BOSS magazine and Deloitte have partnered to compile the inaugural LGBTI Outstanding 50 List of Australian Business Executives who are  role models promoting diversity and inclusion. Baker & McKenzie's Sydney based partner and head of the firm's Australian BakerLGBTI & Allies network, Craig Andrade has been today recognised as a leading LGBTI executive in the top 50 list.

The list has been driven by the need to shine a light on LGBTI role models across corporate Australia as reports indicate that nearly 50% of young LGBTI employees entering the workplace are going back into the closet because the actual lived experience of many Australian workplaces are not  inclusive despite many employers having best practice diversity and inclusion policies.

Baker & McKenzie national managing partner, Chris Freeland stated: "I am delighted to see Craig featured on this emininent list of LGBTI executives in Australia. Craig is a leading equity capital markets and private equity lawyer and he's made a great contribution over a more than a decade  at Baker & McKenzie."

Chris further stated: "Craig has led the charge in furthering LGBTI diversity and inclusion at our firm. In his role as head of the BakerLGBTI & Allies network, Craig has spearheaded our firm's efforts to build a safe, inclusive and respectful workplace for all our staff, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Under his leadership we have achieved top 20 employer status in Australia for LGBTI inclusion under the Australian Workplace Gender Equality Index. Craig has also been a strong advocate for marriage equality and led our firm's  advocacy efforts for that initiative, which included lobbying other law firms to publicly take a stand against the proposed plebiscite."

When hearing of his inclusion on the top 50 list, Craig commented: "I am trully honoured to be on a list that includes such prominent LGBTI business leaders such as Jennifer Westacott (Chief Executive  of the Business Council of Australia), Leonard Vary (Chief Executive of the Meyer Foundation), Alan Joyce (Chief Executive of Qantas) and John Allan (Chief Executive of Sensis). The inaugural class of 2016 comes from a broad cross section of industry leaders ranging from banking and financial services to engineering and telecommunications and highlights the extensive work these business executives have done for the LGBTI community. Its a significant milestone to see that the list includes a trans businesswoman, Savannah Jackson, and its very pleasing to see Savannah recognised for the important work she is doing for the trans community, particularly regional and rural trans youth who face significant challenges to connect with their community due to their remote geographic locations."

Baker and McKenzie, together with over 1000 organisations across Australia, has signed the Australian Marriage Equality petition in support of marriage equality. The firm was named in the Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI) top 20 Employers in Australia 2016 for LGBTI inclusion.The AWEI is the definitive national benchmark on LGBTI workplace inclusion and comprises the largest and only national employee survey designed to gauge the overall impact of inclusion initiatives on organisational culture as well as identifying and non-identifying employees. The Index drives best practice in Australia and sets a comparative benchmark for Australian employers across all sectors.

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