The nominees for the 2017 NatWest British LGBT Awards were announced on Monday 20th February, revealing a stellar line up of big name celebrities, business leaders and community activists shortlisted for gongs ahead of the glittering ceremony in London on 12th May.

The awards, which are now Britain’s biggest LGBT awards event, celebrate individuals and organisations that work to promote equality and advance LGBT rights. Accolades will acknowledge milestones in politics, media, grassroots activism and the corporate world at the event dubbed Britain’s ‘gay Oscars’, which are now in their fifth year. Inclusive Networks was proud to be shortlisted for the ‘Charity or Community Initiative of the Year’ award at last years awards.

In the first of our special British LGBT Awards features we’re going to concentrate on the corporate categories. The winners of these awards will be decided by an esteemed panel that includes prominent figures from the world of diversity and inclusion. These include Liz Grant OBE (Business Development Consultant), Mark Anderson (Managing Director of Virgin Holidays), Ali Berryman (Chief Operating Officer at Barclaycard UK) and Colin Campbell Austin (People Development and Talent Resourcing at Telegraph Media Group).

There are six corporate categories at this years awards, with many friends of Inclusive Networks and other inspiring people and awesome organisations celebrated in the Top10 shortlists. These include Chris Wood, Training Manager and Co-Chair of Compass Network at the Royal Navy, who is shortlisted for the ‘Diversity Champion’ award, Celebrate LGBT+, the inclusive LGBT+ network at charity Action for Children, who are shortlisted for the ‘LGBT+ Network Group’ award, Christina Riley, Site Planning Manager at Balfour Beatty, who is shortlisted for the ‘LGBT+ Corporate Rising Star’ award and global firm PwC who are in the running for the ‘Employer of the Year’ award.

Speaking as the shortlists were announced Sarah Garrett MBE, co-founder of the British LGBT Awards, said :

“The 2017 NatWest British LGBT Awards shortlist features inspirational people who have and continue to use their platform to promote and enhance LGBT rights all over the world.

All nominees are absolutely deserving of their place on the shortlist but it is now down to the public to choose their winners ahead of the ceremony which is set to be the biggest yet when it takes place in London on 12th May.”

“The 2017 NatWest British LGBT Awards shortlist features inspirational people who have and continue to use their platform to promote and enhance LGBT rights all over the world.”

Here are the Top10 shortlists for the corporate categories :

LGBT Network Group of the Year

  • Archway – Network Rail
  • Celebrate LGBT+ – Action for Children
  • Égalité UK – Publicis Groupe
  • ITV Pride – ITV
  • Pride Network – Norton Rose Fulbright
  • PRIDE UKI – Cisco
  • Rainbow Network – RBS
  • RoyaLGBT & Friends – King
  • Unity – EY
  • Walt Disney PRIDE UK&I – Walt Disney Company

Corporate Rising Star of the Year

  • Becki Gibson – Music Buying Assistant at ASDA
  • Carl Clarke – Head of Organisation Effectiveness & Chair of Vodafone LGBT & Friends Network
  • Christina Riley – Site Planning Manager at Balfour Beatty
  • Craig Dillon – Brand Manager at Sky
  • David Bufton – Associate at Linklaters LLP
  • Esther McDermott – Senior Associate in the Construction and Engineering Disputes team at Dentons
  • Gary Coetzee – Human Resources Business Partner at Lendlease
  • Karen Styles – Warrant Officer at the Army
  • Nina Smith – Corporate Communications Manager at Channel 4
  • Rafael Campos Valdez – Diversity and Inclusion Manager at TSB

Corporate Straight Ally of the Year

  • Benny Higgins – Chief Executive at Tesco Bank
  • David Bryan – Head of Legal Services at Cheshire Constabulary
  • Diana Holland – Assistant General Secretary at UNITE Union
  • Jan-Coos Geesink – Managing Director, Global Head of Sales & Marketing, Financial & Risk at Thomson Reuters
  • Karin Cook – Group Director for Operations and Executive Sponsor for sexual orientation & gender identity at Lloyds Banking Group
  • Louise Bradley – Marketing & PR Manager and UK LGBT+ Network, Chair at Oliver Wyman
  • Martin Egan – Global Co-Head of Primary & Credit Markets and Origination at BNP Paribas
  • Michael Roemer – Group Head of Compliance for Barclays
  • Simon Allcock – South and Central Regional Operations Manager at Riverside
  • Tamara Box – Managing Partner for Europe & the Middle East at Reed Smith LLP

Diversity Champion of the Year

  • Angela Kay – Service Team Manager at Bupa UK Customer Service
  • Catherine Hennigan – Associate at Goldman Sachs
  • Chris Wood – Training Manager and co-Chair of Compass Network at the Royal Navy
  • Daisy Reeves – Partner at Berwin Leighton Paisner
  • David Pearson – Associate Director at KPMG Corporate Finance
  • Isobel Sheldon – Engineering and Technology Director at Johnson Matthey Battery Systems
  • Martin York – Principal Consultant, Central Government at Fujitsu
  • Miles Lanham – Westminster Business Manager at Genesis Housing
  • Samantha Jayne Nelson – Vice President, Risk Engineer (Energy) at Marsh
  • Vinay Kapoor – Head of Diversity & Inclusion at BNP Paribas

LGBT+ Inspirational Leader of the Year

  • Daniel Gerring – Partner at Travers Smith
  • Ken Janssens – Managing Director at J.P. Morgan
  • Jonathan McClelland – General Counsel at M&G Investments
  • Jo Rzymowska – Vice president and Managing Director UK, Ireland and Asia at Celebrity Cruises
  • Jude Satchell-Foley – Global Head of Operations for Application Hosting Services
  • Misa von Tunzelman – Lead Director, UK Marketing & Communications at JLL
  • Nick Crofts – President of the National Members’ Council at the Co-op
  • Pips Bunce – Director at Credit Suisse
  • Rob Davey – Senior Director, Global Services at Clarivate Analytics
  • Sue Baines – Director, Premier Banking Products & Savings, Premier UK & International at Barclays

Employer/Company of the Year

  • AON
  • Bloomberg
  • Cisco
  • EDF Energy
  • HSBC
  • IBM
  • J.P. Morgan
  • Manchester Airport Group
  • Pinsent Masons
  • PwC

The awards are famous for attracting some of the biggest names from the world of showbiz, with past winners including Sir Ian McKellan, Alan Carr, Stephen Fry and Clare Balding all taking to the stage to accept their awards in previous years.

Amongst the many famous faces and up and coming talent in the running for the public voted awards are Prince William (LGBT+ Celebrity Straight Ally), who graced the cover of gay magazine Attitude and spoke out against homophobic bullying, friend of the LGBT+ community Katy Perry (Music Artist) and Member of Scottish Parliament Mhairi Black (LGBT+ Celebrity Rising Star).

Other categories include ‘Outstanding Contribution to LGBT+ Life’, ‘Charity or Community Initiative’, Brand or Marketing Campaign’, ‘Destination’, ‘Media Moment’, ‘Broadcaster or Journalist’ and ‘LGBT+ Celebrity’.

Voting for the non-corporate categories is open now and you have until 22nd March to vote for your favourites. An amazing 90,000 votes were cast in the first 24 hours alone – temporarily crashing the awards website. Good luck everyone!

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