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The LGBTQ community has been fighting for the right to access equal opportunities at the workplace for years. The community has experienced tremendous success in its push for equality. In the past, many LGBTQ employees would not disclose their sexual orientation at the workplace to avoid discrimination. Some employers would dismiss job applications from potential employees who were openly part of the LGBTQ community. Now though, many LGBTQ employees are confident enough to talk about their sexuality. Some business executives and CEOs have also opened up about their sexuality and continued to lead their organizations. Some of the most powerful LGBTQ CEOs are discussed below.


1. Tim Cook

Tim Cook became popular after taking over as the CEO of Apple in 2011. Cook joined the organization in 1998 and served as the vice president and as chief operating officer of the supplier and strategic reseller relations in the company. Tim Cook has also worked as one of the top executives at Intelligent Electronics, IBM, and Compaq. He is one of the CEOs that have graduated from MBA schools and become influential in their fields.



Claudia Brind-Woody

2. Claudia Brind-Woody

Brind-Woody has served as the managing director and vice president of IBM, which is one of the largest companies in the world. She has been outspoken about her support for the LGBT community and serves as the co-chair of the LGBT Executive Task Force at IBM. She has started various initiatives to advocate for new practices in corporations that support LGBTQ employees and executives.


3. Christopher Bailey

Bailey has served as the chief executive officer and as the chief creative at Burberry. The British brand employs more than 11,000 employees. Bailey has won several awards in his fashion career, including the Menswear Designer of the Year. He openly supports the rights and equality of the LGBT community.


Liz Bingham

Liz Bingham (Photo credit: PBS)

4. Liz Bingham

Bingham serves as the most senior LGBTQ firm partner in EY, a law firm is based in the UK and Ireland. Bingham uses her position and influence to advocate for the rights of her community, in and out of her workplace. She received an OBE for promoting LGBTQ equality at the firm.


5. Alex Schultz

Business executives complete MBA courses to improve their effectiveness. However, LGBTQ executives have had to fight for their rights to remain influential and relevant in their fields. Schultz heads the growth department at Facebook. He is also an active member of the LGBT employee-resource group within the organization.


6. Arjan Dijk

Dijk is the marketing executive officer at Google and a global sponsor of the company’s employee-resource group for LGBT staff. He is among the most influential advocates for the rights of LGBT community in the world


7. Inga Beale

Beale is the CEO of Lloyds in London, which is one of the top insurance companies in the UK. Beale is openly bisexual and is a powerful advocate for the rights of the LGBTQ community.


The CEOs and top business executives outlined above have used their positions of influence to lobby for equality and the rights of LGBT community. Some have become mentors to their LGBT juniors at the workplace. Consequently, many LGBT employees have gained the courage to open up about their sexuality in and out of the workplace.


Maggie Hammond is a retired nurse and freelance writer, exploring and writing in the U.S. in retirement. An advocate for public health and nursing qualifications, she feels passionate about raising awareness of the current strain on public health organizations.