A look at the most recent Fortune 500 list exposes that members of the LGBTQIA+ community hold just .5% of all corporate seats
A look at the most recent Fortune 500 list exposes that self-identified members of the LGBTQIA+ community hold only .5% of all corporate seats and just 3 chair roles but are over 6% of the workforce population.
These figures are still very initial while members of this community are still hesitant to publicly share their demographic information - most likely due to a long history of workplace discrimination justifying their decision. We are seeing more companies investing in anti-discrimination training and policies, and we can’t help but hope that even more companies will join, especially once their boardrooms have LGBTQIA+ representation.
Most recently, Grindr shared they have 60% LGBTQIA+ representation on their board, plus 4 first-time directors. Grindr is a great example of building not only a diverse board of directors but also a unique mixture of professional backgrounds and skills ranging from active CEOs to merger & acquisitions lawyers to U.S. Diplomats.
Patrick is a first-generation Irish American who was born in San Francisco but spent his teen years in Newmarket, County Cork, and graduated from the University of Limerick before going on to earn his MBA at Rice University in Texas. Patrick spent over 32 years in executive roles at American Airlines, concluding his tenure with the leading airline in the United States as their Chief Human Resource Officer - a company of over 130,000 employees and $29B in annual revenue. At American Airlines, Patrick was responsible for all aspects of traditional HR functions - recruiting, onboarding, diversity and inclusion, retirement, performance management, leadership development and talent management. He also held officer roles in Technology for over 8 years, including managing a complex merger system integration for the AA/US Airways merger. Patrick was an executive sponsor for PRIDE – American’s Employee Business Resource Group for gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgender employees, as well as active advocate for the Human Rights Campaign. Now an Independent Board Director, Patrick is open to board opportunities that need HR, Technology or Travel Industry and compensation committee expertise. Meet Patrick.
Kellie has more than 30 years of experience working with iconic companies such as Dell, Timberland, Gap, Nike and Netflix working across communications, brand and reputation management and human resources. She is now serving as Director of Leadership Programs for Netflix. Prior to this role, Kellie was named as the first ever Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer for Nike Inc. -- a top 5 global brand and Fortune 85, $200 Billion company. During that time, Kellie established the global D&I strategy where she aligned programs, policies and business strategies with the company reporting sizable increases in representation for women and racial and ethnic minorities. At Netflix, Kellie designs and delivers experiential, peer-based learning programs to allow the top leadership of the company to build business acumen and deep, cross-functional connections. Kellie is the Founder and Principal at FIREFLY Advisors, focused on brand strategy for purpose-aligned organizations. She serves on the Advisory Board of The Wing co-working space. Kellie is a Henry Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network. Meet Kellie.
In David’s current role at American Express, he is responsible for mobilizing global marketing teams to deliver $1billion+ in acquisition revenue. Previously, he led a digital transformation to build the #1 outbound loyalty program, growing the team’s impact from $100 million to $1.4 billion in under two years. Prior to American Express, David founded his own retail strategy consulting practice, while earning his MBA at NYU Stern, and advised numerous media brands on creating new revenue streams, including A&E, Condé Nast, Discovery, Disney, Food Network, NBC, PBS, Rolling Stone, and Turner Classic Movies. David also served as a founding member of the Advisory Board for Movable Ink, named the 13th fastest growing software company on the Inc 5000. And in 2021 David co-founded, RiseOUT, a leadership acceleration platform with a mission to connect and create role models for the next generation of gay business leaders. Meet David.
Laurie has led the growth and transformation of restaurant and hospitality businesses throughout her career. She currently serves on the Board of Trustees and chairs the compensation committee of Service Properties Trust (Nasdaq: SVC), a real estate investment trust, or REIT, with more than $12 billion invested in two asset categories: hotels and service-focused retail net lease properties. Laurie spent 17 years in C-Suite and senior executive positions with Darden Restaurants (160,000 team members, 1,800 full-service restaurants, $8 billion in annual sales). As Chief Development Officer reporting to the CEO, Laurie led real estate development strategy and implementation while serving as a member of Darden’s Executive Team. Laurie served as President of Darden’s Bahama Breeze Island Grille business unit for ten years where she led the turnaround and return to growth and success for the brand. She also co-led the formation of the Pride Alliance (Darden’s LGBTQ+ employee resource group) and served as its Executive Advisor. Laurie founded LBB Growth Partners, a real estate advisory firm, where she currently collaborates with restaurant and hospitality businesses to maximize their growth potential. Meet Laurie.
