Paul Corcoran

Leading with pride: A conversation with Agent’s CEO, Paul Corcoran

Paul Corcoran

This Pride Month, we sat down with our CEO and Founder, Paul Corcoran, for a conversation about his experiences as a LGBTQ+ business leader. 

Paul, it's fantastic to see you as a prominent LGBTQ+ leader in the UK business community. Looking back 18 years, what are the biggest differences you have seen for LGBTQ+ business leaders?

There has been a dramatic shift. When I started in this space, there were very few LGBTQ+ leaders. Now, we see much greater visibility, from leaders running businesses, to those sat in the boardrooms. 

One of the biggest changes has been around equity. Looking back, I witnessed lots of stereotypical, and even homophobic behaviour. What has been great since then has been seeing a continued investment in training, development and coaching for not only the LGBTQ+ community, but the entire workforce to help advance parity. 

We must continue to invest in and outside of work, so that no matter where you sit on that LGBTQ+ spectrum, the barriers that were previously there, aren’t anymore. 

More and more LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs are coming through and beginning their own journeys. This is fantastic for visibility and encouraging others to do the same. 

Looking ahead, what are your biggest hopes for the future of LGBTQ+ leadership in business? 

We need to make sure over the next 5-10 years that we are encouraging, supporting and investing in those sectors that aren’t as LGBTQ+ friendly as others. We need to be doing the work to ensure their workforce becomes more diverse and their workplaces are nourishing environments to be in.  

I would also like to see Pride being continually invested in around the world. There are countries that people like me can’t go to. Our relationships aren’t acknowledged. We can’t get married in these places. We can’t have children in these places.  

I hope to see a greater sense of international coordination, where we can learn from each other, and business leaders can come together across the world can come together to send a message of Pride. 

There will always be communities of people who want to share hate. There will always be business leaders who are afraid to share their true selves due to fear. We all have a collective role to combat that. 

How can business leaders ensure that their ED&I efforts are intersectional? How do you put this into practice at Agent? 

Self-awareness is key. We all have subconscious biases, but actively seeking out diverse experiences and perspectives is crucial.  

Listen, ask questions, and be open to learning. Good intentions matter – strive to be a better ally and champion for everyone, not just a single group. 

We are committed to LGBTQ+ inclusion in a lot of ways. First and foremost, we cultivate a diverse and welcoming team across all departments, working closely with clients who are LGBTQ+ advocates like MSB, Open Media, and the City Liverpool College to further our commitment. 

Internally, we prioritise education through our BABs (Briefings at Breakfast) sessions, where team members share personal experiences with the wider team. Beyond this, we actively use our platform to champion Pride throughout the year. This takes many forms, from supporting LGBTQ+ authors in our Christmas campaign, to participating in Pride marches and raising awareness.  

Ultimately, we believe in using our voice for good. 

Pride is a Call to Action 

Pride is about showing up and using our voices to advocate for change. We can’t ever become complacent.  

Let’s continue to demand progress, and work towards a more equitable future for the LGBTQ+ community.