MACQUARIE – Top 10 Inspirational Leaders 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.


Ben Jackson



Ben is Head of Operational Projects & has held many roles over his 19 years at Wickes. Over that time the culture has evolved from a stereotypical male-dominated business to what it is today & which is attributed to the bravery & tenacity of colleagues like Ben. As the Leader of our Pride network, Ben has influenced our Board & Senior Leadership to put inclusion & the LGBT+ community at the forefront over the last 5 years. Ben has brought together an amazing network of LGBT+ colleagues & allies to run a whole host of educational activities & training. Ben’s influence is affecting benefits, working practices & systems enhancements as well as working with suppliers on how to support their LGBT+ colleagues. In his personal life, Ben has been happily married to his husband Mason for 15 years and they live in Brighton with their two crazy sausage dogs



As Head of Culture and Experience for Santander, Damien actively champions LGBT+ inclusion to influence positive change through being a visible role model for LGBT+ colleagues both in the UK and across Santander Group. This includes sharing non-binary and mental health lived experiences to educate, drive allyship, and advocacy to support Santander to be #theplacetobeyourself. Damien actively advocates for key partnerships working in collaboration with the Santander Embrace LGBT+ Employee Led Network. In 2021, this included signing Santander to partner with TENT, a mentoring scheme for LGBT+ refugees. Externally, Damien works to place real importance on intersectional inclusion through work on industry boards and leadership teams. This includes being a member of the Business in the Community Wellbeing Leadership Team to drive change and collective action in LGBT+ workplace support for mental health and wellbeing.



Emily is a senior leader in a global distribution business, but also a trans woman who transitioned in role, very visibly at work. For 42 years, she went through the pain of being closeted, of feeling alone and being made to feel ashamed for who she really was. She is a vocal advocate for Trans and broader LGBTQ+ inclusion in society; a Director of Trans in the City, a Diversity Role Model in schools, founding co-chair of professional Rugby’s first LGBTQ+ supporter’s association, and a Mental Health Ambassador speaking internationally to show that being LGBTQ+ is a gift to cherish – not something to be frightened of.



As D&I lead at Nest Corporation Leo has been responsible for establishing and maintain a culture built on inclusivity, authenticity and belonging. Leo has founded 7 networks including Nest’s LGBTQ+ working group and has overseen an engagement of 1/3rd of the organisation’s workforce engaging with at least one of the working group. Leo is an outspoken advocate and role model at Nest and has created an environment where employees can truly be themselves.



Mark is Co-Head of Corporate Banking Origination for HSBC UK, focusing on loan and investment banking origination for clients in Commercial Banking. Mark is also Co-Chair for HSBC UK’s Balance network. HSBC Balance has over 50,000 members, 220 Executive Leader Ambassadors and 1,000 Advocates across the world. It is an employee resource group focussed on gender equality and inclusion, working closely with other ERGs, including Pride, to help drive awareness of intersectionality, and Mark has presented on a number of joint panel sessions in this regard. Mark and his husband are proud fathers of 4-year old twins.



Matt is the Director of Media & Creative at ITV. His role is instrumental in growing the relevance of the ITV brand on any device and platform, making ITV’s programming unmissable, ensuring On-Demand viewers and customers grow in line with ITV’s ambitious business targets.

As a member of the ITV Executive Leadership Team Matt helps create, support, and deliver diversity and inclusion initiatives across the business. He mentors the ITV Pride LGBT+ Network CoChairs, ITV RISE Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic colleagues, and the ITV SignPost Deaf Community. Matt sits on the ITV Diversity Council, Chaired by Chief Executive Carolyn McCall and for the last 2 years has produced and presented the ITV Pridecast, the podcast for LGBT+ people at ITV. Matt features in the 2021 global OUTstanding LGBT+ Executive Role Model List for business leaders who are creating more inclusive workplaces across the world.

Formerly a Journalist and Creative, Matt has worked at major media organisations in Hong Kong and the UK, including Radio Television Hong Kong, STAR TV, BBC, UKTV, Sky, and ITV. Matt is just about to complete his training to be an Executive Coach and Mentor.



Oliver has enjoyed a truly international career, working his way up the ranks at one of the world’s largest professional services firms, KPMG. Born in Germany, he joined the firm after university and his success led him to experience rewarding roles in Berlin, New York, Chicago, Copenhagen and London, where he’s been for the past eight years. This experience has shown him the power of diverse thoughts and perspectives, shaping him to become the active advocate for equality and diversity that he is today. Oliver is an active member of KPMG’s LGBT+ network, a trusted mentor to many, and a vocal role model supporting colleagues to bring their whole selves to work. Outside of work, Oliver can often be found taking the first available flight to Tel Aviv to spend time with his partner of 15 years.



Peter is responsible for global direct-to-consumer strategy, growth & investment, and global membership, at Levi Strauss & Co. He is also founder and sponsor of Unlabeled – the LS&Co. LGBTQ+ and ally network for EMEA and South Asia. With 160 members, the network’s cross-border community builds inclusive talent practices and external partnerships to support LGBTQ+ communities in need. Previously, Peter headed strategy, AI & insights for Levi Strauss Europe, and worked at BCG and in investment banking. Peter also serves as a founding advisory board member of the London-based LGBTQ+ business conference EurOUT.



Rishi is an LGBT+ Champion across his professional and political career as well as in his local community. In his day job, Rishi is head of Climate & Sustainable Finance for NatWest and leads the Rainbow Network, the LGBT+ staff and allies network. Established 16 years ago it has c. 1,600 members globally. Recent highlights include championing LGBT+ communities in Warsaw and supporting members through the pandemic. Outside the office, Rishi is an active member of Foxes Pride, the LGBT+ fan group for Leicester City Football Club and is Co-Chair of Pride in Football the umbrella group of LGBT+ fan groups which seeks to improve LGBT+ experiences around football. He is a trustee of Opening Doors London, the older people’s LGBT+ charity. Additionally, Rishi is the Camden LGBT+ Champion where he is a Councillor.



Sarah Rench is currently the Data, Artificial Intelligence & Industry Solution Director at Avanade and demonstrates her commitment to Inclusion & Diversity by being the European Executive LGBT+ Sponsor of Prism, Avanade’s LGBT+ network. She helps run events in the UK & Europe but also helping drive inclusion & diversity changes within & outside the company. She was an Executive Advisor to the All-Party Parliamentary Group on AI where she presented to MPs & UK companies on the importance of Data, AI & Diversity. She is an award winning ‘Women in Tech’ (featured in the list for the Most Influential Women in Tech 2019, 2021 & 2021 & having won awards including Data Leader 2019 etc) and has used her influence to represent the UK Department of Trade presenting on AI in countries like South Korea & at events like Lesbian in Tech to promote greater diversity in technology. She supported the setup of Beyond, Avanade’s UKI BAME & multicultural network which won the Avanade CEO excellence in I&D award back in 2020, which she continues to support through mentoring individuals and with key events like speaking at the Allies event.