James spent over 16 years in executive roles at AstraZeneca, a FTSE 10 global biopharmaceutical company that operates in over 100 countries, concluding his career with the company as the Vice President of Finance for the Asia-Pacific region. James, a CPA and dual MBA in Finance and Marketing, was responsible for management of commercial financial planning, results, and controls under a $7B sales portfolio. Other roles at AstraZeneca included Chief Audit Executive and Executive Director of Finance for Global Marketing before moving on to assume the CFO position at MedImmune, the global biologics research and development arm of AstraZeneca. On top of being an independent board director, James is also a member of the Portfolio Oversight Advisory Panel of a stealth venture capital entity investing in innovative early stage therapeutics. Meet James.
Ara is an attorney and corporate executive with over 20 years of professional experience in companies at various stages of growth. She has worked in a variety of industries including, legal, finance, higher education, media/entertainment, technology and healthcare. She has led global and diverse cross-functional teams focused on the end-to-end employee journey; diversity, equity and inclusion; as well as academic, administrative and budgetary planning. Ara has held the roles of Director of Diversity for Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, the Head of Employee Engagement, Communications & Operations for Diversity and Inclusion at Morgan Stanley and the SVP of Talent and Culture at Audible where she was a member of the CEO's Directs Leadership Team, just to name a few. Most recently Ara was the Chief People Officer at Cityblock Health, a tech-driven healthcare provider for those in underserved communities and currently serves on the board and audit committee for MoMA PS1, one of the oldest and largest nonprofit arts centers in the United States devoted to contemporary art. Ara is also a published author, documentary filmmaker and content creator focused on art, culture, and identity. Meet Ara.
Fabrice has over 25 years of human rights and corporate social responsibility experience, primarily serving in executive roles at both The World Bank and United Nations. During his 14+ years at The World Bank, Fabrice served in dual and global roles as both Senior Country Officer and Team Lead for Interconnections between LGBTI Issues and Development. Fabrice then moved on to serve as the Human Rights Officer at the United Nations under the Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights, where he co-authored the UN Corporate Standards of Conduct for Business, the largest LGBTI corporate social responsibility initiative supported by more than 500 of the largest companies in the World. He serves on the L’Oréal Global Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Board, and the Editorial Board of the Women's Forum. He is also a LinkedIn LGBTQ+ Top Voice of 2022, speaks 4 languages and volunteers on the board of 8 non-profit organizations all advocating for LGBTQIA+ and human rights. Meet Fabrice and read his latest post on Meet the Out LGBTQ+ Corporate Board Members in Fortune 500
KaRon is an executive, consultant, and board member with repeated success at late-stage startups, PE-backed investments, and publicly traded companies. KaRon is focused on Tech broadly, but has worked for SalesTech, MarTech, AdTech, and HRTech companies with B2B SaaS subscription, data, and advertising business models, including Experian, Indeed and Comscore. KaRon has experience with P&Ls from $60 million to multiple billions and her varied experience has provided valuable perspectives to the C-Suite and Board of Directors. KaRon has held roles in three acquisitions and post-merger integrations, two successful business exits, and a corporate turnaround. She has 4 years of experience as a board member and chair of firms that consult non-profits. Meet KaRon.
Yon launched his career serving over 8 years at Microsoft as part of the Xbox team where he was responsible for driving, developing, and managing the integrated business intelligence initiative for Xbox. From there, Yon joined the Comscore team as Head of Product, managing the planning, analytics solutions, design and user experience teams, as well as driving expansion into emerging markets worldwide. He was also the Chief Product Officer and Executive Vice President of Retention for Gaia for 5 years. A successful founder, Yon built TalkIQ, an information technology service and he holds a B.S. in Electrical and Electronics Engineering and B.A. in Electrical Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a B.A. in Management Science (Finance and Marketing) from MIT Sloan School of Management. Meet Yon.
Sarah spent 7 years in leadership roles at Google holding various roles from leading Google Maps/Local Guides within engineering to heading up Campus, physical spaces for entrepreneurs in London. After Google, Sarah joined SheEO, a global initiative focused on building an innovative new model to finance, support and celebrate female entrepreneurs, before heading up the Tech and Society Solutions Lab for Omidyar where she established, built and led a team working to fund and fuel the responsible tech movement. Sarah is established in the European technology scene, from early-stage talent to VC and media, and holds a particular expertise in community, culture and influence. She is currently an Advisor for both Finecoin Foundation and the Design Museum, as well as an Angel Investor for Operator Exchange. Meet Sarah.
And a special thank you to Fabrice Houdart for the deep dive and insights into the LGBTQIA+ community’s representation in Fortune 500 boardrooms - please check out his amazing information here.
Other sources in this article include:
An interview with Anisa Kamadoli Costa and how she landed her extensive list of board roles