Top 10 Business Allies 2022
In alphabetical order
You cannot vote in this category.
This category is judged based on evidence provided according to the British LGBT Awards criteria.
Allison is Head of Housing at Zurich Insurance where she is responsible for the end-to-end business delivering to Housing Associations. She has over twenty years of industry experience in both national and global roles, starting her career in Finance and then moving to her customer-facing role in 2015. Allison is also a board member and chair of the Audit and Risk Committee of a Surrey-based housing association. Allison is passionate about LGBTQ+ inclusion, promoting allyship, and bringing awareness to a wide audience. She uses her experience to provide mentoring to develop the future inclusive leaders of the future.
JOHNSON & JOHNSON
Anna has been an executive account manager at Johnson & Johnson for ten years working in the Oncology Business Unit. She joined the Open&Out UK ERG in 2018 as a core team member and took a lead engaging the field force and delivering the Ally Empowerment programme with senior leaders. In 2020 she took over as Ally lead for J&J UK just as the pandemic began. When faced with this barrier of not being able to deliver the Ally Empowerment programme in person, she quickly led a small team to repurpose the training to be suitable for virtual delivery across all sectors within J&J. This drove greater inclusivity of our whole UK organisation at a time when some colleagues were feeling isolated. Also, she supported the on-boarding of new ally trainers to allow more sessions to be delivered on an annual basis, thus raising awareness of LGBT+ issues to a wider audience year on year. Anna holds equality as a core personal value and will always speak out to offer support and education around the opportunities and challenges faced by the LGBT+ community. This is motivated by the personal stories of close friends and family who identify as LGBT+ who hold her in high regard as a proud ally.
Dayna is the VP of Content Licensing at Disney and and Executive Sponsor of the company’s Pride initiatives. She actively uses her network within Disney and the broader media landscape to champion LGBT+ employees and raise awareness of key issues among VP and above executives. An ever-present voice guiding the team and providing career mentorship, she raises the profile of LGBT+ employees with Disney’s most senior and influential executives by securing opportunities for them to present on Pride’s initiatives.
A member of Disney’s UK Leadership Team, Dayna routinely progresses LGBT+ areas of key importance in the workplace, from gender-neutral toilets and use of pronouns (now seen in 10%+ of corporate profiles) to the adoption of gender-free language and use of specific LGBT+ examples in both internal policies and with third party vendors. To drive cultural change and an inclusive environment she hosts ally-accessible events on key issues such as What it means to be Ally, National Coming Out Day: Being an Ally, Understanding Bisexuality, Trans Awareness, Journey of the Gay Rights Movement and she also authored The Legacy of Stonewall which reached 2,500+ employees.
In 2017 Donna Kelly aspired to set up a DE&I network across the UK and most recently an Australian CGI organisation for more than 6,500 members. Previously a state-registered Nurse, she recognised the richness that diversity brings to an organisation and she embraces this within business culture. She is committed to challenging everyone to be kind.
Donna feels that DE&I is not one person’s job, it is everyone’s; so she encourages member-created networks and everyone involved performs the roles voluntarily. Donna’s role is to offer encouragement and support, progress activities and awareness surrounding members who share a common bond. Equally, the role of allies is key, as is the need for awareness and education.
The networks now established are that for Black and Minority Ethnic, Disability, Women’s, Men’s Health, LGBT+, Menopause, Parental, Part-Time workers and Neurodiverse groups. She has also introduced a shadow cabinet, which advises the group board, providing vast representation across our organisation. She loves the role, the lives that are enriched, the education that is given and being able to create an environment where every member can bring their whole selves to work.
Laura is Head of Graduate Talent at the global law firm Clifford Chance. In her most recent role she has overseen the graduate recruitment and development teams, both of which have won awards for ground-breaking initiatives focused on improving access to the legal profession, innovation in the sector, tackling the stigma of mental health and sexual harassment in the workplace. She is a member of the ARCUS Steering Committee and also Co-Chair of the London Inclusion Committee.
She was the driving force behind the commissioning of a ground-breaking piece of research, Out & Proud, which looked at the experience of young LGBT+ people at university and work. She developed the LGBT+ Undergraduate of the Year award in partnership with TargetJobs (the first of its kind) and created the framework for engaging with LGBT+ students through the creation of the ACCEPT conference.
With more than 15 years in graduate recruitment experience and five years of HR experience, she is a Fellow of the CIPD, a Trustee of the Bridge Group, an Opinion Leader for People in Law and a member of the National Student Pride Advisory Board. In 2020 she founded the Sustainable Recruitment Alliance.
She is also a former Board Director of the Institute of Student Employers and member of the Advisory Board of The Apples & Pears Foundation, a London-based charity that enables inner city families to take weekend school trips with their children and volunteers.
Max is the executive sponsor for the LGBT+ Friends network at Vodafone UK. He is passionate and vocal about his belief that everyone should be treated fairly and accepted for who they are, without exception. Max’s support has enabled the LGBT+ Friends Network to build the very successful Together We Shine campaign. This has increased awareness of LGBT+ topics and employees and bolstered the number of Active Allies within Vodafone UK. Max uses his profile and position to help reach more of the Vodafone community. As a host on an AMA (ask me anything) session with several members of the LGBT+ community, he was open, honest and willing to listen and learn. He put the attendees at ease, created a safe space for people to be honest and then used his position to make sure that people were aware of the session and the value it brought.
Rishi is Liverpool FC’s Senior ED&I Manager. Having worked in the field for 15+ years, he has an expert understanding of successfully integrating ED&I and ensuring positive change. Rishi is a driving force and successfully works with colleagues and leaders to ensure progress. In 2020, he was named on the Global Diversity List.
His previous work led to recognition at the European Diversity Awards, North West Football Awards and Inclusive Companies Awards. Rishi held previous roles at Manchester United, Kick It Out and the FA’s Inclusion Advisory Board, where he has championed ED&I to make a positive impact across society.
Sophie is an Operations Lead at Allianz Insurance where she supports the community with communications and events. As a proud LGBT+ advocate she is co-lead of the Allianz Pride Network and is dedicated to learning about the whole community and what she can do to be a better ally. Sophie is passionate about creating an inclusive workplace where knowledge and experience can be shared and everyone is able to be their authentic self. Sophie is one of the first allies to be a co-lead of the Pride network and is committed to raising awareness of how we can all be better LGBT+ allies.
Tim has been in the energy infrastructure industry for around 15 years, but his thirst for humanitarian issues and equality spans nearly 25 years where he has involved himself in a wide range of inclusion topics. Having been a member of National Grid’s Pride committee for several years, Tim is currently a co-lead for the group where his passion and determination has shone through by highlighting issues and sharing experiences to both the community and the wider workforce. Tim is a leading business ally; he is a driving force for improving the company’s culture including leading on setting up a trans support network.
Victoria is a founding ally member and UKI Pride@Sage lead, dedicated to diversity hiring in early careers. She is constantly striving to promote a safe, open and inclusive working environment in Sage where LGBT+ colleagues can be their true selves and can flourish without fear of judgment.
She acts daily to share her beliefs, challenging inequities and educating others, fostering a multiplier effect to change cultures wherever she goes. A strong, supportive ally, Victoria personally believes that everybody has the right to express themselves and their love for others in their own unique way.