With pride month coming up, LSB is proud to present our top ten LGBTQ+ speakers.
Employers are growing increasingly aware that for employees to thrive they need to feel able to be themselves at work. Many corporations have made outstanding progress in creating safe and welcoming environments for their LGBTQ+ staff, clients, and customers. This shows us that though there is still much to learn, progress is possible.
Whether CEOs or Comedians, Sportsmen or Academics, these speakers all shed light on the power and importance of diversity and inclusion in the modern age. Their insights highlight how we can continue to improve the workplace for the LGBTQ+ community.
Ruth Hunt, Baroness Hunt of Bethnal GreenFormer CEO of Stonewall
Ruth Hunt is the former CEO of Stonewall, Europe’s largest LGBTQ+ charity, and was awarded a life peerage for her LGTB activism. As CEO, she led Stonewall in extending the organisation’s remit to include trans communities; contributed to legislative landmarks for same sex couples in the UK including equal marriage and equal adoption rights; and more than doubled the charity’s income.
Through Stonewall’s Diversity Champions Programme, Ruth supported over 700 organisations in fostering collective and inclusive leadership, and she continues to advise many of Britain’s biggest institutions on the matter.
Gareth Thomas is one of the most iconic figures in world rugby, and in 2009 became the first high profile sportsman in the world to come out as gay whilst still playing.
In 2019, Gareth bravely told the world he was living with HIV. His BBC documentary, Gareth Thomas: HIV and Me, aired shortly afterwards and he launched the Tackle HIV campaign to take on the stigma surrounding HIV.
Gareth’s 2014 autobiography Proud won Sports Book of the Year and charted his rollercoaster journey to becoming the most prominent athlete to come out as a gay man. His 2021 book Stronger addresses the prejudice he faced being HIV positive.
Gareth ThomasWelsch Rugby Legend
Nicola Adams, OBEOlympic Boxing Champion
Nicola is the world’s first female boxer to win an Olympic medal, having taken home the Flyweight category gold at the 2012 London Games. In 2016, she also became the first female boxer to win a double Olympic championship when she won gold at the Rio Olympic Games. She was appointed an MBE for her services to boxing in 2013 and in 2017 was made an OBE.
Not only is Nicola one of the world’s leading female boxing figures, but she is also a passionate advocate of LGBTQ+ rights. In 2020 she became the first celebrity to perform in a same-sex couple on Strictly Come Dancing, and she speaks movingly on LGBTQ+ inclusion and diversity.
Hannah is a Captain in the British Army who has commanded soldiers in Germany, Canada, Kenya and Afghanistan. She is also a transgender woman, and in 2015, the story of her transition captured the nation.
As one of the UK’s most visible trans people, Hannah has used her public profile to advocate for trans equality and to promote a more realistic picture of trans people in the UK. She is a Patron for the charity Mermaids and an ambassador for LGBTQ+ Sport in Wales.
Hannah often speaks with her husband Jake, who is also trans, on gender, equality, and diversity. As a couple, they are best known for their Channel 4 documentary ‘Our Baby: A Modern Miracle’ which followed their journey starting a family.
Hannah GrafBritish Army Captain and Trans rights advocate
Parmesh ShahaniAuthor of Queeristan: LGBTQ+ including in the Indian Workplace
Parmesh is the leading advocate for LGBTQ+ inclusion in corporate India and has guided many of the country’s top corporations on inclusion.
His first book Gay Bombay: Globalization, Love and (Be)Longing in Contemporary India (Sage Publications) was released in 2008 and re-released in June 2020 as an updated edition. His second book Queeristan: LGBTQ+ Inclusion in the Indian Workplace (Westland Business) was released in August 2020.
Dame Inga Beale was CEO of 330-year-old City financial institution Lloyd’s of London from 2014 to 2018. Prior to Lloyds, she held senior leadership roles in some of the world’s largest insurance companies including as CEO of Canopius, and CEO of Converium.
As the first female and openly bisexual CEO of Lloyds, Inga initiated the Pride@Lloyds movement, supported the LGBTQ+ Insurance Network, and played a key role in changing cultural perceptions and highlighting the importance of diversity and inclusion. She is an ambassador at Stonewall and was awarded a Damehood for her work driving the inclusion agenda for women and the LGBTQ+ community.
Dame Inga BealeFormer CEO of Lloyds, and Workplace Equality Advocate
Martina NavratilovaFemale Tennis Player
Widely considered one of the greatest tennis players of all time, Martina won the Wimbledon women’s singles title a record nine times. In total, she has won 18 Grand Slam singles titles, 31 Grand Slam women’s doubles titles, and 10 Grand Slam mixed doubles titles; overall she has won 59 Grand Slam titles.
She now devotes herself to LBGT advocacy among other causes and is a presenter for BBC, Tennis Channel and Amazon Prime. In 2019 her call for an open debate about male to female transgender athletes competing in women’s sports sparked global headlines, and in 2019, she presented a BBC documentary, ‘Trans Athletes: A Fair Playing Field?’ The documentary got to the heart of this controversial topic by meeting a range of athletes, scientists and sporting officials.
Sasha Costanza-Chock is a scholar, designer, and media-maker who is renowned for their research on networked social movements, transformative media organizing, and design justice. They are currently a Research Scientist at the MIT, as well as a Senior Research Fellow at the Algorithmic Justice League.
Sasha’s first book Out of the Shadows, Into the Streets: Transmedia Organizing and the Immigrant Rights Movement was published by the MIT Press in 2014. Their latest book, Design Justice: Community-Led Practices to Build the Worlds We Need was published by the MIT Press in March 2020.
Sasha Costanza-ChockAcademic and Designer
Rosie Wilby is an award-winning comedian, author and broadcaster. She is renowned as the creator of the global hit podcast and book The Breakup Monologues, and her first book Is Monogamy Dead? was longlisted for the Polari First Book Prize
A proud LGBTQ+ activist and Switchboard charity patron, Rosie uses her trademark humour to unpack difficult questions about all forms of human relationships – romantic, platonic and professional. Her disarming conversational style has earned her the nickname, ‘the lesbian Louis Theroux’.
For more information on any of these speakers & experts, or to enquire about having them as your next speaker or adviser, please contact us below