Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple is the only one of top level of Executives of top 500 US companies who is openly gay. “Proud to be gay” was what Tim declared this week. This declaration has been one of the most important moments for the Gay community.
Members who organized the campaign state that they know many other top level executives who are gay, but are reluctant to declare that openly. However, they hope that this declaration from Cook would inspire them to reveal themselves and be proud to belong in the gay community.
Lord Brownie, who resigned as a CEO of Bp in late 2007, says that the main reason why most other CEOs are reluctant to declare their sexuality is the changing times. Likewise Cook, he also declared about a relation he shared with a man that lasted for 4 years as his partner was not so faithful.
Whatsoever, Brownie says in an interview organized by BBC earlier this year, “while I was studying in University, people from gay community who did homosexual acts, were put into prison for a long time.” He goes on to state that this might be the very reason why renowned CEOs are afraid to declare their sexual preference.
As Mr. Suki Sandhu word goes, “views of our society has changed substantially now, which has occurred in the past 10 years. He is the founder of professional network Outstanding.
Brownie also adds that Mr. Cook is an important role model for both the gay community and for those CEOs that are afraid of coming out in light from the dark and reveal their sexuality.
The second reason for declaring their gay sexuality might be the secrecy of years and even decades that most elderly Executives have retained. People in their ages of 50-60 might have been keeping their sexuality hidden from their colleagues. This lengthy secret is now proving to be a great barrier for them to declare their sexual preferences. Lord Brownie also adds that when he came out, he knew his life has become a public property. Since he was a leader of a big organization, he had to keep his secrets and privacy aside. This is the case for most of the leaders of an organization nowadays.
The other reason behind this reluctance could be commercial concerns. 78 countries are listed by The International Lesbian, Bisexual, Intersex and Trans, Gay Association to have criminal laws against activities of sexuality by the different groups it represents.
The second concern could be Career Prospects. Justin Nelson, president and co-founder of US National Lesbian and Gay Chamber of Commerce, says that over three fourth of US’ 500 largest companies have policies of non-discrimination of barring firing of people just because they are lesbian and gay.
RUTH HUNT, CEO for Stonewall, says that banks and law firms are two of those organizations that have made recent developments regarding the above mentioned issue.
Mr. Sandhu laments that, “unfortunately and depressingly, graduates who are gay openly at their respective Universities are rapidly enclosing them in a nutshell as today’s business world is being a little harsh on their sexual orientation.”