Steve Wardlaw, co-founder and chairman of Emerald Life – an insurance provider focused on addressing the needs of under-represented groups across the financial services sector, particularly the LGBT+ community and women – today announced his appointment as Member of the Advisory Board at Terrence Higgins Trust, the UK’s leading HIV and sexual health charity.
Acting as a sounding board for the CEO of Terrence Higgins Trust, the Advisory Board consists of a diverse group of long-term supporters and friends of the organisation. As a Member, Wardlaw will be responsible for drawing on his entrepreneurial and activist expertise to advise on strategic issues and actions across the charity.
The appointment follows Wardlaw’s long-term commitment to supporting people living with HIV and an enduring relationship with Terrence Higgins Trust. Having built an esteemed legal career as a partner at US law firm Baker Botts, Wardlaw launched Emerald Life in 2016 to disrupt the insurance sector by promoting equality in products and services for the LGBT+ community and women. From making no assumptions about gender, sexuality or family structure of its customers, to having a specific trans advisory group, to working with the Chartered Institute of Insurers on their women’s equality initiatives, Emerald’s products and customer experience are built for today’s diversity – not the outdated 1950’s ‘traditional family’ model used by many insurers.
Emerald Life has a number of UK-firsts in their products for customers who are living with HIV, such as removing the requirement for customers’ HIV status to be mentioned on their travel insurance documents. Wardlaw established a close relationship with the senior management team at the organisation when developing HIV-friendly policies at Emerald Life and is currently a donor to the charity. In 2019, Emerald Life joined Terrence Higgins Trust in a groundbreaking fundraising partnership which allows Emerald Life customers to donate 5% of their premium to the charity.
Steve Wardlaw, LGBT+ campaigner and chairman of Emerald Life, commented: “Supporting sexual health organisations has been a priority of mine for the past 30 years, starting out as a chef for an organisation that provided weekly meals to those affected by HIV/AIDS. After years of collaborating with Terrence Higgins Trust to fight the stigma around HIV, the opportunity to join their Advisory Board is no less than an honour. I am excited to continue our shared dedication to providing people living with HIV equal opportunities and the right to live free from discrimination.”
Ian Green, Chief Executive at Terrence Higgins Trust, commented: “Emerald Life has been essential in transforming the insurance sector into a more inclusive space for people living with HIV over the past few years. With his impressive experience as an entrepreneur and LGBT+ activist, Steve Wardlaw will be an invaluable voice on our Advisory Board. People living with HIV continue to face outdated stigmas and misconceptions and with Steve’s insight we hope to create a more fair and inclusive future.”