February is LGBTQ+ History Month and at The Gryphon we want to shine a light on some of the exceptional people and movements that have made, and are continuing to make, strides to stamp out discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender.
In the UK, the month is celebrated in February to coincide with the 2003 abolition of legislation, known as Section 28, which stated that local authorities should not promote the acceptability of homosexuality.
This month is all about reflecting on gay rights and related civil rights movements, but also provides an opportunity to put forward role models, who have championed LGBTQ+ rights and have been a voice for positive societal change. In the business world, there are a growing number of influential CEOs and leaders who are doing incredible work to increase diversity and acceptance of all genders and sexual orientations in the workplace.
The first-openly gay CEO in Hungary, Peter Arvai has gone on to be one of the most vocal business leaders of our time, championing gay rights from his platform as a successful entrepreneur.
Arvai is most well known for co-founding the presentation software Prezi and not only does he work tirelessly to create a inclusive company which celebrates its diversity, but he has gone on to co-found WeAreOpen, a non-for-profit aimed at showing companies how valuable diversity is to their businesses. An alliance of over 1000 companies, WeAreOpen has had a major influence on Hungarian businesses’ approach towards increasing diversity in the workplace and has started to expand throughout central Europe.
The Mixx is a New York based marketing company set up and managed by Robyn, whose recent advertising campaigns have included H&M Pride and Mercedes-Benz. In these campaigns, as well as across all of Robyn’s work, she has made sure to create a diverse team, using the vest best LGBTQ+ talent that the industry has to offer, across all aspects of the marketing campaign, from social media influencers to advert directors.
Aside from The Mixx, Robyn has made many other notable contributions to increasing LGBTQ+ diversity in the business world, being an original investor in the first ever retail store dedicated to gender-fluidity and non-binary clothing, called the Phluid Project, as well as supporting several diversity-based events and non-profits.
Pips is the Director and Head of Global Market Technology Strategic Programmes at Credit Suisse and identifies as gender fluid and non-binary.
Pips has not only been the driving force behind many of Credit Suisse’s diversity and inclusion initiatives, through regularly writing articles, making videos and speeches about the trans community, but she has also worked with schools and the government equalities office, promoting LGBTQ+ inclusion and diversity.
Pips is the co-chair of Credit Suisse’s EMEA LGBT and Ally network and draws upon her own experience and challenges she has faced, in order to convey the importance of support for the LGBTQ+ community.
Image: Evening Standard