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OUTstanding success, again

Published:
30 October 2019
BP has four winners in this year’s OUTstanding Awards. 2019 marks the fifth year running that BP staff have been recognized at the LGBT+ event
The 50 LGBT+ Future Leaders List recognizes people that have made a significant contribution to LGBT+ inclusion, wherever they are placed in their company. BP’s Bobbi Pickard, consultant senior project manager and Daniel Sprich of information technology and services, were both named on this year’s list for the work they have done to help make the organization more welcoming and inclusive for LGBT+ people.

Bobbi Pickard is an active member of BP Pride (BP’s business resource group for LBGT+ people and allies). For the last two years, she has also been chair of BP’s Transgender Group and has personally trained more than 1500 people in transgender awareness, as well as created a wealth of resources for people to access. She is a Diversity Role Model, co-founder of the hugely successful multi-company collaboration 'Trans in the City' and also provides free training to schools and other organisations through Transknowledge.co.uk

Bobbi has transformed transgender awareness and education globally within BP. “It used to be something that wasn’t discussed and now it is widely talked about,” she says. 

I have received many messages from transgender employees saying they feel the most comfortable that they ever have done in an organization.Bobbi Pickard

Daniel Sprich has been an active member of BP Pride since he joined the company in 2011. In 2017/2018, he was Co-Chair of BP Pride UK where he developed BP’s LGBT+ strategy making tangible differences to policies and employee experience. He also works with Stonewall (the UK’s largest LGBT+ charity) and manages BP’s workplace equality index submission (BP has been named one of 12 Top Global LGBT+ Employers for the last three years running). 

In 2017 he attended OUTstanding’s first Future Leader Programme and won the Group Challenge addressing the problem that ‘a significant proportion of LGBT+ graduates go back in the closet when they enter the corporate world.’ As a result, Daniel has worked with BP’s graduate recruitment team to implement best practice to attract LGBT+ talent. He also regularly shares his story in schools to help the fight against homophobic and transphobic bullying. 

“I feel honoured to be on OUTstanding’s LGBT+ Future Leader List,” he says. This achievement would not have been possible without all the people supporting BP Pride. The progress in BP to create a more LGBT+ inclusive has been amazing over the last couple of years and it makes such a difference to many people. It ultimately helps BP in attracting and retaining the right talent across all strands of diversity.

The OUTstanding Ally Executives category acknowledges 50 senior executives who are outspoken and unwavering in their support for LGBT+ people in the workplace. BP’s group chief information security officer Simon Hodgkinson has been named on this year’s list.
BP staff portraits at BP SJS May 9, 2017. Photograph by Graham Trott. 07836 227278  mail@grahamtrott.com

Simon Hodgkinson has been an active member of BP Pride for several years and is on the  steering committee. He is also the lead for the Allies Programme, training which aims to help all staff understand what it may be like to be LGBT+ in the workplace and how to create a welcoming environment or safe space. The ‘Safe Space workshop’ in particular has been a great success, as Simon says, “I have led over 30 of these sessions across the UK and the US and in the last 3 years since I have led the programme, over 4000 people have attended the training and nearly all of them have now become allies”.

The 100 LGBT+ Executives list aims to prove that LGBT+ executives can be visible, safe and successful in business without fear of any discrimination due to their sexual orientation. BP is represented on the list again this year by Michael Sosso, associate general counsel for Downstream.
BP staff portraits at BP SJS May 9, 2017. Photograph by Graham Trott. 07836 227278  mail@grahamtrott.com

Michael Sosso regularly speaks at external events about how to establish effective business resource groups and create an inclusive workplace. He was invited to talk at a meeting of the managing partners of the world’s largest firms about diversity and has addressed legal conferences on how to promote diversity and inclusion in the legal profession. Michael has also met with senior US and UK government officials to discuss how business and government can work together to advance LGBT inclusion around the world. As well as his advocacy, Michael has represented LGBT+ asylum seekers pro bono in their applications and supports youth centres in Washington DC and Houston Texas that provide a safe space for homeless LGBT+ youth.