Boston Spirit’s Top 25 LGBT Power Players of New England for 2015

Power Player 2015 BasilJohn Basile
Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, Fidelity Investments
Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer. Yes. That’s really the job title. It’s a position created by Fidelity Investments, and Bostonian John Basile has it on his nameplate. Today, John works tirelessly to create an inclusive workplace for all associates.
This includes across Fidelity’s U.S. and global locations, by influencing and engaging senior leaders on the business imperative of creating a more diverse and inclusive workplace.
“Although very honored to be included on the power list, I have never really thought of myself as a power player,” Basile demurs.
His success speaks for itself. Basile led the development of an inclusion program at Fidelity that has grown to more than 10,000 employees worldwide. In 1999, Basile was one of the founding members of Fidelity Pride to create awareness and understanding of the issues LGBT employees face in the workplace. Since Pride’s inception, Basile has helped LGBT employees find a safe, welcoming workplace environment where employees can succeed, thrive, bring their authentic selves to work every day, and be valued and respected. Fidelity Pride currently has close to 1,000 employee members across the globe.
Under Basile’s leadership, Fidelity has also developed partnerships and support for LGBT organizations nationally, including Fenway Health, Greater Boston PFLAG, The Point Foundation, and National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC). In 2007, Basile was a founding member of Pride in Our Workplace (PIOW), a network of LGBT Employee Resource Groups (ERG) from financial services companies, professional services firms, and other major corporations in the Greater Boston area. PIOW is a forum for professionals and executives to share inclusion best practices promote networking, professional development and build ERG and Business Resource Group capabilities.
In early 2014, Basile was recognized by the NGLCC as “Corporate Leader of the Year” for his efforts to promote diversity and inclusion in the financial services sector. Basile also currently serves on the Board of Directors for Fenway Health.
“I think the best way we can continue to make progress for the LGBT community is to focus on our youth,” says Basile. “Education and awareness is critical so the younger generation will experience a society where all have an opportunity to achieve and thrive.”
Power Player 2015 BechdelAllison Bechdel
Cartoonist and graphic memoirist
Anyone whose work appears in Slate, the New York Times Book Review, McSweeney’s, Granta, and The New Yorker must be a person of note, right? Such is the case of Alison Bechdel whose comic strip Dykes To Watch Out has become a counter cultural institution. For 25 years, from 1983 to 2008, the strip was syndicated in dozens of newspapers (including Boston’s in newsweekly), translated into several languages and collected in a series of award-winning books.
Utne magazine has listed DTWOF as “one of the greatest hits of the twentieth century.” And Comics Journal says, “Bechdel’s art distills the pleasures of Friends and The Nation; we recognize our world in it, with its sorrows and ironies.” In addition to her comic strip, Bechdel has also done exclusive work for a slew of publications, including Ms., Slate, The Advocate, and many other newspapers, websites, comic books, and ‘zines.
In 2006, Houghton Mifflin published her graphic memoir, Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic. The bestselling coming-of-age tale has been called a “mesmerizing feat of familial resurrection” and a “rare, prime example of why graphic novels have taken over the conversation about American literature.” It was the first and only work of its kind to be a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle award. And the book became an Off-Broadway musical that opened in 2013.
Described by The New Yorker as “an intellectual populist and a pioneer, as a woman, in a genre that is not only largely male but macho,” Bechdel is a true cultural phenom. Living near Burlington, Vermont, she told the magazine that “Glasses are my only jewelry, so I splurge on them.” The power of simplicity.