Lord Browne is the former CEO of BP. He joined the company as an apprentice in 1966 and was Group Chief Executive between 1995-2007. During that time, he was voted Most Admired CEO by Management Today for four consecutive years. Lord Browne is currently the Executive Chairman of L1 Energy, a partner of Riverstone LLC, and the Chairman of Huawei UK. He has served as a non-executive director at Goldman Sachs, Intel Corporation, and SmithKline Beecham, amongst other roles.
Lord Browne also has made an active contribution to the academic and cultural life of the UK. He is a Fellow and former President of the Royal Academy of Engineering, and Fellow of the Royal Society. He is the Chair of trustees at the Tate galleries and Donmar Warehouse.
Lord Browne was knighted in 1998 and made a life peer in 2001. He is the author of the memoirs Beyond Business, the popular science book Seven Elements that Changed the World, and The Glass Closet, a commentary on the acceptance and inclusion of LGBT people in business.
Benny Higgins is Chief Executive of Tesco Bank and a member of the Tesco Executive Committee. He began his career at Standard Life in 1983 where he joined as an actuarial student and became a member of the Standard Life Group Executive in 1996. In 1997, he moved to RBS to become Chief Executive of Retail Banking. He was with RBS until 2005, during which time he led the successful integration of NatWest Retail Banking. He became Chief Executive Officer of the Retail Business of HBOS plc in 2006 before joining Tesco Bank as Chief Executive in 2008.
Under Benny’s leadership Tesco Bank has grown to become one of the most established ‘new’ banks in the UK, serving more than 7 million customer accounts and employing over 4,000 people in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Newcastle. With the launch of the Tesco Bank current account in June of this year, the Bank now offers a full range of core retail banking and insurance products.
Outside of financial services, Benny is a Non-Executive Director of the Buccleuch Estates, a Trustee of the National Galleries of Scotland and a Princes Trust Ambassador. As a member of the Glasgow Economic Leadership Board and the Commonwealth Games Legacy Board, Benny maintains close ties to his home town.
Ayla Holdom has served in the Royal Air Force for 12 years and is an extremely proud member of the RAF Search and Rescue team. She has been operational for 6 years, responding to over 400 ‘shouts’ in that time. Initially based on Anglesey, North Wales, she has since moved to Chivenor, North Devon and has received formal commendation for her role in search and rescue. Ayla came out as transgender in 2010 and now works with policy staff and the RAF support network on trans issues, helping continue the RAF’s 15 years’ experience in actively supporting its LGBT personnel in reaching their full potential. Having placed lived experience at the centre of employment policy, the RAF was named Company of the Year at the 2014 European Diversity Awards, has regularly featured in the Stonewall’s Workplace Equality Index Top 100, and recently became the only public sector employer to be awarded Top 10 Global Employer status.
Ayla was honoured to be represented on the 2014 Independent on Sunday Rainbow List and engages with a number of organisations in the UK and US, including All About Trans, Mermaids and The Palm Centre, to promote the positive aspects of being transgender, and as an enabler for both individuals and organisations.
Steve is UK Chairman of EY, responsible for a business of over 14,000 people as well as the Regional Managing Partner of the UK and Ireland practice and a member of EY’s Europe, Middle East, India and Africa (EMEIA) Board.
Steve is a strong, vocal supporter of EY’s diversity and inclusiveness agenda and shows his support for LGBT activities often. He also sets a strong tone from the top about the importance of D&I to EY’s success, making it one of his three strategic imperatives for the firm. Additionally, Steve has spoken at Stonewall events that EY have hosted. Externally, Steve often speaks about his personal commitment to diversity and inclusiveness. In November of 2014, he was named to the top 20 OUTstanding Allies List.
Friday 17 April 2015
Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre