This week, legendary sports icon and human rights advocate, Billie Jean King gathered leaders across sectors to elevate the conversation on inclusive leadership at the second annual Billie Jean King Leadership Initiative (BJKLI) Symposium.

The 2nd Annual BJKLI Gala honored actress, singer and songwriter, Cyndi Lauper and United Therapeutics CEO and Founder of Sirius Radio, Dr. Martine Rothblatt, with the 2015 “Inspiring Leader” Award. The event featured performances by Tony Award winning star of Kinky Boots Billy Porter and Emmy Nominated Star of The Good Wife Alan Cumming.

“I am honored to present this year’s “Inspiring Leader” Awards to Cyndi Lauper and Dr. Martine Rothblatt for their fearless and inclusive leadership in the public service and corporate realms," said King. “Both Cyndi and Martine lead by example and they have made significant strides in recognizing and rewarding talent in the workplace and beyond.”

BJKLI was founded in 2014 by King and her partner Ilana Kloss, in partnership with Teneo, to move the needle on issues impacting diversity and inclusion by inspiring future leaders and motivating those in positions of power to promote diverse identities and challenge the status quo.

“Teneo understands that with the dramatic demographic shifts across the globe, the need for increased cultural awareness is driving a more focused view of diversity and inclusion,” said Kim Davis, Head of Inclusive Leadership, Teneo and Interim President, BJKLI. “With numbers we get the attention of leaders and managers. With conversation we get the resilience and courage to lead change.”

At the afternoon Symposium, sponsored and hosted by Goldman Sachs, Christiane Amanpour, Chief International Correspondent for CNN, delivered the keynote. Robin Roberts, host of ABC’s Good Morning America and CEO of POW! Strategies, Pat Mitchell were among the program’s other speakers. Throughout the day, all those gathered were challenged to have an honest conversation about inclusion practices at their respective organizations and to take away new perspectives to be catalysts for change.

“We are proud to sponsor and host this year’s Billie Jean King Leadership Initiative Symposium,” said Pablo Salame, global co-head of the Securities Division at Goldman Sachs and member of the Advisory Board of the Initiative. “The organization’s goal to achieve inclusive leadership is vital to creating more effective and productive workplace environments. Billie Jean King’s leadership and passion inspires us to do our part to help advance BJKLI’s mission.”

“Across the globe there is a tremendous amount of untapped human potential due, in many instances, to individuals not bringing their true selves to the workplace,” said King. “We need leaders – in both the public and private sectors – to look at differences in the workplace through a lens where individuals are embraced for their unique contributions rather than judged, discounted or alienated for what makes them different.”

In addition to the Symposium and Gala, the Initiative has continued a research collaboration with Deloitte LLP and published a body of research in May 2015, titled, “The Radical Transformation of Diversity and Inclusion: The Millennial Influence.” This publication analyzes multi-generational viewpoints on diversity and inclusion.

Members of the Billie Jean King Leadership Initiative Advisory Board include: Paul Keary, Vice Chair, Co-Founder and COO of Teneo Holdings; Pablo Salame, Global Co-Head, Securities Division, Goldman Sachs; Christiane Amanpour, Chief International Correspondent, CNN; Jason Collins, Former NBA Player and Civil Rights Advocate; David Furnish, Chairman, Elton John AIDS Foundation and CEO, Rocket Entertainment; Margo Georgiadis, President of Google Americas; Maritza Gomez-Montiel, Former Vice Chairman and Deputy CEO of Deloitte; Sir Elton John; Jonathan Kraft, President, The Kraft Group; Robert McCann, Chairman, UBS Group Americas; Pat Mitchell, Founder and CEO, POW! Strategies; Robin Roberts, Anchor, ABC’s Good Morning America; Andy Roddick, U.S. Open Champion; and Michael Strautmanis, VP of Civic Engagement for the Obama Foundation.

For more information on the Billie Jean King Leadership Initiative, visit BJKLI.org.

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