Emerald Life is thrilled to see its founders celebrated in the OUTstanding Executive lists for the fourth year running. The lists compiled every year celebrate the business leaders who are doing the most to promote LGBT+ causes in the workplace and are backed by Yahoo Finance. Emerald’s CEO Heidi McCormack made number 35 on the OUTstanding 50 Ally Executives List – which focuses on executives who don’t identify as LGBT+ but make significant efforts to help LGBT+ causes – while Chairman Steve Wardlaw attained 95 in the OUTstanding 100 LGBT+ Executives List.

Founder & CEO of INvolve, Suki Sandhu OBE, says, “We’re delighted to be celebrating another fantastic group of people from across the globe who are collectively driving cultural change and creating workplaces where everyone can succeed. LGBT+ discrimination is still prevalent in a lot of the world’s biggest economies, but highlighting the work of successful role models changes people’s perceptions. They demonstrate that you can be successful and out at work, but most importantly inspire the next generation of LGBT+ leaders.” 

“Heidi recognises the power of allies for the LGBT+ community, and her experience at Emerald Life – an LGBT+ focused insurer – has given her a unique insight into what constitutes a strong ally and how their support can best be harnessed,” said OUTstanding. “She leds unconscious bias training for Emerald Life, speaks frequently at conferences as an advocate for the underinsured and under-represented and is an Ambassador for the Chartered Institute of Insurance and the Women’s Insurance Network on longer term reform of the sector for LGBT+ and women customers.”

OUTstanding said Steve Wardlaw is regularly featured as a positive LGBT+ role model in the press due to Emerald Life’s work in LGBT+ inclusion. “He sponsors numerous grassroots initiatives designed to support the LGBT+ community, and has set up the 50Fund to support LGBT+ and women’s grassroots initiatives globally,” said the list. 

“Steve also regularly speaks at and chairs LGBT+ events and panels. Emerald Life partners with various companies and charities to offer products as employee benefits to those organisations. Emerald Life are the only insurer in the UK to include cover for discrimination claims and employment claims. The company also has a dedicated trans advisory group who give regular advice on trans-specific issues that may affect insurance and financial services.”

All of the 2019 Role Models were nominated by peers and colleagues. Nominations were then reviewed by OUTstanding’s judging panel, consisting of: Lord Browne, Executive Chairman, L1 Energy; Ashok Vaswani, Global Consumer and Payments Head, Barclays; Harriet Green, CEO & Chairman, Asia Pac, IBM; Dawn Airey, Independent Director, Grosvenor Estates GBI; Suki Sandhu OBE, Founder & CEO, INvolve & Audeliss; Lianna Brinded, Head of Yahoo Finance UK. Each person was scored on their impact on LGBT+ inclusion inside and outside the workplace, their business achievements, and the seniority and influence of their role. 


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