Royal accolade for Link, the cross industry LGBT+ network
Link, the LGBT+ network for the insurance industry, which launched in 2013, has received the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the equivalent of an MBE and the highest accolade given to volunteer groups in the UK.
Representatives of Link will receive the award from Sir Kenneth Olisa OBE, Lord Lieutenant of Greater London later this summer.
Link was founded to help create and maintain workplaces that attract and retain the best LGBT+ talent to the insurance industry, and develop inclusive workplaces that allow professionals to further their careers in an environment where their sexuality or gender identity is not a barrier to success. Now numbering over 800 members, the network represents people and organisations from across the insurance industry, from underwriters to law firms, brokers to consultancies.
Since establishing itself in the City of London, Link has launched in Leeds and is looking to create local chapters elsewhere in the country, as well as in cities outside of the UK.
Maurice Rose – Insurance Manager at PwC and Co-Chair of Link– said: "Having worked in the City for almost a decade, I have seen first hand the positive impact that Link has made in driving change in the sector, and the progress we have made in increasing the visibility of LGBT+ people across the industry. I want to take this opportunity to thank our committee members, both past and present, and all those who have supported Link's valuable work over the last six years. As a result of this this support, the industry is now better than ever at attracting and retaining the best LGBT+ talent.’’
James Mee – Partner at law firm RPC, Co-Chair of Link, and a steering committee member since Link's launch – said: "As someone who has been involved from the start – working in a firm so steeped in insurance and spending much of my time in and around the market – I am extremely proud that Link has been recognised in this way.
"A lot of people from a lot of different organisations have contributed a huge amount of time and energy to establishing Link within the insurance industry."
Steven Copsey – Inclusion & Diversity Consultant at Inclusive Employers, and Co-Chair of Link, agreed that: "This award is testament to the impact they have all made, and the progress we continue to make towards making the sector one that attracts the best talent, irrespective of how they identify."
Link is one of 281 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the prestigious award this year. The number of nominations and awards has increased year on year since the awards were introduced in 2002, showing that the voluntary sector is thriving and full of innovative ideas to make life better for those around them.
The process for achieving a Queen's Award starts with a National Award Committee taking nominations from local assessment panels and making recommendations to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). The DCMS then sends a final list to the Queen for her approval.