LGBTQ AT WORK

TRAILBLAZERS LEADING THE WAY

By unleashing the full potential of the LGBTQ community in the workplace.  We all thrive when people of talent are  allowed to be their authentic selves and pursue success which then benefits everyone through the tax system. But where potential can be stunted where individuals feel they have to hide themselves and their talents because they do not feel comfortable is at the expense of us all.

This is most certainly the case in engineering a 2015 report by InterEngineering and Conservative MP Alec Shelbrooke found that homophobia was costing the British economy upwards of £11.2 billion annually,

“53% of workers in the engineering sector were not open about their sexuality on the job, compared to 34% in the general workforce.  It’s estimated that remaining in the closet at work can reduce an individual’s productivity by 30%.”

The report was praised by former BP CEO Lord Browne who himself had remained in the closet for much of his corporate career,  in commending the report Browne said: “Hiding my sexuality made me deeply unhappy, and I was a more reserved leader as a result.”  He further stated that the report would: “Help our engineering industry become a champion of LGBT inclusion and an even greater competitive force as a result.”

 

Conservative MP: Alec Shelbrooke

“Help our engineering industry become a champion of LGBT inclusion and an even greater competitive force as a result.”

_Former BP CEO: Lord Browne

 

Two years earlier a broader economic study about the cost of homophobia was conducted in US by Human Rights Foundation Campaign. Entitled “The Cost of the Closet” the study found that: “despite a changing social and legal landscape for LGBTQ people, still over half (53%) of LGBTQ workers nationwide hide who they are at work”.

 

The report goes on to talk about work place support practices that fall short because they have not been able to change a culture that has led to LGBTQ staff members not feeling completely comfortable at work.  This has its cost to business in terms of talent drain and subsequent recruitment.  In the UK organisations such as Stonewall are making great strides to help more work places become environments where LGBTQ staff can thrive as their authentic selves.  Some of their suggestions include:

 

1. Start an on-going programme of training for all staff on the importance of treating lesbian, gay and bisexual people with respect and the organisation’s policies on bullying and harassment.

 

2.  Make sure all new staff are required to undertake this training within a set period.

 

3.  Hold line managers accountable for their staff completing the training satisfactorily.

 

4.  Deliver specific training to line managers to help them deliver the organisation’s

policies equally regardless of sexual orientation. Also provide them training on how to

support lesbian, gay and bisexual staff.

 

5.  Encourage your staff to stand up and tackle homophobic bullying or offensive

behaviour when they witness it.

 

As effective as Stonewall and other LGBTQ activist groups have been, there is still some way to go in that there are still large sectors of society who view the world through a heterosexual lens and still have a degree of ignorance or even possibly homophobia.  The problem is self-perpetuating, nobody wants to come out because of the fear of prejudice and then those who might come out see they do not have enough role models so feel less inclined to come out.

For example until Apple chief Tim Cook came out in 2014, there were no openly gay Fortune 500 CEOs, given that broad estimates are that between 5 per cent and 10 per cent of people are LGBTQ, this is a significant underrepresentation in the world of big business. Yes businesses are making progress but this does tend to vary according to industry sector, considering how much impact the tech industry has in shaping consumer behaviour, the lack of diversity in terms of sexuality, gender and race is a real issue for this machismo community of outliers. I would argue this has created a one dimensional combative culture within the sector both in terms of the entrepreneurs and venture capital investors, this harsh can be off putting for those who do not thrive in that sort of environment.

 

Pay Pal co-founder and Trump advisor Peter Thiel is one of the few openly gay men to make it into the tech “rock star” class, Thiel is a triple anomaly, he is a gay man in tech, an open Republican in tech and openly gay Republican, this is the man who announced at the 2016 Republican convention that he was: “Proud to be gay.” Politics aside, Thiel’s honesty is exactly the kind of bravery we need to see more of.

 

Outside the home at work many sectors especially those considered the preserve of the alpha males have been hostile to the inclusion of Gay and Lesbian people, such as the military, the police, the fire service and sports and then of course professions of trust such as educators and politics. Tim Cook maybe the only openly gay Fortune 500 CEO, well things are just as bleak here, between 2014-2016 Christopher Bailey was the only openly gay CEO of a FTSE 100, as both CEO and Creative Director of Burberry one Britain’s leading heritage brands, Bailey was in the unique position of being a proud gay man in charge.

 

The City still has long way to go in terms of LBGTQ equality, though for some like Antonio Simeos - Chief Executive HSBC Bank plc, being a gay man in the city has been an added bonus (no pun intended), Simeos believes his openness about his sexuality has helped his career and made him:


“A more authentic person, better able to empathise, and with more emotional intelligence. If I wasn’t gay, probably I wouldn’t be CEO of the bank.”


