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Kelly Abcarian Named a Top Global LGBT+ Ally

3 minute read | October 2019

Kelly Abcarian, General Manager of our Video Advanced Advertising group, was recently named to the OUTstanding 50 Ally Executives List by INvolve, a U.K.-based organization that advocates for diversity and inclusion in the workplace. She ranks No. 33 on the list. In her role as an executive sponsor of Nielsen PRIDE, our LBGT+ and allies employee resource group (ERG), Kelly has been integral in evolving our company LGBT+ policies and practices, as well as the inclusivity of our measurement products.

“Diversity & Inclusion is essential to everything that we do at Nielsen. When we operate in a culture that is diverse and inclusive, innovation flourishes, our clients win and employees are engaged and collaborate to bring the best that Nielsen can offer to the communities we measure,” said David Kenny, Nielsen’s CEO and Chief Diversity Officer. “Kelly’s dedication to LGBT+ policies, practices and allyship has been essential to driving our internal culture forward, developing products that are representative of the marketplace and demonstrating the value of Diversity & Inclusion in the workplace. No one is more deserving of this award than Kelly.”

Through her allyship, Kelly has fostered the creation of a more inclusive environment for our LGBT+-identifying associates and allies. Under her leadership, PRIDE’s membership has grown more than 100% and has increased its presence from eight U.S.-based chapters to 24 chapters in 17 countries. Additionally, she spearheaded a birth/adoption policy for same-sex couples and a 12-week paid parental leave for all Nielsen associates. 

Kelly’s efforts, along with those of our dedicated PRIDE associates, have been recognized externally. For the sixth straight year, we earned a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index. We’ve also been named to DiversityInc’s list of Top Companies for LGBT Employees for the second consecutive year. With Kelly’s support, all of our associates are empowered to bring their whole selves to work, which enables us to continue to create positive business impact for ourselves and our clients.

“Companies with a global reach like Nielsen have a responsibility to be leaders for LGBT+ inclusion,” said Kelly. “While I’m honored to receive this recognition, it’s clear to me that having a diverse and inclusive workforce, workplace policies and products are essential for our associates, company and clients. I will continue to leverage my role in the company and as an industry leader to be an ally of the LGBT+ community, a champion of people of diverse backgrounds and an advocate for representation in media.”

Thanks to the support of leaders like Kelly and the sense of community our ERGs provide, our employees are inspired to expand our work around diversity and inclusion to drive greater value for our business. In fact, we recently enhanced our national TV panel to better account for same gender spouse and partner households, thanks to a highly collaborative effort among our data science, product leadership and ERG teams. This is an important advancement in our quest to provide the most inclusive measurement possible. We are the source of truth in the media industry, and this panel enhancement is an important step toward helping our clients to unlock the highly engaged LGBT+ audience.  

Founder & CEO of INvolve, Suki Sandhu OBE, added, “We’re delighted to be celebrating another fantastic group of people from across the globe who are collectively driving cultural change and creating workplaces where everyone can succeed. LGBT+ discrimination is still prevalent in a lot of the world’s biggest economies, but highlighting the work of successful role models changes people’s perceptions. They demonstrate that you can be successful and out at work, but most importantly inspire the next generation of LGBT+ leaders.”