Michigan Ross Alum Named #1 LGBTQ+ Ally in the C-Suite by Financial Times


Cathy Bessant, BBA ‘82, the chief operations and technology officer of Bank of America, was just listed on the Financial Times’ Top 50 LGBTQ+ Ally Executives––in the number one spot, no less.

In its special report on the modern workplace, the Times listed the most impactful LGBTQ leaders and allies. An independent judging panel scored nominees on the seniority and influence of their role, their impact on LGBTQ+ inclusion inside and outside the workplace, and their business achievements.  

Bessant’s business achievements are considerable. She was recently named the Most Powerful Woman in Banking for the second year in a row, and her 36-year career at BofA includes leading the launch of its first-ever AI assistant. She is also an active ally, serving on the BofA’s LGBT Executive Leadership Council, LGBT Ally Network, and Disability Advocacy Network.  

“I say it pretty simply: Diversity always wins,” Bessant said in the Fall 2017 issue of Dividend. “Achieving true diversity isn’t always easy, and isn’t always about representation and numbers. It requires thought, deliberateness, organizational and personal self-awareness, and inviolate commitment from top to bottom. It requires courageous conversation and change.”