Although while more businesses are publicly declaring their support for LGBT(Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) rights and inclusive workplaces, openly homosexual CEOs are still uncommon in the corporate world. Despite the fact that many LGBTQ people executives still keep their personal affairs private, one businessman on this list projected that more openly gay men and lesbian women will eventually run more corporations.
The majority of corporate boardrooms are heterosexual and cisgender, but this is shifting. CEOs that identify as openly LGBTQ+ are promoting advantages and equal protection for LGBTQ+ workers. The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) reports that 83% of Fortune 500 firms “prohibit discrimination based on gender identity, up from just three in 2000,” and 91% of Fortune 500 corporations “prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.”
Although the LGBTQ+( Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning) community still faces discrimination and obstacles in many areas, these trailblazers have proven that sexual orientation and gender identity should never be barriers to success. By sharing their stories, we hope to inspire and empower other members of the LGBTQ+ community to pursue their dreams and achieve their goals.
So join me as we delve into the inspiring stories of these famous gays and lesbian business people and celebrate their achievements and contributions to their industries and society as a whole.
10 Famous LGBTQ people in business that will inspire you
1. Tim Cook
Tim Cook is one of the most famous gay business people in the world. Cook is the CEO of Apple, one of the largest and most successful technology companies in the world. He became the CEO of Apple in 2011, succeeding the legendary Steve Jobs.
Cook was born in Alabama in 1960 and grew up in a conservative Baptist family. He graduated from Auburn University with a degree in industrial engineering and went on to earn an MBA from Duke University. After graduation, Cook worked for several technology companies, including IBM and Compaq, before joining Apple in 1998.
Cook’s sexual orientation became public knowledge in 2014 when he wrote an op-ed for Bloomberg Business-week in which he stated, “I’m proud to be gay, and I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me.”
Since coming out, Cook has been a vocal advocate for LGBTQ+ rights, both within and outside of Apple. Under his leadership, Apple has been a strong supporter of LGBTQ+ rights, including sponsoring pride events and donating to LGBTQ+ organizations.
In addition to his work at Apple, Cook serves on the boards of several organizations, including the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights and the National Football Foundation. He has also been recognized for his leadership and advocacy, receiving numerous awards and honors, including the Human Rights Campaign’s Visibility Award in 2015.
2. Jeffrey Gennette
Jeffrey Gennette is another prominent gay business person who has made a name for himself in the world of retail. He is currently the CEO of Macy’s, one of the largest department store chains in the United States.
Gennette was born in San Diego, California, in 1961. He began his career in retail at Macy’s in 1983 as an executive trainee. He worked his way up through the company, holding various positions in merchandising, store management, and operations.
In 2017, Gennette was appointed CEO of Macy’s, making him the first openly gay CEO of a major retail company. He has been a strong advocate for LGBTQ+ rights throughout his career, both inside and outside of the workplace.
Under Gennette’s leadership, Macy’s has taken a number of steps to support the people of LGBTQ+ community. The company has sponsored pride events, including the annual New York City Pride March, and has launched initiatives aimed at promoting diversity and inclusion within the company.
Gennette has been recognized for his leadership and advocacy, receiving numerous awards and honours, including being named to the outstanding 50 LGBT+ Business Leaders list in 2018 and 2019. He has also served on the boards of several organizations, including the National Retail Federation and the Ralph Lauren Corporation.
3. Anne Richards
Anne Richards is a well-known lesbian business person who has made a name for herself in the financial industry. She is currently the CEO of Fidelity Investments, one of the largest investment management companies in the world.
Richards was born in London, England, in 1964. She began her career in finance at Arthur Andersen before moving on to work at a number of other financial firms, including JP Morgan and Merrill Lynch.
In 2008, Richards joined Fidelity Investments as Chief Investment Officer for Fixed Income. She was later appointed CEO of Fidelity International before taking on the role of CEO of Fidelity Investments in 2020.
Throughout her career, Richards has been a strong advocate for diversity and inclusion in the workplace. As an openly lesbian business person, she has been a role model and mentor for other LGBTQ+ professionals in the financial industry and beyond.
Under Richards’ leadership, Fidelity Investments has been recognized as a leader in promoting LGBTQ+ rights and equality in the workplace. The company has earned a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index for several years in a row and has been named one of the Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Equality.
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4. Inga Beale
Inga Beale is a well-known individual as one of the most famous lesbians business leaders in the insurance sector who has earned this reputation via a long and devoted career. Her rise eventually led her to become the CEO of Lloyd’s of London in 2013 – the first woman to hold that position in the company’s 327-year history.
Initially working for Prudential Assurance Company in London for 14 years as an underwriter, she then rose through the ranks of leadership positions at General Electric Insurance Solutions and a number of other businesses.
Beale, who is openly bisexual, then managed the introduction of new LGBT+ friendly policies, including an internal LGBT+ employee-resource group, and led the modernization and digitization of Loyd’s. After gathering recommendations from her colleagues, she was the first openly bisexual woman to place top on the OUTstanding & Financial Times Leading LGBT executive power list in 2015.
In addition to all of these accomplishments, the Queen honoured her activism and contributions to the economy by naming her Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2017.
Beale resigned as CEO in 2017 but has persisted in advocating for increased inclusion and diversity. Beale encouraged vigilance while speaking favourably about global progress in advancing LGBT+ rights in an interview with Finance Magnates.
