5 Companies That Have Benefited From Strong LGBTQ+ Leadership
Pride Month is a great time to step back and reflect on progress made and the challenges that still need to be overcome.
One area where there has been progress made is in the number of companies that have been founded, led, or positively impacted by members of the LGBTQ+ community.
The list of companies positively impacted by LGBTQ+ leadership is growing by the year. Some of these leaders serve as a great example for other LGBTQ+ community members who dream of running their own successful business someday.
Here is a list of only a handful of companies that have benefited from LGBTQ+ leadership.
(Photo from Twitter.com)
When Apple CEO Tim Cook came out as gay in 2014, he became the first openly gay CEO of a Fortune 500 firm. In an open letter that was published in Bloomberg, Cook said he came out after receiving letters from children struggling with their sexual orientation and he wanted to inspire them.
Cook and his Apple team frequently march in the San Francisco Pride Parade and each year Apple produces a special Apple Watch with Pride bands.
Apple also provides financial support for LGBTQ+ advocacy organizations working to bring about positive change, including Encircle, Equality North Carolina, Equality Texas, Gender Spectrum, GLSEN, Human Rights Campaign, National Center for Transgender Equality, PFLAG National, SMYAL, and The Trevor Project in the U.S., as well as ILGA World internationally.
Apple has won a number of awards on employee review website Comparably, including for company culture, diversity and inclusion, and company leadership.
Interested in working at Apple? Check out Apple's current job openings.
(Photo from LinkedIn.com)
Reddit is a fast-growing company and Jen Wong is leading that effort. Wong has been Reddit's chief operating officer (COO) since 2018 and, under Wong's leadership, Reddit's company valuation has doubled to $6 billion and the company is aiming to raise another $500 million while doubling its staff to about 1,400 employees.
Prior to her time at Reddit, Wong served as president of digital and COO at Time Inc. Wong also served as chief business officer at POPSUGAR from 2011-2015.
Reddit has 10 employee resource groups (ERGs) to help support underrepresented employees. These groups lead several initiatives at Reddit including hosting an Ask Me Anything (AMA) series with public figures, facilitating community involvement, and developing educational resources and interactive programs for employees.
Interested in working at Reddit? Check out Reddit's current job openings.
(Photo from United Therapeutics' Facebook Page)
Martine Rothblatt founded United Therapeutics in 1996 after her daughter was diagnosed with pulmonary arterial hypertension, according to Forbes. Under Rothblatt's leadership, United Therapeutics has become a publicly-traded biotechnology company that has developed and sells five FDA-approved drugs to help people with the disease.
The company's ultimate goal is to one day cure pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), and the company is currently experimenting with pig cloning and genetic modification to create lung transplants the human body doesn't reject.
Prior to her time at United Therapeutics, Rothblatt co-founded Sirius Satellite Radio in 1990. Rothblatt came out as a transgender in 1994. She is an outspoken advocate for transgender rights and believes that it's her duty to help those that haven't been as fortunate as she has been.
Rothblatt and her team have built a strong company culture at United Therapeutics and have won awards from Fortune and the Washington Post for being a "best workplace." The company has also adopted a minimum "living wage" for all employees of approximately $75,000 per year
"We're even more proud of our low turnover compared to our industry peer group; at 6.3% it is about half of the median turnover of 12% for the biotech industry. In our most recent survey, results showed that 93% of our employees "have a high degree of trust, are likely to be retained, and are highly engaged," the company states on its website.
Interested in working at United Therapeutics? Check out United Therapeutics' current job openings.
(Photo from Prezi's Facebook Page)
Prezi was co-founded by Peter Arvai in Budapest, Hungary in 2009 and has become a top platform for those looking to build interactive virtual presentations.
Prezi is a global company and its presentation platform is currently used by companies of all sizes, including Salesforce, BMW, and IBM, to name a few businesses.
Arvai currently serves as executive chairman of the company and is credited for his role in building the world's largest library of publicly available presentations. Arvai became the first openly gay CEO in Hungary in 2015 when he came out because he wanted to set an example for gay people wanting to be entrepreneurs.
Arvai and Prezi employees annually participate in the Budapest Pride event and Arvai co-founded WeAreOpen, a nonprofit that helps companies with diversity and inclusion.
Interested in working at Prezi? Check out Prezi's current job openings.
(Photo from Grindr's Instagram)
Grindr is the world's largest social networking app for gay, bi, trans, and queer people. The company was founded by Joel Simkhai in 2009 as a dating app for men in the LGBTQ+ community. Simkhai told Business Insider that he founded the company out of "selfish desire" to meet more gay men. Simkhai served as Grindr's CEO until 2018.
While Grindr is a popular dating app, the company has evolved into a place where members of the LGBTQ+ community can come together and share content and ideas.
Grindr also has a program called Grindr for Equality where it educates users about local and international programs/initiatives that help the LGBTQ+ community.
"Grindr for Equality works toward a world that is safe, just, and inclusive for people of all sexual orientations and gender identities," the company states on its website.
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