2015 Top 30 LGBT+ Future Leaders

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Aritha Wickramasinghe

K&L Gates LLP

Aritha has been an enormously successful campaigner for LGBT inclusion in his career so far. During his two and a half years as Chair of Arcus (Clifford Chance’s LGBT network), he pursued the expansion of Arcus Global throughout the firm’s international offices, leading to a rapid increase in membership. Now with K&L Gates, Aritha was immediately elected into the firm’s Diversity Committee, and has been involved in organising talks and workshops on LGBT inclusion and assisting in mentoring junior and future associates and trainees as one of the firm’s Diversity Champions. He has also been instrumental in leading a number of LGBT pro bono matters both at K&L Gates and Clifford Chance and in coordinating a panel with representatives from the UN, World Bank and other institutions, to advise on creating a global, mandatory curriculum to teach equality to children in schools.

Dr. Mark McBride-Wright

Safety Engineer

Mark is a safety engineer at KBR, and has been very active in promoting LGBT inclusion in engineering, a historically difficult industry. He is the Chair and Co-Founder of InterEngineering, a network which connects, informs and empowers LGBT engineers and supporters. Under Mark’s direction, InterEngineering continues to grow from strength-to-strength and has been shortlisted for multiple categories at this year’s Inclusive Networks Awards. Mark has brought together professional engineering institutes and companies to address the issue of sexual orientation equality in engineering head-on. He has organised and hosted a series of impactful panel events to raise awareness and share best practice on diversity and inclusion in the sector and has also launched initiatives such as “What’s It Like”, a series of positive online profiles about being an LGBT engineer. In June 2015, Mark featured on the front page of The Chemical Engineer (tce), a magazine read by over 42,000 engineers globally, having authored a key article on the challenges of being gay in engineering and the steps engineering firms must take to improve diversity and inclusion.

Cory Valente, PhD

Associate Scientist
The Dow Chemical Company

Cory is an associate scientist for The Dow Chemical Company, and is also the Global Leader for GLAD, Dow’s LGBT & Allies network which is comprised of nearly 30 chapters and over 2600 participants in more than 35 countries. Cory is responsible for setting the strategic priorities of the network, bolstering equitable policies and practices, growing the network into new geographies, and driving culture change throughout the organization while further enhancing Dow’s position as a leader in LGBT equality. He is a founding member of a Delaware Valley LGBT Consortium comprised of multinational businesses to leverage best practices for the betterment of the community. He has spoken publically multiple times on the benefits of LGBT equality both inside and outside the workplace.

Rath Wang

Senior Consultant

Rath is a senior international tax consultant specializing in transfer pricing for EY in Japan. Whilst there, he has advocated for the implementation of sexual orientation and gender expression anti-discrimination policies, has received a Chairman Values Award for raising awareness around inclusion, started and serves as the leader of the first consulting and professional services LGBT & Allies employee resource group in the country and steering committee member for the Asia-Pacific regional group. He is also a founding board member for Nijiiro Diversity (Japan’s largest workplace equality advocacy), has spoken at the Osaka City Government minority awareness panel, and is a contributing member of Heartschool and other Japanese LGBT youth suicide prevention campaigns.

Andrew Barratt

Head of Ogilvy Pride
Ogilvy & Mather Group

As the Head of Ogilvy Pride, the specialist LGBT marketing consultancy and LGBT & Ally network of Ogilvy & Mather Group, Andrew is a familiar face to anyone involved in the push for LGBT inclusion. As well as being central in ensuring LGBT inclusion within the company and across client projects, Andrew is a member of the CIPR Diversity Workplace Board and is a regular contributor to the marketing trade press on the importance of LGBT diversity and inclusion within business and brand marketing. He has inspired and helped other offices across Ogilvy and the wider WPP network to establish networks in other markets including: Philippines, Prague, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Washington DC, Italy and France.

Rica Paras

Solution Architect Manager

Rica is a Solution Architect Manager for Accenture, and for more than a year has been their ASEAN LGBT Lead, spearheading collaboration between LGBT advocates from the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia. She is part of the #PrideAtAccenture Global Video campaign and a core team member of Philippines’ Friends of Lesbians and Gays (FLAG). She is also a Spokesperson and Board Member for the Philippines-based LGBT political organisation “Ladlad”, and has served as the Chairwoman of the Society of Transsexual Women of the Philippines (STRAP).