5. Moriaki Kida
Mori is a fierce supporter of an inclusive workplace environment where everyone can be themselves. Mori believes that inclusion and diversity of viewpoints are essential for fostering creativity and delivering the best solutions to EY customers for the most challenging business problems. As a global sponsor of Unity, the LGBT+ and ally employee group at EY, Mori assisted in the network’s expansion into Japan and Taiwan and is enhancing EY’s LGBT+ employee-friendly policies.
Mori aggressively promotes marriage equality, non-discrimination laws, and childcare advantages for LGBT+ persons as the only out homosexual C-suite executive in the area. He has discussed issues with Audrey Tang, Taiwan’s digital minister, throughout the course of the past year and made media appearances in his capacity as an advocate.
Mori chairs EY’s global LGBT+ steering committee and serves on the social equity taskforce and global diversity and inclusion steering committee.
6. Martine Rothblatt
She is one of the most famous lesbians of the business world and also being an American entrepreneur, author, and lawyer. She was born on April 10, 1954, in Chicago, Illinois. Rothblatt is the founder of SiriusXM Satellite Radio and the creator of the first FDA-approved drug to treat pulmonary arterial hypertension.
Rothblatt graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) with a degree in Communications Studies, and later obtained a law degree from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law. She also earned a PhD in Medical Ethics from the Royal London School of Medicine and Dentistry.
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In addition to her entrepreneurial ventures, Rothblatt is also known for her advocacy work on transgender rights and human rights. She is a transgender woman herself and has been a prominent voice in the LGBTQ+ community. She has also written several books, including “The Apartheid of Sex” and “From Transgender to Transhuman: A Manifesto for the Future of Humanity.”
Rothblatt’s achievements in the fields of business, medicine, and advocacy have earned her numerous awards and recognitions, including being named one of Time Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the World” in 2015.
7. Suzanne Timmons
As the executive sponsor site lead for Pride at Google UK in London, Suzanne oversees the internal tech support staff for the company. A learning and development junior talent programme that acts as a career-launching conduit and has attained unprecedented representation levels in tech staffs half of Suzanne’s organisation.
At Google, Suzanne is still working to further the company’s culture, diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives.
In her capacity as Executive Sponsor of the Pride at Google UK ERG, Suzanne offers direction and strategic planning to the intersectional team to ensure that Google recruits, develops, and integrates LGBTQ+ Googlers.
She is the founder and co-lead of the UK Tech Women’s Organizations and took part in an EMEA-wide film presenting ideas on goals for equality and allyship for the LGBTQ+ and Black Googlers. Externally, Suzanne is a fervent supporter of ELOP, a nonprofit organisation that offers LGBTQ+ people individuals inexpensive health and wellbeing services provided by LGBTQ+ professionals.
8. Daniel Gerring
Daniel is the chair of the LGBT+ group at Travers Smith LLP, a founding member of the D&I Board, and the head of the Retirement Benefits Committee. In addition to significantly raising the company’s ranking in Stonewall’s Workplace Equality Index, Daniel, the firm’s most senior out LGBTQ+ people executive, also champions LGBT+ and broader inclusion by leading sessions on the intersections of LGBT+ with refugees, mental health, faith, professional development, international human rights, homelessness, and disclosure.
He has backed the implementation of many laws that are more inclusive, such as paid leave for all surrogates. In addition to serving on several other non-profit boards, Daniel is the Chair of Trustees for Just Like Us, an organisation that supports young LGBT+ persons.
A number of LGBTQ+ people initiatives have received funding from him as well as additional support, including the creation of a scholarship for a Doctorate in LGBT+ studies at Cambridge University and various efforts with the non-profit GiveOut.
9. Daisy Reeves
As the LGBT+ Champion for BCLP, Daisy promotes the LGBT+ agenda in 30 offices around the world. Under her direction, BCLP became a Top Trans Employer in 2019, reached Stonewall’s Top Global Employer list for 2020, and ranked second in their Workplace Equality Index.
With an emphasis on affinity rather than hierarchy, Daisy managed the development of a global LGBT+ group at BCLP this year. Since the global allies group’s launch in 2018, more than one-third of BCLP’s global workforce is made up of LGBT+ allies. In order to ensure equitable labour allocations among its varied communities, including its women’s, people of color’s, and LGBTQ+ populations, the company now examines “hours gap” reports.
10. Brent Miller
Brent is P&G’s Senior Director for LBGT+ Equality. He has been instrumental in using the company’s voice to accurately portray LGBTQ+ people as well as to take a stand and increase visibility through LGBT+ stories, such as through a series of award-winning documentaries with CNN’s Great Big Story that centre on P&G’s 30-year journey towards embracing LGBT+ equality.
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Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs):
Who is the Fortune 500’s LGBTQ CEO?
The first out homosexual woman to lead a Fortune 500 company is Beth Ford, who has been the CEO of Land O’Lakes since August 1, 2018.
An LGBT-owned business is what?
Criteria for LGBT-Owned Business Enterprises
A business is considered to be LGBT-owned if at least 51 percent of its ownership, management, and control are held by LGBT individuals who are either U.S. citizens or authorised permanent residents. operates independently of all non-LGBT commercial enterprises.
- Diversity creates creativity and innovation, which is what drives company success.
- Successful LGBTQ leaders place a high value on diversity, fostering environments where everyone may succeed.
- Embracing one’s individuality and conquering hardship can be effective tools for both personal and professional progress. This is what is meant by authenticity and resilience.