Business is at the heart of securing positive change for LGBTI people in Asia.
They sponsor pride parades and festivals, try to support their gay and trans staff, and even change hearts and minds.
Here are the 11 organizations shortlisted for the second Asia LGBT Milestone Awards (ALMAs).
100 judges are now choosing the final winners who will be announced at a ceremony in Bangkok on 14 April with tickets available here.
In addition to these companies, 21 individuals are also nominated for the awards – all of them doing groundbreaking work. Find out about that shortlist here.
Diversity Champion of the Year
An Indian company proudly sponsoring LGBTI events including the Mumbai International Queer Film Festival and hosted a historic LGBT Youth Leadership Summit in Mumbai in March this year.
Supporters of Bangalore Pride and Tokyo Pride for several years. They also support LGBTI staff in China.
The hotel chain was seen as having taken a risk for the LGBTI community by hosting the Shanghai Pride Run, the Chinese alternative to a pride parade, thereby avoiding problems for gay and trans participants with the authorities.
Outstanding Brand of the Year
Li Guoqing, CEO of this Chinese e-commerce company, made a stand by posting a gay advert on social media – despite it not being approved by the censors.
The ‘Dare to Do, Dare to Be’ video ad went viral sending the message ‘anyone who dares pursue true love should be applauded’.
Li wrote: ‘To be honest, when filming this advert I was afraid it wouldn’t pass checks. But didn’t we say in the video, “Courage is doing things we’re afraid of”?’
The Chinese e-commerce group sent out a pro-gay marriage campaign on Valentine’s Day this year.
The only TV station in Thailand that has a consistently pro-LGBTI stance about marriage and gender equity.
Star Employer of the Year
Apple Model management
One of the oldest modeling agencies in Thailand, it has also broken new ground by specifically opening a division for transgender models, and generally for promoting employment access for trans people.
Godrej Group, India
The engineering company is recognized as being consistently open to LGBTI employees. Also shortlisted in the Diversity Champion of the Year category.
The bank made headlines when it lit up its iconic Hong Kong headquarters building in rainbow colors.
HSBC now asks its contractors to have good diversity policies, despite this angering some right-wing and religious shareholders.
Employee Network Group of the Year
Barclays’ Spectrum group in Singapore supports LGBTI initiatives including the annual Pink Dot – the country’s equivalent of Pride.
Staff have also raised cash for Oogachaga, Singapore’s only community based LGBTI counseling organization.
A leader in good diversity practice in Hong Kong, which has brought all the inclusive policies it operates to Asia and supported new diversity organizations in Hong Kong’s banking, law, business consultancy and accounting sectors.
The mentorship program it operates finds mentors for over 150 Hong Kong University LGBTI students annually.
Shanghai LGBT Professionals
Launched the LGBT Corporate Diversity and Inclusion Conference in Shanghai in 2014. The event attracted 120 business leaders and professionals from over 100 local and international companies to promote LGBTI inclusion and non-discrimination in China.
The ALMA awards are the brainchild of the team behind Singapore’s online gay magazine ELEMENT. Find out how you can attend here. Read the list of individual nominees here. Gay Star News is a media partner of the awards.