10 Inspiring LGBTQIA Technology Executives And Their Stories
There has been a considerable struggle of acceptance for lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual (LGBTQIA), and other marginalized genders. Even when there is acceptance in the workplace or at home, LGBTQIA individuals don't feel welcomed. The judgmental eyes in their surroundings are always hovering around them.
The technology world has been growing in influence across sectors but is it ensuring gender equality? A critical step for driving equality across all genders in companies is that LGBTQIA individuals should feel comfortable coming out openly about their gender identity and sexual orientation. Along these lines, seeing role models in the technology sector, especially in a cutting field like Artificial Intelligence, builds the comfort level.
I am sharing stories of 10 LGBTQIA technology executives who took the bold step of openly announcing their gender identity and sexual orientation, hence unblocking the coming-out arterial path for their fellow community members. But more than their names or stature, their stories of resilience, self-discovery, and victory over fear stand out. My spirit in summarizing these stories is to inspire others to feel comfortable about their gender and sexuality, first within themselves and then in front of society.
In 2014, Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, became the first leader of a major company to come out as gay. In an editorial for Bloomberg Business, Tim publicly came out, saying, "I'm proud to be gay, and I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me."
Tim said he was receiving emails and letters from children who had been ostracized or bullied because of their identity. Tim, a reserved person, realized that he was selfish by concealing his identity. So he finally decided to leverage his executive status to help the cause of children facing abuse due to gender identity.
Gigi is the Executive Vice-Chairman of Cheuk Nang Holdings Limited in Hong Kong and the lesbian daughter of a billionaire named Cecil Chao Sze-Tsung.