Gay people in business: out at the top | The Economist


ILGA will share articles from The Economist ahead of its Pride and Prejudice event throughout February 2016. Excerpts shared with kind permission of the publisher.

Published on The Economist on November 8, 2014

American politicians, television presenters and even clergy come out of the closet these days, it barely makes the headlines. But the corporate world is different: until Apple’s boss, Tim Cook, said on October 30th that he is gay, there had never been an openly homosexual CEO of a Fortune 500 company.

The crossing of this symbolic threshold demonstrates both how much conditions have improved for gay executives and how far boardrooms lag the rest of society. Optimists see Mr Cook as the tip of an iceberg: since the average CEO is over 50 years old, others who are gay have already spent decades in the closet and are unlikely to come out now. Their successors, coming from a generation that has found it ever easier to be “out” at work, will be more visible.

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ILGA supports Pride and Prejudice, a global initiative organised by The Economist Events that will catalyse fresh debate on the economic and human costs of discrimination against the LGBTI community. The 24-hour event taking place on March 3rd will begin in Hong Kong, continue in London and end in New York. Find out more about Pride and Prejudice here.