Burnham-On-Sea Food Festival founders Bev and Sarah Milner Simonds

Burnham-On-Sea Food Festival founders Bev and Sarah Milner Simonds are this week celebrating after been ranked at #20 on the OUTstanding 30 LGBT+ Public & Third Sector Executives List.

This global listing shines a light on diversity champions in the workplace and Bev and Sarah were recognised for their roles as gay role models in the rural and food and farming sectors whose work benefits local communities and raises awareness for LGBT+ issues.

Bev told Burnham-On-Sea.com: “We are amazed to move up and to be placed at #20 in this global influencer list, and to be once again the only couple to be listed.”

“We try and be role models for everyone who wants to be a positive change in their community.”

Founder & CEO of INvolve, Suki Sandhu OBE, adds: “We’re delighted to be celebrating another fantastic group of people from across the globe who are collectively driving cultural change and creating workplaces where everyone can succeed.”

“LGBT+ discrimination is still prevalent in a lot of the world’s biggest economies but highlighting the work of successful role models changes people’s perceptions. They demonstrate that you can be successful and out at work, but most importantly inspire the next generation of LGBT+ leaders.”

All of the 2019 Role Models were nominated by peers and colleagues. Nominations were then reviewed by OUTstanding’s judging panel, consisting of: Lord Browne, Executive Chairman, L1 Energy; Ashok Vaswani, Global Consumer and Payments Head, Barclays; Harriet Green, CEO & Chairman, Asia Pac, IBM; Dawn Airey, Independent Director, Grosvenor Estates GBI; Suki Sandhu OBE, Founder & CEO, INvolve & Audeliss; Lianna Brinded, Head of Yahoo Finance UK.

Each person was scored on their impact on LGBT+ inclusion inside and outside the workplace, their business achievements, and the seniority and influence of their role.

For the 100 LGBT+ Executives, 50 Ally Executives and 30 LGBT+ Public Sector Executives, the nominee’s seniority and influence was taken into consideration. They must also be visibly out, or a vocal ally, actively working to create an environment where LGBT+ people can comfortably bring their best professional selves to work. It was important that people were working towards this goal.

Pictured: Burnham-On-Sea Food Festival founders Bev and Sarah Milner Simonds (Orbit Photography)