In US, a recent study shows lesbian make more money than straight people whereas gay men actually earn less than straight men. And when Apple CEO Tim Cook (whose name is on the list below) came out, it was news because no other Fortune 500 CEO had ever done that while still leading a company. But the good news is that there's no shortage of successful LGBTQ+ leaders in the business world.
This isn't an exhaustive or comprehensive list; it's more like a sampling. After all, it's difficult to accurately gauge the wealth of our top earners, thanks to investments and private assets (and the fact that few like to scream their worth from the rooftops).
Take, for instance, transgender entrepreneur, Martine Rothblatt, who's in charge of the $4.6 billion pharmaceutical company. She started but derives much of her compensation from stock options. Journalists like Anderson Cooper and entertainment figures like director Roland Emmerich don't have to worry about their next meal, but they don't make nearly as much money as those who founded ventures or built empires.
While anyone is eligible to be nominated for recognition via Outstanding’s website, honorees had to be working one to three levels from the chief executive. Outstanding’s judging panel says it was looking for role models “who are helping to make the workplace a more welcoming place”. LGBT activism outside of the workplace and recent business achievements were also taken into account.
The nonprofit says such recognition is critical given that closeted LGBT employees are 70 percent more likely to leave the company within the first three years, and 85 percent say non-inclusive workplaces have a negative impact on employees and can damage productivity, according to studies conducted by Outstanding or the third year going, a networking nonprofit named Outstanding and the Financial Times have partnered to recognize the 100 most powerful LGBT executives in the world.
This year marks the first time that a woman has topped the list: Inga Beale, the first female chief of the 327-year-old insurance market Lloyd’s of London -- who is also openly bisexual. (While Tim Cook may be the first executive who springs to mind in conversations about LGBT leadership, OUT standing said it was unable to secure his permission to be included.)
Rounding out the top five are: Alan Joyce, CEO of Australian airline Qantas; HSBC Bank CEO Antonio Simoes; United Therapeutics CEO (and Sirius radio founder) Martine Rothblatt, who is also the top trans leader on the list; and Claudia Brind-Woody, the vice president and managing director of IBM
LGBTQ+ Entrepreneurs In The World
Below are some of the LGBTs who really struck gold and, thankfully, many of them are not just wealthy scions, but philanthropic individuals who know the value of giving back.
1. Tim Cook (CEO of Apple)
Cook, 54, is the current CEO of Apple, having taken over the post in 2011 after Steve Jobs stepped down due to health concerns. In addition to his role at Apple, Cook also serves on the boards of directors of Nike Inc. and the National Football Foundation.
A strong proponent of equality, Cook sent a 2013 memo to his employees explaining that as an organization, Apple supports further federal government protections against LGBT discrimination.
“We know that equality and diversity make our company and our society stronger. So we’ve urged the U.S. Congress to support workplace protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.”, he wrote at the time.
Then in October of last year, Cook became the first CEO of a Fortune 500 company to acknowledge he’s gay. That company just had the most profitable quarter of any company in the history of the world.
2. Chris Hughes (Editor in Chief - The New Republic)
One of the co-founders of Facebook, Hughes left the company in 2007 to become director of online organizing for Barack Obama's first presidential campaign. In 2010, the entrepreneur founded Juno, a social network aimed at connecting users interested in social good and activism.
Currently, Hughes is the publisher and editor in chief of The New Republic, a progressive political commentary magazine.
Hughes married partner Sean Eldridge, president of investment fund Hudson River Ventures and LGBT equality advocate, in June 2012.
3. Peter Thiel (CEO of PayPal)
Best known for co-founding PayPal and working as its CEO, Thiel is also a successful venture capitalist and hedge fund manager. When eBay acquired PayPal in 2002, Thiel's stake was estimated around $55 million.
He also made the first outside investment in Facebook in 2004, securing a 10.2% stake for $500,000. As an openly gay advocate of LGBT causes, Thiel has contributed to the American Foundation for Equal Rights and GOProud.
4. Alan Joyce (CEO of Qantas)
The CEO Of Australian airline, Qantas, he rose to prominence in the position in 2008. Born in Ireland , he has prior worked for numerous position for Irish Airlines, Aer Lingues.
He has been an open gay throughout his whole life and has been in a relationship with Shane Lloyd since 1999. He has donated $1 million towards the campaign to achieve same-sex relationship. He has been named as a Companion of the Order of Australia 's highest civil honour , in the 2017 Queen's birthday honours list.
5. Martine Rothblatt (CEO of United Therapeutics Corporation)
She is currently the highest earning CEO in the biopharmaceutical industry. She is the founder and chairwoman of the board of United Therapeutics. She was also the CEO of GeoStar and the creator of SiriusXM Satellite Radio. She has come out as a Transgender in 1994 , at the age of 40 years. She is currently married to Bina Aspen and has 4 children now. She is an strong advocate of Transgender Rights
6. Nick Denton (British Internet Entrepreneur)
Nicholas Guido Anthony Denton is a British Internet Entrepreneur journalist and blogger. He is the founder and the former proprietor of the blog collective Gawker Media and was the managing editor of the New York based Gawker.com. Nick is open about his sexuality and is married to his partner, Derrence Washington.
It doesn't matter which sexuality one belongs to in order to achieve success. If one is hardworking and consistent about its work. These people are example that if one is determined ,then nothing is an obstacle.
Comment below about your favorite LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs in the comment section.