Amy Stanning

Shared Services Director

Amy is Shared Services Director at Barclays, and the Co-chair of Barclays Spectrum, a 2,000-member strong colleague network in the UK and EMEA regions. She is involved in developing an Allies programme for Barclays employees, is seen as a role model for transgender people working at Barclays, having been involved with mentoring younger employees who have transitioned or have considered transitioning. She also works closely with Stonewall, advising on development of the Workplace Equality Index to include Trans people. Additionally she featured as the face of pride in London in 2014 and 2015, being the first out transgender person to feature in mass market advertising in her sector.

Darren Beaumont

Assistant Vice President - Technology Solutions Architect
Deutsche Bank

Darren is an Assistant Vice President and technology strategist at Deutsche Bank, where he has transformed how their dbPride LGBT network connects globally. As an openly out bisexual, he has been instrumental in championing the use of technology to share personal journeys, highlight visible LGBT role models and allies and expand the networks online community. In addition to organising dbPride networking and educational events, he is active outside of the workplace, having been a presenter at Out and Equal conferences and a speaker at several Inside and Out targeted recruitment events.

Christopher Moody

Market Risk Stream Lead

Chris works in BP’s Integrated Supply and Trading business performing large IT transformation projects for the Commodity Risk business. Chris has been a member of BP Pride’s executive leadership team for the last three years, during which time he has lead BP progression through a great number of initiatives. This includes producing videos to allow LGBT role models to share their experiences, creating an interactive toolkit to help the BP Allies programme, and reverse mentoring to help leadership teams understand the issues faced by LGBT employees. He has also worked to help BP appeal to LGBT graduates by organising LGBT-focused career days.

Michael Oakes

Head of Programmes, EMEA
The Economist

Michael is the EMEA Head Of Programmes at The Economist. Having been responsible for the launch of the LGBT network at UBM, his previous employer, as well as being a co-founder at The Economist, he is an active proponent of LGBT inclusion. Now the chair of the EMEA chapter of The Economist’s LGBT network, Michael is also the global programme lead on The Economist’s Pride & Prejudice initiative, which aims to present the business and economic case for LGBT diversity and inclusion through editorial, research and event channels.

Daniel Pheysey

Sports Partner Manager for YouTube

Daniel is the Sports Partner Manager for YouTube, and is also the UK lead for the Google LGBT+ society, the ‘Gayglers’. Through his role, Daniel is responsible for a number of LGBT-themed events and plays a leading role in the development of the EMEA-wide Gaygler strategy, and is the corporate lead in external relationships with charities such as Stonewall. In particular, Daniel was instrumental in the #andproud Android campaign which enabled the LGBT community globally to march together during Pride month both digitally and physically on floats in London, New York and San Fransisco. Externally, Daniel is a trustee at the Camden LGBT forum and an active member of the Soho FC LGBT+ friendly football club.

Morgana Bailey

Vice President
State Street Corporation

Morgana is a Vice President at State Street Corporation in the Global Human Resources department, and is a vocal proponent of the importance of being out at work. Her TED@State Street talk, “The Danger of Hiding Who You Are”, has been viewed over 2.1 million times and she frequently engages with the Mid-America Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. She also founded a PRIDE & Friends employee resource group in her local State Street office and belongs to a Diversity & Inclusion Coalition that brings together diversity leaders from a variety of organisations.

Quentin Goodwin

Head of IS Commercial Management
SABMiller plc

Quentin is the Head of IS Commercial Management at SABMiller, and the founder of an internal network for LGBT+ employees. He has overseen a number of initiatives aimed at making SABMiller a more inclusive workplace, including securing headline sponsorship of Pride in London, organising a number of internal events for staff, and initiating a policy review to ensure that the company uses explicit language to signal to LGBT employees that policies are intended to include them. He is an active member of Stonewall, and has signed SABMiller up to their Global Diversity Champions programme.

Alessandro Commisso

Global Brand Team
Lush Cosmetics

Alessandro is in charge of Global Brand Operations at Lush Cosmetics, a company which has been renowned for its global pro-LGBT campaigns. Last year, Alessandro was instrumental in the #SignOfLove campaign, which involved delivering photo petitions to Russian embassies in over 20 countries, and he more recently launched the #GayIsOk campaign, which aims to highlight that in 76 countries it’s illegal to be gay. The campaigns Alessandro has worked on have earned awards and global recognition, with Lush Japan winning the Tokyo LGBT Superstar Award 2013 for the #SignOfLove campaign.