He also think that gay people in senior position have a: “personal duty at the professional level to come out of the closet. If we want to live in a true meritocracy, the only thing that should matter is what you can do and not what you are.”

 

Claire Eastburn is the Director & Global Head of Operational Regulatory Change at Citigroup, Eastburn is one of the few openly lesbian women in the industry and has lead that charge for the improved inclusion of LGTBQ talent at Citi through "Pride" -  the company's in-house LGBTQ network .

Hedgefund supremo Pierre LaGrange is also another case of a leading person in finance who is proudly and openly gay, his openness means that a new generation of gay men and women in finance can look to him as role model and be themselves from the outset of their careers.

 

 

 

Apple CEO: Tim Cook

PayPal Co-Founder and Advisor to President Trump: Peter Thiel

Burberry Creative Director: Christopher Bailey

Cheif Excutive HSBC Bank PLC: Antonio Simeos

Director & Global Head of Operational Regulatory Change at Citigroup: Claire Eastburn

Co-Founder GLG and Chairman of

Huntsman of Savile Row: Pierre LaGrange

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For example until Apple chief Tim Cook came out in 2014, there were no openly gay Fortune 500 CEOs, given that broad estimates are that between 5 per cent and 10 per cent of people are LGBTQ, this is a significant underrepresentation in the world of big business. Yes businesses are making progress but this does tend to vary according to industry sector, considering how much impact the tech industry has in shaping consumer behaviour, the lack of diversity in terms of sexuality, gender and race is a real issue for this machismo community of outliers. I would argue this has created a one dimensional combative culture within the sector both in terms of the entrepreneurs and venture capital investors, this harsh can be off putting for those who do not thrive in that sort of environment.

Pay Pal co-founder and Trump advisor Peter Thiel is one of the few openly gay men to make it into the tech “rock star” class, Thiel is a triple anomaly, he is a gay man in tech, an open Republican in tech and openly gay Republican, this is the man who announced at the 2016 Republican convention that he was: “Proud to be gay.” Politics aside, Thiel’s honesty is exactly the kind of bravery we need to see more of.

Outside the home at work many sectors especially those considered the preserve of the alpha males have been hostile to the inclusion of Gay and Lesbian people, such as the military, the police, the fire service and sports and then of course professions of trust such as educators and politics. Tim Cook maybe the only openly gay Fortune 500 CEO, well things are just as bleak here, between 2014-2016 Christopher Bailey was the only openly gay CEO of a FTSE 100, as both CEO and Creative Director of Burberry one Britain’s leading heritage brands, Bailey was in the unique position of being a proud gay man in charge.

The City still has long way to go in terms of LBGTQ equality, though for some like Antonio Simeos - Chief Executive HSBC Bank plc, being a gay man in the city has been an added bonus (no pun intended), Simeos believes his openness about his sexuality has helped his career and made him:


“A more authentic person, better able to empathise, and with more emotional intelligence. If I wasn’t gay, probably I wouldn’t be CEO of the bank.”


He also think that gay people in senior position have a: “personal duty at the professional level to come out of the closet. If we want to live in a true meritocracy, the only thing that should matter is what you can do and not what you are.”

Claire Eastburn is the Director & Global Head of Operational Regulatory Change at Citigroup, Eastburn is one of the few openly lesbian women in the industry and has lead that charge for the improved inclusion of LGTBQ talent at Citi through "Pride" -  the company's in-house LGBTQ network .

Co-Founder GLG and Chairman of
Huntsman of Savile Row: Pierre LaGrange

Hedgefund supremo Pierre LaGrange is also another case of a leading person in finance who is proudly and openly gay, his openness means that a new generation of gay men and women in finance can look to him as role model and be themselves from the outset of their careers.

Co-Founder GLG and Chairman of

Huntsman of Savile Row: Pierre LaGrange

Hedgefund supremo Pierre LaGrange is also another case of a leading person in finance who is proudly and openly gay, his openness means that a new generation of gay men and women in finance can look to him as role model and be themselves from the outset of their careers.

DIVERSIFY ON SALE NOW AT

Published by

DIVERSIFY ON SALE NOW AT

Published by

Join The Movement

Co-Founder GLG and Chairman of

Huntsman of Savile Row: Pierre LaGrange

Hedgefund supremo Pierre LaGrange is also another case of a leading person in finance who is proudly and openly gay, his openness means that a new generation of gay men and women in finance can look to him as role model and be themselves from the outset of their careers.

DIVERSIFY ON SALE NOW AT