McMillan partner John Clifford named to prestigious global list of OUTstanding Leading LGBT+ Executives, as presented by the Financial Times 

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October 26, 2017


 In 2016 John Clifford was honoured  with the Start Proud (Out On Bay Street) Professional Leadership Award and also the 2016 Lexpert Zenith Award: Celebrating Diversity and Inclusion. Now he’s being recognized for his business achievements and impact on LGBT inclusion.

McMillan LLP  senior partner John Clifford has been named to the prestigious global list of OUTstanding Leading LGBT+ Executives, as presented by the Financial Times, in recognition of his business achievements and impact on LGBT inclusion within McMillan and externally.  

The acknowledgment highlights John’s  commitment to creating a diverse and inclusive environment within McMillan and in the Canadian legal and business communities, particularly for people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.

“I am truly humbled to be selected for the list and to be in the company of so many accomplished LGBT executives and professionals from some of the world’s largest and most well-respected corporations and professional firms in the UK and elsewhere”,  said John Clifford.  “I know firsthand the positive impact that out LGBT role models can have on the careers and ambitions of other LGBT people at McMillan and in the legal and business communities.”.

As reported by the Financial Times last year when the 2016 list was released, seniority and influence are taken into account when nominees are selected for addition to the list of Leading LGBT executives. The Financial Times explained that, in addition, nominees have to be visibly out, or a vocal ally, and actively working to create an environment enabling LGBT people to comfortably bring their best professional selves to work. It is also important for nominees to be working towards this goal over and above their day job.

Suki Sandhu, Founder and CEO of OUTstanding said that these lists exist to challenge the assumption you cannot be out and successful in business, and to highlight the importance of role models in inspiring the next generation of business leaders.

“By recognizing and celebrating those who are leading the charge, the lists demonstrate how far the quest for workplace equality has come,” he says. “But there is always more to be done. Big business and the public sector have the power and influence to promote LGBT+ inclusion more widely, paving the way for real societal change around the world.”

Based in McMillan’s Toronto office, John is recognized internationally as a leading mergers & acquisitions, business and competition law lawyer.  He was a founding member of, and now co-Chairs, the Inclusion and Diversity Committee of McMillan. Under his leadership, the firm recently completed its second firm wide diversity and inclusion survey and later this year will issue guidelines for supporting the needs of transgender employees and will introduce gender-neutral washrooms.  John was also the catalyst for the founding of Fierté McMillan Pride, the firm’s affinity group for LGBT lawyers.

Away from the firm, John has been an active member of Canada’s Law Firm Diversity and Inclusion Network since its inception in 2012.  The Network’s 36 law firm members share ideas and work together to promote diversity and encourage a culture of inclusion in their firms and the legal professional generally.  In 2007 John founded and continues to lead exeQutive, whose mission is to promote, support and strengthen the careers of Toronto-based LGBT executives, professionals, and business and community leaders.   He has also participated on and Chaired LGBT involvement committees of the American Bar Association, and has been involved in political campaigns to increase awareness of LGBT issues and LGBT voter participation.

For the full 2017 OUTstanding Leading LGBT + Executives List head to the Financial Times.