Krishna Omkar

Slaughter and May

Krishna is an associate  in the Corporate / M&A stream at Slaughter and May, and  a member of the firm’s LGBT  network, PRISM . Krishna is closely involved in  the activities of the network,  including being  responsible for identifying and taking on pro bono clients in the LGBT sphere , recruitment and mentoring, client-engagement, and raising the profile of the network . He has  been instrumental in Slaughter and May ‘s interface with the Interlaw Diversity Forum.   He is also involved in organising fundraising events for the Terrence Higgins Trust  and is a trustee of Paintings in Hospitals. Krishna is an active supporter of the Human Rights Campaign and has recently been invited to join the inaugural UK board of GLAAD.

Samuel Rensing

Boston Consulting Group

Samuel is an Associate at the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), and responsible for setting up the LGBT network and a dedicated LGBT recruiting channel for BCG Switzerland. Currently on education leave pursuing an MBA, Samuel is president to Out in Business, the LGBT society at London Business School, where he has set up an LGBT mentoring scheme and launched a school-wide Allies programme. He further heads the organization of EurOUT 2015, Europe’s largest LGBT student conference for grad students, MBAs and PhDs.

Rupert McCann

Head of Client Onboarding Prime Services EMEA
Credit Suisse

Along with his role as Head of Client Onboarding Prime Services for the EMEA region, Rupert is also the Co-founder and Co-chair of the Ally Program for Credit Suisse. He has been an active member of LGBT Network Committees throughout his career and is a visibly out role model in his workplace, having allowed his story to be used for the “Dignity at Work” training given to all UK employees of the company. He is also the longest standing member of the Interbank LGBT Forum, having participated for seven of the past nine years, and is an active supporter of Stonewall and Diversity Role Models.

Tlacaelel Benavides

LAA AMS Marketing Manager
The Dow Chemical Company

Tlacaelel is an Advanced Manufacturing Solutions Marketing Manager for The Dow Chemical Company in Brazil. In addition to his official role within the company, he has also founded the first Latin American chapter of Dow’s LGBT employee resource group, and has helped to open chapters in Brazil, Argentina, Colombia and Mexico. He has also been instrumental in setting up an Ally certification programme and leadership training through the network. Additonally, he is engaged with the well recognised ” Forum de Empresas e Diereitos LGBT”, the corporate world leading movement in Latin America and has supported the local launch of ReachingOUT MBA in Sao Paulo this year.

Rhys Kearney

Safety Case Engineer
EDF Energy

Rhys is a Safety Case Engineer for EDF Energy. In his time at the company, he has made a great impact in helping EDF to improve engagement with LGBT employees based at the company’s nuclear power stations structuring an approach to develop members of the management teams as LGBT Network Site Champions. Additionally, he has driven efforts to get EDF involved with Bristol Pride, and in 2015 led the company’s participation in the Bristol parade.

LaShana Lewis

Server Engineer

LaShana is a Server Engineer at Mastercard, and treasurer for the company’s global LGBT group ‘PRIDE’. She is a role model for diversity in the technology community, and has met with President Barack Obama as part of the nationwide TechHire Initiative. Outside of the workplace, she is also the co-founder of The LGBT Center of St. Louis, where she has done a lot of work to address the racial gap and promote the acceptance of LGBT individuals in the region.

Simon Rodgers

Strategic Account Manager

Simon is a Strategic Account Manager for Aviva, and is the Chair of Aviva Pride, Aviva’s LGBT employee network. Since being appointed to this role less than two years ago, membership of the network has doubled, and Aviva has risen 76 places on the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index. He is also a regular contributor to the LGBT community, having organised, coordinated, and spoken at many events nationally and internationally. His passion for equality extends beyond the workplace and Simon has worked with several schools in the north of the UK to challenge homophobia and transphobia, whilst also holding positions on various LGBT forums, committees and advisory boards.

Kelly Canterford

Senior Surveyor

Kelly is a Senior Surveyor at JLL, where she was involved in setting up Building Pride, the organisation’s LGBT network. She is now Co-chair of the network with Dave Carlos, and she was instrumental in organising JLL being the first property company to march in the Pride in London parade. She has also spoken about diversity and inclusion at a number of JLL Group Business Line conferences raising the awareness of LGBT issues and the impact unconscious use of language and attitudes have on LGBT employees. Outside of the workplace, she is a Diversity Role Model helping to raise awareness and prevent homophobic and transphobic bullying in schools.

