Deloitte Australia and Google team up for OUTstanding 50 list

11 July 2018 7 min. read

Deloitte Australia in collaboration with Google have compiled a list of the 50 most influential LGBTI people in Australian society with the hope that it inspires people to be themselves.

Businesses are at the forefront of driving social change. When it comes to the consulting industry – an industry that thrives on change – there’s no treading lightly. Consulting firms lead the way in the corporate world because it is inherently part of the reason for their existence, but it is also more than that. It’s about creating a better society and a better concept of what it means to be an employee. 

Deloitte are a prime example of a firm who is leading by example. The Outstanding 50 list is just one initiative which the consulting firm are making a positive impact on society, but it is a good example of the culture and the lifeblood of the company. 

The list covers remarkable LGBTI leaders across the public and private sectors who have excelled in their careers due to being themselves. The firm states that many of the Outstanding 50 were leaders in the postal survey last year which paved the way for the legalisation of gay marriage in Australia. 

Cindy Hook, the CEO of Deloitte Australia worked together with the Managing Director of Google Australia/NZ to bring the list to life. Their intentions were not only to celebrate the people in the list and their achievements but to also inspire other people to create more inclusive workplaces and communities.

A diverse and inclusive workplace is also more productive, more creative and more driven towards innovation. “Its imperitive to business sucess today, I don’t believe that any organisation is going to be sustainable in the long run if they don’t see this,” said Hook.

When asked the question ‘Is good leadership inclusive leadership?’ in relation to the Outstanding 50, Hook responded with a simple ‘yes’. She went on to say; “leaders that arn’t inclusive, that don’t bring everyone on the journey are not going to survive in the long run. Diversity without inclusion is just a number. 

“If that diverse workforce comes in every day and sits in an isolated environment and doesn’t feel encouraged to be themselves, to share who they are, to bring their vast background knowledge and experience, they’re not going to be the best they can be and you’re not going to get the best outcomes for your organisation,” she continued. “People have to feel OK having a different view, having a view that may not be mainstream.”

Whilst the list was comprehensive, celebrates the achievements of those within the consulting and advisory world. The following LGBTI leaders have worked in the consulting industry or currently work in the industry, have started their own consulting or advisory firms and have achieved high levels of success in their careers.

Denise Lucero, Jarther Taylor, Amy Tildesley, Benjamin Wash and Feyi Akindoyeni

Denise Lucero 

Lucero is a Partner with Deloitte and works with Enterprise Applications, specifically SAP. She has spent over 20 years in the US Marine Corps and has since entered into a successful career in technology. “Know your truth: life is about your dimensions and how they fit together to make it your authentic self.”

“I am passionate about people, technology, women that tech, speaking my truth, living and leading with purpose. I am ready to be a soldier of social change, focusing on bringing women to the front line of business, technology and inclusion. 

Lucero is also interested in changing the perceptions of those around her when it comes to women and technology. “Showing those around me and the industry that women in technology is a reality – I am living proof.”

Jarther Taylor

Taylor is the CEO of Datarati, a boutique strategy, technology and campaign firm that boasts clients including Google, Virgin & CBA. He has worked previously as a consultant and in marketing and sales at Telstra, IBM, Hewlett Packard and Saatchi & Saatchi across the globe. 

“Being able to bring my identity as a gay man into my work really helped me feel our community was gaining acceptance and support.”

“I’ve always aimed to nurture team and business cultures that value diversity and inclusion. Mentoring and coaching within the LGBTI community, particularly on business leadership and career development, supports others to be proudly out – and to speak out on important issues,” he said.

Amy Tildesley

Tildesley is a co-founder of Harvest Insights, a food & beverage market research consultancy based out of Melbourne. She believes that it is important for the corporate world to challenge stereotypes, be vocal about equality and appreciate the unique qualities which people have. 

“Coming out in a corporate business setting can be a terrifying prospect. What I would say to LGBTI youth starting their careers is that eventually you learn to realise that the anxiety that plagues you about that split-second pause and that look on the person’s face when you tell them says more about that person, than it will ever say about you,” she said. 

Benjamin Wash 

Wash is an Entrepreneur and Co-Founder, management consultancy firm Prism Venture Group. “I have focused in building a career that transcended my regional upbringings and that speak for my professionalism and work ethic. I believe that I, as everyone else, should be judged by the work we do, rather than by labels created by others,” he said.

“Gay is only a part of who I am, not the whole of who I am. By living by this principle, I have been able to greatly contribute to industries and sectors associated with traditional and even outdated gender stereotypes. I believe that through my work ethic and strong values I have, and continue to, change perceptions and hopefully serve as a role model for others.”

Feyi Akindoyeni 

Akindoyeni is a Partner with Newgate Communications and Office Head in Melbourne and Perth. She is a high profile strategic consultant in Australia and leads a team of digital disruption and public affairs experts. The report states that; “With more than 20 years of extensive local and global experience, Feyi revealed that communication is a powerful platform for this century.”

Akindoyeni commented on the “You determine your own fate. Don’t assume anybody is really all that focused on you and what you are doing in your personal life. Everyone is the star of their own drama. Take every opportunity you can to try new things, seize opportunities and spend time with the smart people. Looks fade, smarts last forever!”

Cindy Hooks added, "What strikes me is how many of them are willing to step out, step forward and serve as role models for others. Showing that who they are and what their background is didn’t inhibit them from success in any way.” Her message to the leaders was: “Congratulations to everyone on the list and thank you for stepping up and standing up as a role model."