In The Press

Emerald Life Prominent in 2016 OUTstanding List of LGBT+ Senior Executives and Supporting Allies


Emerald Life’s Chairman and CEO Ranked in 2016 OUTstanding & FT Leading LGBT+ & Ally Executives List

Emerald Life Chairman Steve Wardlaw and CEO Heidi McCormack rank 46 and 39 respectively in OUTstanding list of 100 top senior out LGBT executives and senior ally lists published today by the Financial Times. 

Commenting on the power list, Wardlaw and McCormack said they were, “immensely grateful to be considered role models in the workplace by a respected organisation like OUTstanding. If, at the top level of an organisation, LGBT diversity is visible and celebrated, colleagues can be rest assured that sexual orientation will not prevent them achieving a senior position in their professional development. Our employees and customers alike know Emerald is a place where diversity and inclusion thrives; it’s at our core.”

The 100 LGBT Executives list also includes David Furnish, Jan Gooding, Denny Tu, Daniel Winterfeldt and was headed up by Gigi Chao whose father infamously offered any man HK$500m to marry his lesbian daughter.

The Senior Ally list, which ranks senior executives who are not LGBT, but overt supporters of the community, also features Facebook Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerburg, as well as senior executives from IBM, AON, Bloomberg LP and Aviva.

Emerald Life launched in March 2016 and is the UK’s dedicated insurance provider to the LGBT community and its supporting allies. 

OUTstanding is a professional membership organisation for global businesses. They work directly with LGBT+ and ally leaders to promote inclusion in the workplace. OUTstanding drives change, challenge stereotypes and inspires future generations. It works with member firms to drive LGBT+ inclusion, providing leadership development, mentoring, role modelling and sharing cutting edge best practice. OUTstanding has a partnership with the Financial Times and publishes The Leading LBGT+ & Ally Executives and LGBT+ Future Leaders Lists, annually.

CEO and founder of OUTstanding, Suki Sandhu said: “Large corporations have the power and influence to promote LGBT+ inclusion and pave the way for real societal change around the world. By recognising the impact of those who are leading the charge, the OUTstanding Leading LGBT+ & Ally Executives and LGBT+ Future Leaders Lists continue to inspire both businesses and individuals to drive LGBT+ equality forward. 

OUTstanding exists to challenge the assumption that you cannot be out and successful in business, to create role models that will inspire the next generation of business leaders and to encourage companies to use their far reaching voices for good.” 


For further information, contact:

James Wharton
Communications Manager, Emerald Life / 07590312522

Notes to Editors:

Visit OUTstanding’s website here:

All of the 2016 Leading role models were nominated by peers and colleagues. Nominations were then reviewed by OUTstandingjudging panel, consisting of: Lord Browne, Executive Chairman of L1 Energy, and former CEO of BP; Dawn Airey, CEO Getty Images; Ashok Vaswani, CEO, Personal and Corporate Banking, Barclays; Harriet Green, VP & GM, Internet of Things & Education, IBM; Vicki Culpin, Global Dean of Research, Hult International Business School; Suki Sandhu, Founder & CEO, OUTstanding; and Carola Hoyos, Editor of the Executive Appointments section, Non Executive Directors Club, Financial Times. Each person was scored on the seniority and influence of their role, their impact on LGBT+ inclusion inside and outside the workplace and their business achievements. Everyone included in the list has given their explicit permission to be included. 

For the Leading LGBT+ executives and Leading ally executive lists, the nominee’s seniority and influence was taken into consideration. They must also be visibly out, or a vocal ally, actively working to create an environment where LGBT+ people can comfortably bring their best professional selves to work. It was important that people were working towards this goal over and above their day job, which made it hard for the judges to consider diversity and inclusion professionals, however deserving. 

Future Leaders are high performing and high potential individuals, but can be at various levels in their careers. A stronger emphasis was placed on their work towards LGBT+ inclusion rather than their seniority in the business. 

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