OUTstanding, an organization dedicated to supporting the visibility of LGBT people in corporate leadership, has published its annual Role Models for 2017: a set of rankings listing the top LGBT corporate executives, future corporate leaders, and public sector executives around the world. Their top role model this year is Alan Joyce, CEO of the Australian airline Qantas, who was chosen for his outspoken support for marriage equality rights. Australian voters are currently in the midst of a referendum on whether to legalize same-sex marriage; executives at over 800 Australian corporations (part of over 2,000 organizations in total) have signed an open letter in support of marriage equality, but Joyce has been particularly visible and vocal on the issue, the BBC reports:
“In the past year I’ve worked hard to drive changes in my own workplace and indeed my own country,” Mr Joyce said. As well as speaking up personally on the question of same-sex marriage, Mr Joyce has encouraged other business leaders to join him in campaigning for a “yes” vote in the Australian ballot. He said more than 1,300 firms have put their name to the cause.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has promised that if a majority of Australians support same-sex marriage in the poll, parliament will debate amending the Marriage Act, which could lead to the country becoming the 25th country to permit same-sex marriage. The ballot will close on 7 November; latest reports indicate that nearly three-quarters of eligible voters have already returned their ballots with nearly two weeks left to go.
Quartz’s Lianna Brinded interviews Lloyds of London CEO Inga Beale, who was number six on the list of role models and says her “own personal experience transformed the way she works and the employees around her—and fostered a working environment that it is fit for a new generation of workers”: