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Leading CEOs and business leaders confirmed for new global LGBTI diversity conference

Leading CEOs and business leaders confirmed for new global LGBTI diversity conference

Inga Beale (Lloyds), Darren Walker (Ford Foundation) and Evan Davis (BBC) are among those taking part in Pride & Prejudice

The schedule and speakers for the inaugural Pride and Prejudice conference, taking place 3 March, has now been confirmed. The event will feature several notable thought leaders and heads of business.

Among others, these will include:

  • Dr Jim Yong Kim, president of the World Bank Group
  • Ivan Gazidis, chief executive officer of Arsenal Football Club
  • His Highness Prince Manvendra Singh Gohil of Rajpipla Gujurat India
  • Inga Beale, CEO of Lloyds
  • Randy Berry, Special envoy for the Human Rights of LGBTI Persons, U.S State Department
  • Jason Collins, a recently retired gay basketball star
  • Arne Sorenson, chief executive of Marriott International
  • Evan Davis, BBC Presenter
  • John Brennan, Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)
  • James R. Fitterling, Vice-chairman and chief operating officer, The Dow Chemical Company
  • Lord Browne of Madingley, Executive Chairman L1 Energy
  • Jamie Moldafsky, Executive vice-president and chief marketing officer, Wells Fargo & Company
  • Omar Sharif Jr., Human and LGBT Rights Activist / Actor
  • Joel Simkhai, founder of Grindr
  • Claudia Brind-Woody, Vice-president and Managing Director, Intellectual Property Licensing, IBM.
  • Darren Walker, President of Ford Foundation
  • Antonio Simoes, CEO UK, HSBC

Organized by The Economist, Pride & Prejudice is designed to be a ground-breaking, global, 24-hour conversation on the business, economic and social costs of LGBT discrimination.

It will feature live-steaming of discussions in Hong Kong, London and New York over the course of one day.

Daniel Franklin, the executive editor of The Economist, said in a statement, ‘The Economist has long supported equal rights for LGBT individuals. Nearly twenty years ago in our cover story, ‘Let them wed’, we argued in favor of same-sex marriage.

‘Progress since then has been huge but uneven—hence the need for a global conversation on the costs of LGBT discrimination.’

Jim Yong Kim, President of World Bank Group
Jim Yong Kim, President of World Bank Group

The Economist is far from being the only business operator to wake up to the business case for LGBTI diversity and inclusion. For the first time in its official schedule, last month’s World Economic Forum in Davos hosted several panel discussions on the business case for LGBTI inclusion, and how business could help to challenge discrimination.

US Vice President Joe Biden used his time at Davos to urge US CEOs to do more to promote LGBTI inclusion globally.

Michael A. Oakes, Economist Events’ Head of Programmes, EMEA, says Pride & Prejudice is part of an ambitious, three-year advocacy program from the business title.

‘The idea for Pride and Prejudice originated in the Asia offices of The Economist, but such was the enthusiasm for it within the company that it soon snowballed into a global project,’ he told Gay Star Business.

‘In numerous conversations with contacts of The Economist in Singapore and Hong Kong, it became clear that by taking up LGBT issues we could have a significant positive impact.’

Asked what the title hoped to achieve through the event, he replied, ‘Many things – but above all, we hope that over the coming years, Pride & Prejudice will act as a catalyst for the movement towards greater equality.

‘In bringing together a unique range of voices, many from the most senior echelons of business, politics, academia and civic society, we will invigorate this important debate by doing what we do best – making our case with passion and rigorous thought.

‘We at The Economist are convinced that the moral arguments can be supported powerfully with what is a compelling economic and business case for LGBT inclusion.’