OUT LEADERSHIP announces the first-ever ESG summit


Out Leadership is pleased to announce the first ever ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) summit focused on meaningful inclusion of LGBTQ+ inclusive diversity into ESG structures and strategies. Over the last ten years, at the demand of investors and shareholders seeking to decrease risk and increase return, companies have begun to substantially focus on environmental and social impact as drivers of return and good governance. While a seemingly obvious core component of such efforts, diversity and inclusion has been excluded from roughly 95% of these efforts–with LGBTQ+ inclusion virtually non-existent. Over the last twelve years, Out Leadership has spearheaded initiatives to embed the opportunity that LGBTQ+ equality and inclusion present to bottom-line impact for the business community, including groundbreaking research and data on board inclusion, self-ID, and hundreds of other efforts that drive what it calls “Return on Equality™.”

This new first-of-its-kind, ground-up ESG initiative seeks to build from global data, best practices and overall experience of Out Leadership, combined with the leadership and efforts of a core group of its 98 member companies, 700 CEOs and tens of thousands of senior leaders globally towards a new global and consistent standard of ESG for business – one that is for the first time fully inclusive of all the diverse communities our companies seek to serve.

This initiative will culminate in a Fall 2023 summit in New York City: Out Leadership’s RETURN ON EQUALITY ESG SUMMIT, where Out Leadership will launch its new global LGBTQ+ inclusive ESG Standard which will, for the first time, include metrics across the DEI spectrum including:

● Global DEI Standards, policies & metrics and their tie to investment policies & mandates

● LGBTQ+ C-Suite representation

● LGBTQ+ ERG/BRG leadership & engagement

● Donations & Support for LGBTQ+ & diverse organizations

● Donations to anti-LGBTQ+ organizations or to anti-LGBTQ politicians

● Implementation and status of self-Identification programs

● LGBTQ+ inclusive health care and retirement benefits

● LGBTQ+ & diverse representation in marketing materials

● Corporate Board Diversity initiatives (currently only 4% of the Fortune 1000 have fully inclusive policies)

● Global public policy on anti-LGBTQ & Sodomy Laws, HIV/Healthcare, Mental Health, etc.

● The impact of anti-LGBTQ laws at state, federal and country-level on LGBTQ & diverse talent (tying into Out Leadership’s State LGBTQ+ Business Climate Index)

As Todd Sears, Founder and CEO of Out Leadership said, “Equality drives business, and business drives equality. We are putting our stake in the ground now on these vital issues. This is such an important discussion for all diverse communities and specifically from a LGBTQ+ perspective. Over the last year we have worked to identify senior business executives, thought leaders and government representatives to help CEOs lead the way for America and global businesses.” Out Leadership’s success in thought leadership and advocacy is crucial to the future of ESG for all diverse communities.


Leading up to the summit, Out Leadership and sponsoring companies will host a series of industry dinners and roundtable discussions, and continue the steering working group conversations to ensure the best voices and topics are represented at the summit itself. A central theme of the summit, we will further develop and incorporate our 8 years of Board diversity work through our OutQUORUM initiative to ensure the inclusion of LGBTQ+ representation at the board level on equitable governance, recruitment and retention, and business impact. Other summit themes include: existing ESG reporting, existing DEI reporting, self-ID, investor impact, the role of regulators, migration of diverse population’s impact on the environment and other evolving subjects.

Out Leadership is proud to partner with industry leading organizations in the initial development of this monumental initiative including its global sponsors HSBC, EY and Ropes & Gray as well as the sponsors of its OutQUORUM program, the first and only global LGBTQ Corporate Board Initiative: KPMG, Ropes & Gray, Goldman Sachs, Egon Zehnder and Diligent. In addition, Out Leadership has convened working groups of global organizations to lend their expertise to building the effort, which thus far includes : IBM, The London Stock Exchange, The Australian Institute of Corporate Directors, The International WELL Building Institute, Bowdoin College, Pagaya, The Partnership for Global LGBTI Equality, PJT Partners, salesforce.org, Tides, and World Bank Group. The organization is currently seeking additional partners and sponsors as it works towards its official launch in 2023. Interested organizations can reach out to info@outleadership.com.

Out Leadership is the world’s first and only LGBTQ+ corporation whose sole product is equality. With 98 member companies (including Amazon, American Express, Bloomberg, Citi, Coca-Cola, Comcast, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, IBM, Microsoft, Nike and Walmart), Out Leadership harnesses the power of business to drive equality by connecting LGBTQ+ leaders across the globe and advocating for inclusion at every level: from entry-level to executive to CEO. As a Certified B Corp, Out Leadership also partners with 56 non-profits (including GLAAD, Freedom for All Americans, Lambda Legal, Transgender Law Center, and many other organizations) and annually donates over 20% of its net profit to global LGBTQ+ nonprofits.


Out Leadership has always focused on the Return on Equality™ businesses receive from valuing both their LGBTQ+ talent and the market of LGBTQ+ and ally consumers. We are thrilled by the opportunity to expand this expertise into the mainstream ESG conversation.