News Column

Out Leadership Brings Together Senior Leaders across Major Industries to Champion LGBT Diversity

February 24, 2014

Executives in finance, law and insurance collaborate to discuss the business "return on equality"

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Out Leadership, a pioneering model for cross-industry senior leadership collaboration to develop forward thinking initiatives to leverage lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) opportunities, was officially launchedtoday. Building off of the enormous success of Out on the Street, Out Leadership will serve as a global organization that enables top executives and senior leaders in financial services, law and insurance to come together and engage in initiatives that impact business results, develop talent and drive LGBT equality forward. These programs will operate within three industry-specific verticals: Out on the Street, Out in Law, and Out in Insurance. Out Leadership was founded by Todd Sears, former investment banker and diversity leader.

“It has become clear that the paradigm of what once constituted an HR issue, including LGBT diversity, has transcended both internal policies as well as civil liberties, to truly become a driver of success for modern businesses,” said Mr. Sears. “We have seen the powerful effect that LGBT inclusion can have on businesses through our work with Out on the Street, and we are excited to expand our learnings and senior leadership engagement to the legal profession and the insurance industry. The collective impact of thousands of the most influential business leaders around the world engaging around LGBT opportunities, including more than 35 CEOs around the world thus far, shows that our model of “Return on Equality” is resonating.”

Out Leadership will help members succeed while making a positive impact. It will help smart businesses share effective tools to recruit and retain the best talent and enhance true meritocracy throughout our firms and society,” said Ken Mehlman, Member and Global Head of Public Affairs at KKR, who has been a member of the Out on the Street Leadership Committee since 2011.

Out in Law and Out in Insurance are two new industry verticals that will be launched later this year, following the global success Out on the Street has achieved. Both verticals will embody similar goals of initiating open business-focused dialog among the most senior leaders in the industry and creating shared learnings in the legal and insurance sectors. These three verticals will each develop cutting-edge summits and initiatives for their respective industries as well as offer unique opportunities for cross-industry collaboration through Out Leadership.

"Paul, Weiss, through its representation of Edie Windsor, among many other things, has a historic commitment to diversity in the legal profession, including for the LGBT community. It was therefore an easy decision for Paul, Weiss to join Out in Law almost immediately after it was formed. We need organizations like Out in the Law to continue and deepen the amazing progress toward justice and equality our community and this nation made in 2013," said Roberta Kaplan, Partner at Paul, Weiss and Out in Law board member.

Out Leadership also recently launched the cross-vertical OutNEXT Emerging Leaders program, which will create opportunities for the next generation of LGBT leaders in New York, London and Hong Kong to connect to each other globally, acquire senior sponsorship in their industries, hone business skills, and increase their career success.

As a key element of OutNEXT, Out Leadership has partnered with McKinsey & Company to deliver McKinsey’s award-winning “Centered Leadership” curriculum to emerging leaders around the world.

In addition to its extensive global media partnership with FTI Consulting, Out Leadership is proud to announce two added global partnerships for 2014: the Global Equality Fund and Data Morphosis. The Global Equality Fund, a public-private fund launched by the U.S. Department of State to support efforts to advance and protect the rights of LGBT people globally, will be the 2014 nonprofit partner organization for all of Out Leadership’s initiatives around the world. Data Morphosis, a global next generation workforce analytics software company with modules that include Gender Gap™, will also support Out Leadership in its initiatives as its global technology partner. Out Leadership has also partnered with Visify, a global digital strategy firm which will support the initiative's web presence.

Many of Out Leadership’s signature programs are already underway. Out in Law will host its inaugural summit in March in New York, at New York University School of Law and the4th annual Out on the Street U.S. Leadership Summit will be hosted by Michael Corbat, CEO of Citi on May 1, 2014 at Citi’s office in Lower Manhattan. Out Leadership will be announcing a new advisory board, which will include CEOs and business leaders across the three verticals, along with new industry verticals over the next twelve to eighteen months.

About Out Leadership

Launched in 2014, Out Leadership is a pioneering model for cross-industry senior leadership collaboration to develop forward thinking initiatives to leverage lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) opportunities that seek to impact business results, develop LGBT talent, and drive equality forward. Currently, Out Leadership operates initiatives for the banking, legal and insurance professions through three industry-specific verticals: Out on the Street, Out in Law and Out in Insurance, respectively. Out on the Street hosts annual leadership summits in New York, London and Hong Kong, while the Out in Law and Out in Insurance events are based in New York. Spanning across these three verticals is OutNEXT, the first global emerging leadership LGBT organization, which aims to create opportunities for the next generation of LGBT leaders in New York, London and Hong Kong.

Out on the Street’s 2014 member firms include Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays, Bloomberg, Citi, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Ernst & Young, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, KKR, KPMG, Moody’s, Morgan Stanley, Nomura, Prudential Investment Management, RBC Wealth Management, RBS, UBS, Vestar Capital Partners and Wells Fargo.

Out in Law’s 2014 member firms include BakerHostetler, Cahill, Cleary Gottlieb, Covington & Burling, Gibson Dunn, Jenner & Block, Kramer Levin, Latham & Watkins, McDermott Will & Emery, Morgan Lewis, Paul Weiss, Ropes & Gray, Simpson Thacher, Skadden, Sullivan & Cromwell, Weil and WilmerHale.

Out in Insurance’s 2014 member firms currently include Marsh. Additional member firms will be announced in the fall of 2014.

For more information, please visit

Shauna Wreschner, 212-850-5613


Raina Gajjar, 212-850-5724

Source: Out Leadership

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