Qantas CEO Alan Joyce has been recognised as one of the most influential LGBTI business leaders in the world.
Drew Sheldrick

22 Oct 2015 - 12:51 PM  UPDATED 22 Oct 2015 - 12:54 PM

Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce has been named as the world's second most powerful LGBTI executive in 2015.

The power list complied by OUTstanding, a not-for-profit professional network for LGBTI executives and their allies, is published by the Financial Times and features 100 business leaders from a broad spectrum of industries, including banking, entertainment, financial services, legal, pharmaceuticals and technology.

Joyce first spoke openly to the media about his sexuality in 2012, but had made no secret of being in a same sex relationship in the years prior. He's been a driving force behind Qantas's public support of marriage equality in recent years and remains one of the few openly gay business leaders in the country.

Coming in at number 27 on the list, the Hong Kong-based managing partner of Herbert Smith Freehills Asia and Australia, Justin D’Agostino, was also recognised for his support of the launch of the lawfirm's LGBTI network in Australia.

This is the first year a woman has taken out the number one spot. Lloyd's of London CEO Inga Beale is the insurance giant's first female CEO in its 327-year history and one of the few openly bisexual business leaders at her level. 

Beale was recognised for spearheading an internal LGBTI employee resource group and supporting an LGBTI insurance employee network, called LINK.

OUTstanding also complies a list of the leading 30 "Ally Executives", which this year included Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg and Virgin Group founder Richard Branson in the top two spots.

The Sydney-based managing director of consulting firm Accenture, Lis Brown, came in at 18 on the list of allies for her work on global campaigns - including Accenture’s “Why Be An Ally?” video - and the company's joint 14th rank on the Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI). It's the fifth year running that Accenture has been in the top 15 of the AWEI.

Nominees for the lists are judged not only on their seniority and influence in business, but on the work they've undertaken to make their workplaces a more welcoming place for LGBTI employees. Attempts to achieve positive change for LGBTI people outside of the workplace are also taken into account.

This is the third year that OUTstanding and the Financial Times have collaborated on the list. In a survey of OUTstanding’s network of LGBTI executives and their allies in 2014, 85 per cent said non-inclusive workplaces have a negative impact on employees and can damage productivity.