The LGBT Leaders of Tech

Written by Izzy McLean-Thorne on 26/02/2021

The LGBT Leaders of Tech

LGBT+ History month aims to promote equality and diversity for the public. This is an informative and celebratory month, to educate all our prejudice and make sure the LGBT+ community is visible. As the fight for true equality within the industry continues, we wanted to highlight key tech leaders and role models from this community.

Tim Cook (CEO of Apple)

Only seven years ago, in 2014, Tim Cook became the first CEO of a major fortune top 500 company to come out as gay. Cook had been CEO of Apple for three years at this point and in previous interviews has said part of this decision was due to receiving letters from children who had been bullied for their sexual orientation. Even though Cook is a private person, he decided it was ultimately ‘selfish’ to keep his identity to himself.

Claudia Brind-Woody (VP of IBM)

Known as one of the most powerful gay women in business, Claudia Brind-Woody became Vice President at IBM having worked there since the ‘90s. Coming out as a lesbian is something that Claudia is proud of and has contributed to many diversity in the workplace programmes and supported many LGBT+ networks. She has helped LGBT+ diversity in business which has led to IBM sponsoring over 40 diversity networks across 30 countries. Claudia is also a board member of Out & Equal which is a group that campaigns for workplace equality.

Juergen Maier (CEO of Siemens UK )

Until 2019, Juergen Maier held the position of CEO and is seen as one of the LGBT leaders in tech. Juergen was worried that his sexual orientation would cause him problems in his career so remained secretive. However, in recent years he has spoken out about his worries and struggles as a gay man and now speaks against homophobia in the workplace. Maier believes that by promoting diversity, he has helped to make women, the LGBT+ community as well as other under-represented communities feel that they can bring their whole self to work.

Hayley Sudbury (Founder and CEO of Werkin)

In 2016, Hayley Sudbury ventured away from the financial services to start up her own business – Werkin. Being a lesbian herself, Werkin was born so that businesses could enhance the visibility of diverse talents. Sudbury is now a mentor for young people perusing STEM careers and has been recognised in the FT Outstanding Top 100 LGBT Executives.

 

It has been found that a lot of LGBT+ people who want to work in tech are often put off by fears of discrimination, which further emphasises the importance of visible role models.  Influential role models that help encourage and inspire the next generation of tech professionals is vital for the growth of the technology industry. Amplifying the voices of role models from minority groups in tech will massively contribute to increasing diversity in the tech talent pool.

At Osmii, we are committed to Diversity and Inclusion with our very own advocate, Sara Piotti. You can contact her for more information on our values, contact sara.piotti@osmii.com or follow the link to our Diversity and Inclusion page www.osmii.com/diversity-and-inclusion

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