Burberry ‘s Christopher Bailey and Richard Branson top business diversity award

Burberry Chief Executive Christopher Bailey (pictured) and Virgin 's Richard Branson have been recognised as pioneers of LGBT diversity in professional network OUTstanding 's second annual awards.

OUTstanding is a not-for-profit professional network for LGBT executives and their allies, and the awards are designed to raise the profile of LGBT business leaders.

Bailey who in 2014 became the first openly gay CEO of a FTSE 100 company said: "I am honoured to be chosen as the recipient of this year 's OUTstanding business leader award. At Burberry we pride ourselves on being an equal opportunities employer and we work hard to ensure that an individual 's talent and potential are the only criteria we look at when considering who should be working with us. "

Virgin CEO Richard Branson was named OUTstanding 's top straight ally. He said: "I 'm honoured and humbled to receive this OUTstanding Ally award because I passionately believe it 's everyone 's responsibility to create an environment where all people can thrive — not in spite of who they are but because of it. "

Bailey and Branson were joined on the lists by business leaders such as Antonio Simoes, the CEO of HSBC bank, and Stephen Clarke, the CEO of WH Smith, and straight allies Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, and Valerie Sorrano Keating, the CEO of Barclaycard.

OUTstanding founder Suki Sandhu said: "Our Top 100 list is bigger and better than before and yet again proves you can succeed professionally when you are authentic at work. Self-disclosure is best for employees and for the businesses that support them. Our hope is this list will inspire others to embrace who they are, paving the way for change in the corporate world and society as a whole.

"We need publically visible role models in business to show that the workplace welcomes all talented people, regardless of their backgrounds or identities. This is a human, rather than an LGBT issue which is why we 're also celebrating those trailblazers outside the LGBT community who promote the issue of diversity within their businesses. "

To see the full list go to www.out-standing.org/top100