The LGBTQ wealth gap is a thing. This is why it matters


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According to, 25-62% LGBTQ consumers report experiencing financial challenges because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.


In fact, LGBTQ+ folks lose out on millions during their lifetime due to the LGBTQ+ wealth gap.


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No, this isn’t something that you can side hustle your way out of or negotiate your way to equal pay. I mean, of course you can do everything in your power to build lasting generational wealth for you and your family but it isn’t up to you to solve the whole that is the LGBTQ+ wealth gap.


When you grow up in a society strictly built by and for cisgender heterosexual people and couples, you easily get left behind when you don’t fit the mold. Especially when many financial institutions still won’t come up to date with the LGBTQ+ community, nor try to openly support them.


One-third of individuals who presented bank cards with a name or gender that did not match their presentation reported harassment, denial of service or even physical attack. Imagine if your bank put you in danger like this day in and day out by invalidating your identity and making the very experience of going to the bank or doing anything with your money a traumatizing event?


This doesn’t even begin the scratch the surface of the LGBTQ+ wealth gap.

Wait, what’s the LGBTQ+ wealth gap?

When we talk about the LGBTQ+ wealth gap, we first have to talk about what the wealth gap is.


The wealth gap is the unequal distribution of assets between residents of the U.S.


If you’re thinking “oh, well life is unfair and people should work harder” – it’s more complicated than that. Wealth inequality is fueled by unequal systems at the roots of our society and denies people an equal chance to participate in the economy.


It’s only been until recently that more policies have been put in place both in the government and in the workplace to provide more protections for LGBTQ+ Americans but many of these policies still fall short of what’s needed.


We can’t have true equal rights until we have true equal financial rights.


There are actually 4 major contributing gaps that form the LGBTQ+ wealth gap being the income and savings gap, the information gap, the market gap, and the policy gap.


Let’s explore each of these deeper and how they affect the LGBTQ+ community and individuals.

The Income & Savings Gap

On average, LGBTQ+ Americans earn less than their cisgender and heterosexual counterparts. reported that queer women earn 11% less than their cisgender and heterosexual counterparts while queer men earned 32% less.


The National Transgender Discrimination Survey reported 15 percent of transgender and nonbinary people earn less than $10,000 per year. Those same numbers rose to 28 percent for Latinx and 34 percent for Black transgender and genderqueer people.


LGBTQ+Americans aren’t only missing out on earnings, they’re missing out on savings too.


They are 7% less likely to own a savings account, 5% less likely to have access to a 401k retirement plan, and 12% less likely to have an individual retirement account.


The Information Gap

The information gap refers to the gap in research and data of LGBTQ+ folks’ lived experiences across the world (including in countries where it is still illegal to be who you are or love who you love). This gap blocks progress toward inclusion and true equal human rights.


When we look at specific gaps in pay, savings, etc, there is already a limited data set due to the amount of danger someone can put themselves in for even coming out. According to MarketWatch, 50% of LGBTQ+ Americans are not openly out at their jobs.


In 2019, the World Bank partnered nonprofits, businesses, & policy leaders to collaborate to create the information that can catalyze data-driven change, including:

  1. Creating accurate measures of LGBTQ population, demography, and well-being.
  2. Studying the effects of LGBTQ social, legal, & economic inclusion on local, & national economies.
  3. Creating understanding about the unique lives of diverse LGBTQ constituencies, and the effects of other identifications (e.g. race, ethnicity, religion, age) on their personal economic performance.

The Market Gap

When members of the LGBTQ+ community and businesses seek products and services, they are often met with discriminatory treatment as well as unfair, deceptive or predatory marketing practices.


The market gap is the gap of equal and fair access to loans in the market.


In a study of Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data from 1990 to 2015, Iowa State researchers concluded that same-sex couples, of similar financial & credit quality to heterosexual peers:

  • Were denied residential mortgages 73% more often
  • Received up to .2% higher interest rates and fees, on average
  • Overpaid up to $86M each year for their home mortgages

The Policy Gap

The policy gap is the gap in existing policies that provide protections for LGBTQ+ Americans.


It wasn’t until 2015 that the U.S. ruled it legal for same-sex marriage and queer people across America finally got that equal right to marriage. 5 years later in June 2020, the Supreme Court ruled it illegal for an employer to fire someone because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Which was only one year ago.


And today, we have The Equality Act.


