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Businesses pinned their colours to the mast this month with many using social media to applaud the US Supreme Court’s ruling that same-sex marriage is legal under the constitution.
The past year marked a significant improvement in the lives of many LGBT employees and in the representation of their community at the highest echelons, with Apple’s Tim Cook becoming the first openly gay person to head a Fortune 500 company.
Today we invite nominations for Outstanding and the FT’s Leading LGBT and Ally Executives 2015, with rankings to be published in October.
Mr Cook is likely to be high on the list but there are other spots to fill, including the 30 top allies of the LGBT community.
To nominate yourself or someone else, go to www.out-standing.org/nominations. The deadline is September 17.
Despite recent advances, LGBT rights are still far from assured in many workplaces. A 2011 Harvard university study showed that revealing you are part of the LGBT community on your CV significantly cuts your chances of an interview. It is little wonder that more than half of LGBT employees hide their sexuality at work, according to a Human Rights Campaign report.
According to Suki Sandhu, founder of Outstanding, the not-for-profit LGBT network group: “It needs to be explicitly demonstrated that LGBT people are thriving at all levels in an organisation. It is fair to say that there is a way to go.”
Showcasing business leaders who are out and proud makes it easier for employees to be open about their sexuality. This should help to nudge reluctant businesses towards creating a more inclusive culture and to recognise that it is in their business interest to do so.