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Spotlight on LGBTQ leaders in tech, marketing, and social media

Colin O'Riordan, Senior Digital Strategist
Posted in: Culture

In today’s digital landscape, technology, marketing, and social media are not only molding our future but also leading the dialogue on diversity and inclusion. LGBTQ individuals are making significant progress across fields, breaking down barriers and creating spaces of acceptance and innovation. In honour of Pride month, let’s look at some pioneers and upcoming voices helping transform their industries while inspiring the next generation of LGBTQ professionals. 

Tim Cook, CEO at Apple 

Tim Cook is the CEO of Apple having initially joined the company in 2011 as Chief Operations Officer. In 2014, Tim was the first Fortunate 500 chief executive to publicly come out as gay. Since then, he has demonstrated his strong support for LGBTQ+ rights and uses his platform to promote equality and inclusion in the tech industry. Apple has also scored high on the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index under his leadership and the company offers comprehensive benefits and support for LGBTQ+ employees. 

Sarah Kate Ellis, President and CEO of GLAAD  

Sarah Kate Ellis is the President and CEO of GLAAD and under her leadership GLAAD has become a powerhouse in amplifying LGBTQ voices on social media as well as influencing public perception. Ellis has expanded GLAAD’s programs, scope and funding and developed the GLAAD Media Institute, launching the Social Media Safety Index, and leading successful advocacy campaigns. Her accolades include Variety’s Power of New York List and Adweek’s Champion of Diversity and Inclusion. 

Matt Bernstein, LGBTQ+ Activist and Content Creator 

Matt Bernstein is a prominent LGBTQ+ voice on social media, known for his outspoken stance on various social justice issues. He is recognised for his vibrant personality and political activism. Bernstein frequently uses his platform to address anti-trans rhetoric and to educate his followers on LGBTQ+ issues, while promoting acceptance and inclusivity. He has 1.5 million followers on Instagram and hosts a popular podcast ‘A Bit Fruity’ where he unpacks with his guests the events, people and culture wars happening around us. 

Polly Shute, Co-founder of Out and Wild Festival, Deputy Chair of Intermedia, & Director of Pride in the City 

Polly Shute is a seasoned partnership and sponsorship expert, co-founder of Out and Wild Festival, and former Board Member of Pride in London. Recognized as one of OUTstanding’s Top 20 LGBT Public Sector Leaders, Polly passionately connects the LGBTQIA community through inclusive events. She also leads partnerships for PinkNews, the world’s most read LGBTQ+ media title, and has developed initiatives like Lesbian Visibility Week. 

Alok Vaid-Monon, Writer, Artist, and Media Personality 

Alok Vaid-Menon is a leading non-binary voice, known for their powerful performance art, writing, and activism. They challenge traditional gender norms and advocate for LGBTQ+ rights through their thought-provoking work. On social media, Alok shares insights on gender identity, self-expression, and mental health, using their platform to promote inclusivity and understanding. 

Jen Carter, Global Head of Technology at Google 

Jen Carter is the Global Head of Technology at having spent over 15 years at Google, leveraging technology to amplify the impact of nonprofits worldwide. Her collaboration with The Trevor Project to create the AI-powered “Crisis Contact Simulator” was named one of TIME’S 100 best inventions. She advocates for grant funding and skills-based volunteering for LGBTQ+ nonprofits, partnering with organisations like Outright International. Outside work, Jen co-presides over The Women’s Building Board and serves on the Executive Advisory Board of Lesbians Who Tech. 

The contributions of LGBTQ leaders in tech, marketing, and social media are important and far-reaching. By championing diversity, advocating for inclusion, and driving innovation, these individuals are not only transforming their respective fields but also setting powerful examples of leadership and resilience. As we celebrate their achievements, we also recognise the ongoing need to support and uplift LGBTQ professionals, ensuring that our industries continue to grow in diversity and strength. 

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