HA executive named as LGBT role model
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing
A housing association executive has been named as one of the top 50 most inspiring LGBT business leaders.
Robert Kerse, executive director of finance at Circle Housing Group, was honoured in the first ever OUTstanding list published by the Financial Times.
Robert, 35, is also the only finance director to feature in the list, in which he is ranked in the top 20.
He joined Circle in July and leads a team of nearly 300 people, spanning finance, treasury, IS&T and facilities management.
Robert said: “I am very flattered to be part of this list and am committed to being a positive role model for all LGBT staff both in and outside of Circle. I was attracted to Circle as our values resonate when it comes to equality and opportunity. I hope the list will confirm to current and potential executives that as long as you’ve got the talent and drive your private life simply doesn’t matter. I’m happy to be helping to build a truly meritocratic organisation.”
The list was compiled by OUTstanding in Business, a professional network for gay and lesbian executives. It is part of a wider campaign, supported by top companies including BP, Barclays, EY and Google that aims to drive change in the business world by broadening the board room diversity debate beyond gender or race to include LGBT issues.
Circle’s CEO, Mark Rogers, said: “This is a fantastic and well deserved achievement for Robert who is an impressive, confident, open and approachable leader. Equality & diversity is part of the way we do things at Circle and we have a wide range of activity and partners to promote Circle as an open and inclusive organisation.
"These include Stonewall, BITC’s Race for Opportunity and the Albert Kennedy Trust who we work with to support young homeless LGBT 16 – 25 year olds. We hope that Robert’s achievement and our work in promoting E&D will help to inspire a future generation of leaders.”
Suki Sandhu, founder of OUTstanding in Business, said: “I believe that business leaders need to be themselves, both inside and outside their professional working environment, to provide authentic leadership. The phenomenal quality of our Top 50 list proves that you can come out and succeed professionally without being held back by your sexuality.
"At OUTstanding in Business, our hope is this list will inspire others to embrace who they are, paving the way for change in the corporate world. Authentic leadership contributes to the development of diverse culture within companies, helping them achieve their business goals and improve the bottom line.”
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