Top 10 LGBT+ Diversity champions 2018

In alphabetical order

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This category is judged based on evidence provided according to the british lgbt awards criteria.

Sandy Darcy

Finance and Contract Compliance Manager at Thames Water

Sandy and her wife set up the EDI group in Thames Water when they were working with senior leaders to review the company pension provision to ensure equal rights for same-sex couples. This rapidly progressed to supporting colleagues with diversity issues, raising awareness and engaging with senior leaders to advocate LGBT awareness and rights.  She has also raised awareness of the company’s support of  Stonewall’s #nobystanders campaign – a cause close to her heart.  Her EDI work progressed to leading an inclusive group of volunteers from TW to raise over £10k in the last two years for nominated charities.

Theresa Farrenson

Technology Business Partner at Aon

Theresa is a technology business partner for Aon and was instrumental in the formation of both Aon’s Pride Alliance and the cross-industry LGBT insurance network, Link which now has over 800 members representing 320 companies.   Under her leadership, Link membership has grown 550% over the last 3 years and with Link’s support 17 insurance companies now have network groups.  Based in Leeds, Link Up North is thriving and planning to extend into Manchester. As a lesbian in tech, Theresa is used to promoting minority groups, so having handed Aon’s Pride Alliance network to new leadership, she champions inclusion across Aon.

Carl Clarke

Head of HR Governance and Strategy at Vodafone

Carl works with senior teams across Vodafone’s global business on organisational change and effectiveness projects.  He is passionate about authentic leadership and inclusive workplaces.  Carl leads the Vodafone LGBT + Friends Network which has grown significantly across Vodafone’s global operations over the last three years.  This includes establishing country networks across the world, coaching Board and Senior Leaders on inclusion, championing the formation of a Lesbian, Women and Transgender Group, and implementing role model, ally and multinational empowerment programmes.

Steven Cox

Vice President, Fujitsu Diversity and Inclusion Ambassador at Fujitsu Global

Steven has held a range of strategic roles in Fujitsu, until recently being responsible for its UK Public Sector and Transport business. In his current role as Diversity and Inclusion Ambassador, he is incorporating best practice into Fujitsu’s global approach for workplace inclusion and workforce diversity. Steven is also identifying the ways in which technology such as AI can enable inclusive workplaces. Steven is proud to support a number of LGBT+ rights charities in a personal capacity including Stonewall, the Albert Kennedy Trust, Human Rights Watch and Diversity Role Models.

Laura Hodgeson

Senior Knowledge Lawyer at Norton Rose Fulbright

Laura Hodgson has been co-chair of the Norton Rose Fulbright Pride network since it was founded in 2010. She is a lawyer in the London office of the firm. Over the past few years Laura has been involved in a number of LGBT networks in the City including the Gay Women’s Network, LB Women, InterLaw Diversity Forum (where she was co-chair for  a number of years) and LINK. Laura seeks to give a voice to the L in LGBT and has organised a number of high profile events looking at how best to engage gay women in networks.

David Levine

Vice President, Programming, Production and Strategic Development at Disney Channels EMEA, & General Manager, Disney Channels UK & Ireland

David Levine is VP, Programming, responsible for programming strategies for the Disney Kids Channels across EMEA, and GM, Disney Channels UK & Ireland, responsible for oversight of Disney’s three kids channels and programming, sitting on Disney’s UK Leadership Team. David serves as the Executive Sponsor for Pride UK&I, Disney’s first-ever international LGBT resource group, providing guidance and support for the team. David drove the creation of the first-ever LGBT character on a kids-directed Disney Channel show, and leverages Disney-only experiences.

Andrew Porter

Recruitment Transformation Lead at Diageo

Andrew has over 20 years resourcing and talent experience and has been with Diageo since December 2014. Andrew has recently moved into a new role as Recruitment Transformation Lead but was previously Head of Talent Engagement, Europe and is part of Diageo’s global recruitment function leadership team.  Andrew is the Europe Lead for Diageo’s LGBT Employee Resource Group – The Rainbow Network; created and leads the inclusion ERG – INC.; and actively supports Diageo’s key partner, Timewise through being on the judging panel of the Power Part-Time Awards.

Paresh Ravat

Senior Collateral Analyst in Global Markets at BNP Paribas

Paresh works for BNP Paribas, within Global Markets managing collateral portfolios for clients. It was working in financial services and passionate about diversity and equality that Paresh got involved with the firms D&I networks. Representing BNP Paribas at the Interbank forum, Paresh has helped them grow raising awareness for diversity in banking. Now as co-chair for Interbank, working with 23 other top tier financial firms, sharing best practices and support firms with their D&I initiatives.

Claire Skinner

Senior Client Team Consultant, Fiduciary Management Team at Mercer

Claire Skinner joined Mercer in 1995 having graduated with a degree in Economics from the University of Birmingham. She is a Senior Client Team Consultant within the Fiduciary Management Team. Since its creation in 2016, Claire has been a Diversity & Inclusion champion, chairing the UK D&I champion group and feeding into the D&I Advisory Group on a monthly basis.  In 2017, she was appointed Global Co-Chair of the Mercer LGBTA Business Resource Group. Outside of Mercer, she is a Diversity Role Model and Midlands Ambassador for LBWomen, a Trustee for her daughters’ scout group and a keen runner.

Winner!   Jo Walker

Regional Facilities Manager at Virgin Money

Jo is Chair of Virgin Money’s Affinity Group and in 2017 launched an LGBT+ group, the Affinity Pride Network.  Jo is a positive role model having shared her personal story of being bisexual on Virgin Money’s internal hub. She has hosted a number of LGBT+ events and produced in-house articles and guides including a Trans Guide and an Allies Guide.  Jo was instrumental in the delivery of Virgin Money’s LGBT+ rainbow credit card through which they will donate £100,000 to Stonewall. Externally Jo runs an Amateur Theatre Company where she led the production of an LGBT+ pantomime. In 2017 Jo completed OUTstanding’s Future Leaders Programme.