Anthony Watson, President and Chief Executive Officer at Uphold Inc, has been placed in the number one position of the top 50 most influential, UK-based, LGBT business executives.

The annual Out at Work listing is published in today’s Daily Telegraph.

Earlier this week, it was announced that Watson had been appointed as chair of Labour’s new Business and Enterprise Advisory Council – an organisation that will provide guidance to Shadow First Secretary of State and Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Angela Eagle MP.

Watson is a supporter of several charities across Europe, in particular those that help young people. It is in this capacity that he has spoken in schools about LGBT issues, diversity and the students own career options. He is acutely aware that he’s in a fortunate position, and in a business world that has shown in the past that it is not particularly gay-friendly.

Commenting on his position at the top of the list, Watson said in a statement: “I am deeply honoured and humbled to be recognised in this way – it is a real privilege to top the list. My sexuality has never hindered me and I hope that in a small way I can be a role model to others and prove that your career prospects need not suffer.

“It is important to recognise how far industry has come in terms of attitudes towards LGBT employees but it is important to also recognise there is still much to do and we must ensure that the strides of progress made do not start to slip back.”

Out at Work founder Linda Riley is a Board Director at GLAAD, Patron of Albert Kennedy Trust and Founder of European Diversity Awards, said: ‘All of the names featured on this list are hugely inspirational figures who prove to people everywhere that being LGBT is not, and should never be, a barrier achievement or career success.’

Commenting on Watson’s placing at the top of the list, one of the judges, Lord Cashman,  said: “Anthony Watson has a brilliant track record in promoting equality, diversity and inclusion in some of the worlds biggest corporations such as Barclays, Nike, Citi, Wells Fargo and now at Uphold.

“The judging panel took into account his campaigning to improve LGBT rights and promote acceptance as well as the work he is undertaking as the UK’s first ever GLAAD board member and through his charity work with organisations such as Diversity Role Models.

“He is an inspirational figure and is deserving of his place at the top of the Out at Work list.”

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