The role will see Anderson collaborating with business to support LGBT people at work, whilst developing and sharing solutions to workplace discrimination.
Alongside the recently appointed Special Envoy for LGBT rights, Lord Herbert, he will also ensure businesses are doing all they can to help showcase the UK as an inclusive place to live and work ahead of the UK’s first Global LGBT Conference, Safe To Be Me, which is taking place in June 2022.
Anderson brings a wealth of experience to the role, advising businesses on both a domestic and international level. He is co-founder and executive chairman at Cicero/AMO and focuses on public policy and corporate communications strategy, supporting many global FTSE and Fortune 500 blue chip organisations.
He has also been named one of the Financial Times / OUTstanding Global 100 Executives, an FT Male Champion of Women in Business, a Stonewall Ambassador, on the Queer Britain advisory board and a trustee of global LGBT rights charity GiveOUT.
Liz Truss, Minister for Women and Equalities, said: “I’m delighted to appoint Iain as our new LGBT Business Champion. As we seek to build back better, his considerable experience working with a range of businesses will be crucial to forming policies that will actually make a difference, improving the workplace for LGBT people. We have a responsibility to ensure LGBT people can be themselves at work, not just for their own wellbeing, but also for the best interests of business and the UK economy. Attracting and retaining a talented workforce is fundamental to the success of any enterprise.”
Iain Anderson, LGBT Business Champion, said: “I am passionate about securing equality in the workplace and I’m delighted to take on this new role. It is important that both large and small businesses can unleash the potential of all their LGBT employees and customers. There is an opportunity for the UK to be a world leader on action by business to make this happen.”
Lord Herbert, Prime Minister’s Special Envoy for LGBT rights said: “I welcome Iain’s appointment to this role and look forward to working with him, as we champion LGBT rights across the globe. The UK is hosting the Safe To Be Me: Global Equality Conference in June 2022. We will be engaging with businesses to explore how, together, we can highlight the economic case for LGBT inclusion at home and abroad. I look forward to working with Iain to achieve this.”
As LGBT Business Champion, Mr Anderson’s role will focus on progressing LGBT equality in employment and enterprise, continuing to build on the work the Equality Hub has supported with SMEs in this field. The role will harness the influence of FTSE and sector business leaders to act as change agents to increase diversity in business leadership.
Earlier this year Anderson hosted a roundtable for businesses, encouraging SMEs and the self-employed to share their plans around inclusive workplaces and promoting best practice. He will continue to host similar events, celebrating and advancing the government’s build back better campaign in the progress.
Amongst his early priorities, Iain will work with employers to establish a business-led network that connects large organisations and SMEs, focussing on sharing best practice, and potentially resource, in order to progress LGBT equality at work.
Recognition of the economic case for LGBT inclusion extends internationally. As part of Safe to Be Me in 2022, we will be empowering businesses to advocate for LGBT equality in countries across the world.
Nancy Kelley, CEO of Stonewall, said: “We welcome the news that Iain Anderson has been appointed to the new role of LGBT Business Champion for the Government. With over a third of LGBTQ+ people feeling the need to hide who they are at work, there is still much to do to ensure all workplaces are truly inclusive. We look forward to working closely with Iain and sharing our advice and expertise to help transform workplaces and unlock the potential of LGBTQ+ people across the UK.”
Peter Cheese, chief executive of the CIPD, the professional body for HR and people development, said: “We welcome this appointment given employers, more than ever, need to be proactive about inclusion and to understand and address any forms of discrimination in the workplace. CIPD research suggests many LGBT+ workers don’t feel safe to express themselves and be accepted at work, which will impact on their working relationships, wellbeing and overall job satisfaction. There should be visible commitment from senior leaders to foster open and inclusive working environments where employees feel safe and supported, and difference is valued. This is a vital part of being able to attract and retain the diversity of skills and experience every organisation needs; ensuring organisations reflect the communities and societies they serve and are part of.”