2019 Hong Kong LGBT+ Inclusion Awards - Winners

SDG 5: Gender Equality and SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities
Community Business announced the winners of the 2019 Hong Kong LGBT+ Inclusion Awards at the 2019 Hong Kong LGBT+ Inclusion Gala Dinner on Tuesday 14 May 2019.

LGBT+ Network Award sponsored by HSBC

To recognise an employee network that has played a proactive role in promoting LGBT+ inclusion demonstrating strong engagement with, and commitment to, local Hong Kong LGBT+ employees.

Eligibility: an LGBT+ employee network based in Hong Kong  

Hong Kong LGBT Open Network
Credit Suisse

The mission and vision of the LGBT Open Network is to support a diverse, inclusive, and open environment that enables lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) professionals and their allies to maximise their potential and contribution to the Bank's success. The network also partners with lines of business to create new client opportunities and to advance Credit Suisse's diversity and inclusion strategy. The network was started in 2015 and is currently led by employee volunteers.   

LGBT+ Executive Sponsor Award sponsored by Nomura

To recognise a senior business executive sponsor based in Hong Kong who has spoken up and used his/her influence to promote LGBT+ inclusion in the workplace and beyond in Hong Kong.

Eligibility: A senior business executive based in Hong Kong who is not in a line Diversity & Inclusion role

Peter Picton-Phillipps  

Peter is currently the Hong Kong Leader for EY's Financial Services practice in APAC. Since 2016 he has taken up the additional role of Professional Practice Director for EY’s Financial Services Assurance practice in Asia-Pacific. He has worked in the Assurance practice for 26 years, initially in London, then in Hong Kong since 1999. Throughout that time he has focused on the Banking & Capital Markets industry sector, taking senior roles in the audit teams of EY's large global investment banking clients. 

LGBT+ Inclusion Champion Award sponsored by Eversheds Sutherland

To recognise an LGBT+ employee based in Hong Kong who has taken proactive and effective steps to promote an LGBT+ inclusive culture in the workplace and beyond in Hong Kong.

Eligibility: An LGBT+ employee (any level) based in Hong Kong

Rob Head
Thomson Reuters

Rob Head is the Head of Proposition, Core Law at Thomson Reuters Asia & Emerging Markets Business. He is commercially responsible for Westlaw services from Africa, Russia and the Middle East through to Asia, and Australasia and manages teams across Asia and Australia. Rob is passionate about Diversity & Inclusion in all its forms, and as such he was the lead for Pride at Work Hong Kong and held a role on the global leadership team. More recently he has taken up the Executive Sponsorship role but is also a male ally to Women@TR and in the wider legal community. 

LGBT+ Ally Award sponsored by Morgan Stanley

To recognise a non-LGBT+ individual who has demonstrated personal passion and commitment to promoting LGBT+ inclusion in the workplace and beyond in Hong Kong.

Eligibility: An employee (at any level) who does not identify as LGBT+, based in Hong Kong and who is not in a line Diversity & Inclusion role

Sudesh Thevasenabathy 
AXA Hong Kong

Sudesh brings with him more than 19 years of experience specialising in customer experience, process efficiencies and change management across multiple industries. In his current role, Sudesh is Head of Customer Care Management at AXA Hong Kong where he manages and runs all the customer contact teams. He has received numerous team and individual awards in recent years due to his passion for improving customer experience. He sits on the D&I Council on the LGBT+ And Origins taskforce. He also speaks in many events and conferences sharing best practices and his vision of improving customer experience and D&I. 

LGBT+ Community Impact Award sponsored by Goldman Sachs

To recognise a community-based LGBT+ initiative that has had a significant positive impact in promoting LGBT+ inclusion in Hong Kong.

Eligibility: an initiative led by a not-for-profit organisation in Hong Kong

Living your True Self 活出真我 
Blessed Ministry Community Church

Few bodies of faith in Hong Kong openly support the LGBTI+ community because religious texts are often misconstrued as a tool to separate people based on race, gender and identity. Living your True Self educates the public that our faith is anchored in the message of peace and inclusion. Blessed Ministry Community Church is commited to transforming this world into a better place, giving us the courage to make an impact outside the religious context. The Church also has a strong focus on public education and raising awareness for the next generation including seminars at universities, refugee sponsorship, etc. The reach of the Church extends to legislators, students and parents.

Advancing LGBT+ Rights Award sponsored by Community Business

A discretionary award made by Community Business to an individual who has worked tirelessly behind the scenes to champion, progress and support the promotion of LGBT+ inclusion in Hong Kong.

Michael Vidler  
Vidler & Co. Solicitors

Michael is the proprietor of his law firm specialising in public law, human rights, discrimination and other areas. He has used his role as a leading human rights solicitor and advocate to significantly advance LGBT+ rights in Hong Kong over several decades. Michael’s work has been groundbreaking, and often in the face of a Government that is hostile to LGBTI rights, including strategic litigation on freedom of expression relating to LGBT+ broadcasts; freedom of assembly in the context of LGBT+ public events; the rights of transgender people to marry; the requirements of surgery for transgender people to change gender; and the refusal of dependent visas for same-sex couples from overseas. Some key highlights of his recent strategic litigation during 2016-17 include winning the Court of Appeal QT v Director of Immigration case on the right of same-sex couples to dependent visas, an on-going judicial review challenge to the Government's policy of requiring sex reassignment surgery for persons wishing to transition, and launching a constitutional challenge to gay-specific criminal offences which still remain on the statute books after the watershed victory of the Billy Leung case in 2006. Apart from advancing LGBT+ rights through courts, Michael is also a vocal supporter of LGBT+ issues. He has spoken at numerous conferences and university seminars, lobbied Chief Executive candidates in his role as a member of the Chief Executive Election Committee and worked with the business sector, non-government organisations, Legislative Council Members and public service providers to promote LGBT+ rights and issues. Given Michael’s expertise and public image, he is widely quoted and frequently appears in the media on a wide range of major LGBT+ issues. He also proactively provides general legal advice to LGBT+ clients relating to issues of possible discrimination or breaches of their human rights.