Emma Cusdin

Senior HR Business Partner
Thomson Reuters

Emma is a Senior HR Business Partner at Thomson Reuters, and the Co-chair of the company’s UK&I Pride at Work Group, which had their largest ever presence at this year’s Pride Parade in London. She is also the Co-founder of trans*formation, a networking and advocacy group for professionals who identify as trans* and their allies. She is a part of Diversity Role Models, and she will be chairing the National Trans Youth Conference.

Ramses Aldana


Ramses is a Consultant at Accenture, and is the leader of Accenture’s LGBT network in Mexico. Under his leadership of the network, Accenture has obtained recognition from the Mexican government for their leading LGBT practices. Ramses also works with the intercompany LGBT group Pride Connection, helping member companies to start their own internal LGBT networks and working to actively recruit more companies to join. He played an important role in achieving his Organisation first participation in the Pride Parade in 2014, and achieved not just to grow the number of participants from his company this year, but also helped other international companies with presence in Mexico to join for their 1st time in the Mexico City Pride Parade.

Sui-Jim Ho

Senior Associate
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

As well as his role as a senior associate at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP, Jim is the Chair of his firm’s LGBT network and a member of the Diversity Committee. Through this, he has led a number of inclusion initiatives, including an allies programme and an LGBT mentoring scheme. He also led in the implementation of support structures relating to protection against LGBT bullying and harassment. As a result of Jim’s work in this area, the firm was shortlisted for various awards including “Diversity Innovation” at The Legal Innovation Awards 2015 and “Diversity Initiative of the Year” at The British Legal Awards 2015. He is also the founder of the Out of America network for US law firms in London with smaller LGBT communities.

Mohsin Zaidi

Pupil Barrister
6 KBW College Hill

Mohsin is a pupil barrister at 6 KBW College Hill. Until very recently he was an Associate at Linklaters LLP, and through the firm’s corporate sponsorship of the Albert Kennedy Trust became a trained AKT mentor and co-hosted their annual youth conference at the Linklaters offices. Last year, Mohsin was appointed as the first General Counsel of Pride in London, becoming the first lawyer, and currently the only ethnic minority, on the board of the organisation.

Emily Sendall

Senior Consultant

Em is a Senior Consultant in Deloitte’s Human Capital practice, where she helps private sector organisations realise their strategic objectives through organisation design and operating model optimisation. As co-chair of Deloitte’s LGBT network (GLOBE), she works with the network steering committee and the firm’s Executive Group to drive greater LGBT visibility and inclusion, with the aim of enabling everyone to be true to themselves at work. Last year she was instrumental in launching Deloitte’s LGBT Allies Programme, which is now nearing 1,000 members. Em regularly speaks publicly about diversity and inclusion, drawing on her experiences as an openly gay woman in the workplace. She has instituted and manages several key network initiatives including the GLOBE women’s subgroup, the mentoring, reverse mentoring and new joiner buddy schemes, trans inclusion activities, the network’s social media presence, and Deloitte’s annual participation in London Pride. Em is a vocal trans ally, a founding member of the Women’s Equality Party, a Diversity Role Model and a donor to Kaleidoscope Trust.

Daniel Docherty

Vice President | Business Support Manager
Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Daniel is Vice President and Business Support Manager at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch, and is the Co-Chair of the bank’s EMEA LGBT Pride and Global Ally programmes. Daniel partners with HR and regularly assists with recruitment events, panel discussions and new hire on-boarding. He was instrumental in advising on the roll-out of the bank’s new Transgender benefit. Outside of his role, Daniel also advises over 20 companies with best practice recommendations with regards to LGBT programmes. Additionally he is a regular volunteer for several LGBT charities, and has been the main champion of the Stonewall Youth Talent programme.

Christina Riley

Senior Planning Manager
Balfour Beatty

Christina is a Senior Planning Manager at Balfour Beatty, and is on the steering committee of the Balfour Beatty LGBT network, as well as the board of the construction sector LGBT network Off Site. Externally, she is involved with a number of Pride events, as well as the documentary “No Going Back” about Kellie Maloney’s transition. She is a part of the Diversity Role Models programme and was involved with “My Normal”, a support group for Oxfordshire LGBT youth.

Caroline Shrader

Graduate Project Manager

Caroline is a Graduate Project Manager at Fujitsu and the Co-chair of Shine, Fujitsu’s LGBT network. She has been active in promoting the visibility of bisexual employees through the See Me Shine campaign in recognition of Bi Visibility Day. She is also part of Fujitsu’s Diversity and Inclusion Council. Previously Caroline has volunteered with Stonewall Scotland, representing them at Glasgow and Edinburgh Pride, and has also volunteered with LGBT Youth Scotland.