Paul Henderson (KPMG) named on LGBT+ future role model list

15 January 2023 3 min. read
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INvolve – one of the world’s leading diversity & inclusion platforms – has released its OUTstanding lists for 2022, with KPMG’s Sydney-based Paul Henderson named as a future role model.

This year’s global OUTstanding LGBT+ Future Role Model list celebrates 100 emerging leaders worldwide who have made a significant contribution to LGBT+ inclusivity in the workplace.

A member of KPMG’s Infrastructure, Assets, and Places practice, Henderson has also previously featured on Out For Australia’s 30 under 30 list for 2020. “This recognition means a lot as I didn’t get to see many people who looked like me in my industry when I was younger,” Henderson stated.

Paul Henderson (KPMG) named on LGBT+ future role model list

“I’m hoping that this fosters more inclusion and diversity in the future for people who wouldn’t traditionally go down the same path I did. Previously I had to forge my own path, but here at KPMG there are people looking after me, there are allies and mentors and a whole network of support.”

As a specialist in corrosion engineering and management, Henderson joined KPMG from Woodside at the beginning of the year, where he would come to co-chair the energy giant’s LGBTI+ network to promote diversity and inclusion. But it wasn’t until Australia’s successful marriage equality vote that Henderson truly felt comfortable being himself, having previously spent uncomfortable periods onsite in remote oil & gas communities.

“Inclusion and diversity means an incredibly a lot for me at KPMG, as it not only allows me to be my authentic self but our differences are celebrated and recognised. From the very first day I started, I knew I could be myself and it was an empowering experience as I’ve never been comfortable to do so before. When applying for KPMG, it was their inclusion and diversity policies that were one of the main drivers for me wanting to join.”

In issuing its 2022 list, INvolve cited Henderson’s co-leadership in organising and implementing office inclusion initiatives, but also noted his previous efforts at Woodside, such as establishing the ‘StraightTalk’ safe space for identifying employees to be their authentic selves. Now, he says he can’t wait to drive further change both within KPMG and beyond, with KPMG this year awarded gold band status at the Australian LGBTQ Inclusion Awards.

And Henderson hasn’t let past confronting experiences in remote communities deter him from venturing back out bush, the senior consultant having recently completed a six-week secondment with Jawun in Northeast Arnhem Land (KPMG is a long-time partner of the Indigenous organisation), an experience he describes as “filled with the highest of highs and sombre lows”, particularly as to “the inequality that still exists for First Nations Australians.”

Australians in the global list

Henderson was one of three Australian professionals to make this year’s Future Role Models list, alongside SAP senior account executive Delia Deng (named for the second year running) and Clifford Chance associate Emily Carr – with the law firm a noted leader in progressive LGBT+ policies.

Goldman Sachs A/NZ partner Nick Sims and local American Express Vice President Naysla Edwards were named among the top 50 Ally Executives.