December 8th, 2020, New York, US
Out Leadership, the oldest and largest coalition of global companies working to improve LGBTQ+ equality in the world, is delighted to welcome Blackstone, one of the largest investment firms in the world, as the 12th new member company for 2020. This represents the organization’s continued expansion into the global private equity and alternative investments, financial services, advertising, and tech industries.
Todd Sears, CEO & Founder, Out Leadership, said: “We’re delighted that Blackstone has joined our community of global firms. The firm’s longstanding commitment to create positive economic impact and long-term value for investors by integrating sustainability, diversity, equity and inclusion across the entire portfolio is truly unmatched.”
Sears continued, “When one of the largest investment firms in the world announces ambitious, bold ESG initiatives it sets an example for other firms to follow and has a cascading impact. We are especially looking forward to helping Blackstone achieve its goal of one-third diversity on portfolio company boards for new control investments in the U.S. and Europe, via our LGBTQ+ board diversity initiative.”
Blackstone founded OUT Blackstone, the firm’s internal affinity network for LGBTQ+ employees, in 2015, alongside the firm’s other affinity networks aimed to support Veterans, women and diverse professionals, and has since grown to over 400 members. Blackstone recently launched a series of ESG initiatives – including a new target of at least one-third diverse representation on portfolio company boards for new control investments; a new Career Pathways program designed to create employment opportunities and career mobility for people from underserved communities at Blackstone’s portfolio companies; and a goal to reduce carbon emissions by 15% across all new investments where the firm controls energy usage.
Marshall Sprung, Blackstone’s Global Head of Compliance and OUT Blackstone Co-Chair, said: “We are excited to join Out Leadership and its community of distinguished firms. Out Leadership’s mission aligns with Blackstone’s established commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. Out Leadership’s programming will also amplify OUT Blackstone’s many efforts to create a supportive LGBTQ+ community within the firm. I look forward to all we will achieve in partnership with Out Leadership.”
Sears said: “We’re excited to partner with Blackstone, its employees, and its clients to increase LGBTQ+ diversity throughout the firm’s many advocacy efforts.”
ABOUT OUT LEADERSHIP
Out Leadership is the oldest and largest global LGBTQ+ business advisory that partners with the world’s most influential companies to build business opportunities, cultivate talent, and drive LGBTQ+ equality forward. We believe that LGBTQ+ inclusion positively impacts business results, and that including LGBTQ+ people at the most senior level of executive leadership builds business. We call this idea Return on Equality™.
Comprised of 84 global member firms and dedicated to cross-industry collaboration, Out Leadership is a certified B Corporation. Out Leadership convenes CEOs, business leaders and allies at exclusive invitation-only events across 4 continents. Out Leadership also operates three talent initiatives: Quorum, which aims to increase LGBTQ+ representation on corporate boards; OutNEXT, the first global talent development program for emerging LGBTQ+ leaders; and OutWOMEN, connecting senior-level LGBTQ+ women in business.