events such as European Diversity Awards and is co-founder and trustee of the Inclusive Foundation, an independent charity providing grants, advice and assistance to charitable and voluntary organisations working in equality, diversity and inclusion across the UK and Europe.

Linda is a trustee at Eaves, a London-based charity that provides support to vulnerable women who have experienced violence and is also a Patron of the Albert Kennedy Trust.

In May of 2014 Linda was appointed onto the Board of Directors for GLAAD.

Curt Hess, CFO Personal and Corporate Banking - Barclays PLC

Curt Hess is the Chief Financial Officer of Personal and Corporate Banking for Barclays PLC.

Over Curt’s career, he has worked in many geographies including the United States, United Kingdom, Africa, Middle East and Western Europe.Curt has promoted Diversity throughout his personal and professional life. He recently won the ‘Out in the City 2014 Corporate Straight Ally Award’.

Curt is extremely proud of the work that Barclays does to challenge perceptions and advocate Diversity for our customers and colleagues.

Mark Palmer-Edgecumbe

Mark Palmer-Edgecumbe is the former Head of Diversity at Google for EMEA. He is regarded as one of the world’s leading authorities on global diversity and inclusion issues.

An economist by training, Mark worked in corporate and investment banking and management consulting before becoming the Global Head of Diversity at Barclays Group. In 2010 Mark established the Inclusive Foundation, of which he is Chairman. He is a director of the Royal British Colombia Museum in Canada, Care Trade Charitable Trading Company in the UK and the Washington based National Society of High School Scholars. He is a former Board Member of Kaleidoscope, former governor of the Museum of London and the former Chairman of the Museum of Docklands London.

In 2013 Mark was ranked in the Top 50 most influential LGBT business people in the world by the Financial Times and Top 25 globally by World Pride Power Lists. He was also winner of the Out in the City ‘Innovator of the Year’ and ‘Inspirational Role Model’ Awards.

Sarah Garrett, Director and Founder of Square Peg Media 

Sarah Garrett is co-founder and Managing Director of Square Peg Media, the UK's leading producer of Diversity & Inclusion events such as the Diversity Careers Show, Alternative Parenting Week and Opportunities 4 Women, as well as g3, Out in the City and First Time Buyer magazines.

Colin Campbell-Austin - Head of Talent, Telegraph Media Group 

Colin Campbell-Austin is the people development and talent-resourcing specialist, who understands the importance of diversity. Skilled in nurturing and developing internal and external future talent. A ‘people champion’ who believes in fairness, equity, diversity and consistency. Able to develop and communicate exciting and innovative concepts and new ways of working. Enthusiastic and self-motivated with an excellent understanding of all aspects of talent management.

  • Winner of the Out in the City Readers Awards for LGBT Diversity Champion of the Year 2014
  • Highly commended at the European Diversity Awards 2014 in the Diversity Champion category

LINDA RILEY, Chair of the Out at Work Judging Advisory board, Board Director at GLAAD, Patron of Albert Kennedy Trust and Founder of European Diversity Awards and Out with the Family, said:

This list is incredibly important in recognising the individuals working tirelessly for the LGBT community that might ordinarily be overlooked due to their position in the company, or the size of their company. To be considered as a nominee for the Out at Work Top 50 Most Influential LGBT Executives in Business, an individual needs to have made a difference to LGBT network in their company, for example: working to promote it, supporting LGBT charities, mentoring or being a good role model.”

VERCIDA works with over one hundred clients who are committed to creating an inclusive work environment. If you are an employer and interested in working with VERCIDA to promote your diversity and inclusion initiatives and attract the best candidates, please call 02037405973 or email [email protected] for more information.

We are also officially recommended by Disability Confident as a step on achieving Employer status, please click here for more information.

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VERCIDA works with over one hundred clients who are committed to creating an inclusive work environment. If you are an employer and interested in working with VERCIDA to promote your diversity and inclusion initiatives and attract the best candidates, please email [email protected] for more information.

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