This week’s #OUTLEADER is out, proud, on the 2022 OUTstanding Top 100 LGBT+ Executives Role Model List, AND on the @LGBTGreat’s Top 100 Gamechangers list for 2022 — no big deal!
We’re talking about Managing Director at Citi, Bradford Pollard!
Bradford’s advocacy on behalf of LGBTQ+ employees at Citi has set a high bar for corporations around the world to clear. Full stop. He co-created Citi’s first global LGBTQ+ leadership development program; he is the co-chair of Citi’s North America Employee Inclusion Network with more than 4,200 members; he created and moderated Citi Global Pride Dialogues (a public global virtual series on cultural and political issues for the community); he advocated — and continues to advocate! — for increased self-identification as well as mentorship for LGBTQ+ employees; and he led the charge for Citi’s 2022 Transgender Day of Visibility.
At Out Leadership’s 2022 OutNEXT Summit, Bradford brought the house down with inspiring guidance that was more than just pretty words. Because he practices what he preaches, he connected with the audience of emerging LGBTQ+ leaders with from-the-heart advice about the importance of storytelling: “Understand your own personal story and use your voice to have an impact. Use this summit as a way to empower yourself, to be more visible — whatever that means to you. Embrace what you will get out of the next two days and use it to your advantage, then go out and make your mark.”
Bradford spoke about the strength of knowing and sharing personal narratives. He himself shared that coming out during the era of “Don’t Ask. Don’t Tell,” with few if any role models in his field, left him feeling as if he needed to hide who he was. That experience shaped his dedication to living authentically, which he believes (and we agree!) is a way to model success and happiness for LGBTQ+ people young and old(er) alike. He went on to say: “I continue to strive to be the role model for others that I never had in my youth. Visible role models help to shift the needle towards inclusion within our businesses and create more equitable workplaces where everyone can succeed. We must continue the work together to drive inclusion for all LGBTQ+ employees around the globe.”
Bradford’s commitment to equality in and out of the workplace inspires — and motivates — all of us. When you ask your audience to do exactly what you demand of yourself — to live authentically — you are a walking and talking example of so much of what we’re trying to accomplish at Out Leadership. Bradford said, and we are proud to echo: “Live out loud. Don’t hold back. Be bold. The world needs your story.”
Words to live by. Thank you, Bradford!