According to the HRC, The Equality Act would provide consistent and explicit anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people across key areas of life, including employment, housing, credit, education, public spaces and services, federally funded programs, and jury service. The Equality Act will soon get a vote in the Senate, and if it passes, will shimmy on its way to President Joe Biden’s desk.


As you can see, policies for LGBTQ+ Americans are in their infancy stage and still have a long way to go.

Everyone Pays The Price

Not only are LGBTQ+ Americans paying the price of wealth inequality. 1% of the GDP is the cost of homophobia and transphobia to a country’s economic well-being.


According to NBC:

“Plenty of studies have made a business case for inclusivity in terms of gender and race. But companies that venture beyond this narrow definition of diversity reap even larger rewards. According to Credit Suisse/McKinsey, companies that include LGBTQ+ employees outperform their less-inclusive peers by 10 percent on average.

“In addition to the ethical and moral obligations we have as individuals, we, as a country, discriminate against this community of entrepreneurs — job creators, taxpayers, essential service providers — at our peril. The cost of prejudice is enormous.”

What to Do Going Forward

Alright, we all know this system isn’t fair but what are we going to do to stop it?


Well first, if you’re an ally –


Denounce homophobia and transphobia at every chance you get.


Don’t tolerate it, not even for a second. Influence is powerful, use yours for good.


If someone says a slur or something ignorant about someone else in your community, show them you disagree and aren’t comfortable with them speaking like that. Don’t support homophobic or transphobic businesses or laws and policies that you see in your community and show open support for LGBTQ+ events, businesses and initiatives in your community (including with your wallet too, voting with our dollars is one of the best ways we can support what matters to us).


Encourage transparent and equal pay policies and hiring policies at your employer by reaching out to your HR and asking what they are doing to ensure folks are paid equally. If you are in a position of power or close to it at your employer, share your knowledge with others as well as your salary and any negotiation tips you have. Help to lift others to your level, it’s lonely up there.


If you have financial knowledge, help your friends set up savings and retirement accounts. Advocate for these sort of classes at your schools and employer.


And lastly, real change can’t happen without the laws to back them up. Look at laws to provide strict hiring policies, more financial resource access, and further prohibit discrimination – like the Equality Act. Sign petitions to support change like the Call Me By My Name petition to call for banks to let nonbinary and trans people use their chosen names and to use their true name at every touch point. Banks put these people in danger by using their dead names and outing them. In a survey, one-third of individuals who presented bank cards or other ID with a name or gender that did not match their presentation reported harassment, denial of service or even physical attack.

If you’re in the queer family –


The odds are stacked against you and even more so if you’re disabled, BIPOC, or your identity intersects in another way.

Almost none of us are taught how to think about money, nor manage it effectively. Add that on top of financial institutions that don’t want to openly support our community and of course we have money problems. Give yourself some empathy and let’s move forward.


To you, what is most important is access to the tools and resources to give you a level up. This means how can you make more money, how you can invest that money, and build your financial future so you can thrive and live your best life.



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The 7 biggest companies in America led by LGBTQ CEOs


In the last several years, there have been significant advancements in the fight for LGBTQ rights in America. The U.S. has made discrimination in the workplace based on sexual orientation illegal, which also includes discrimination around gender identity. The Supreme Court has ruled gay marriage is legally recognized. And another sign of progress is the number of companies being led by openly gay CEOs.

Some of the CEOs are private about their personal life, and others are more open. Whatever their preference, they have each accomplished a remarkable feat in their careers and are leading these giant companies into the future.

From startups to Fortune 500 companies, here are the biggest companies in America being led by LGBTQ CEOs.


Courtesy Photo, Land O’Lakes


  • Annual revenue: $274 billion

  • Stock price (as of close July 6, 2021): $142.02

Tim Cook is the CEO of Apple and a member of the Board of Directors and has been in this role since 2011. Before his role as CEO, he was the Chief Operating Officer and held various executive positions in sales, operations, and supply chain. Cook is now a member of the Forbes billionaire list, with a net worth listed as over $1.4 billion.

Cook also has years of experience with companies such as Compaq and IBM. His extensive background and experience are what led him to lead one of the largest companies in the world. Apple now has an annual revenue of over $274 billion. What’s even more impressive is revenue has nearly tripled since 2010 under Tim Cook’s leadership.

With over $274 billion in revenue, Apple easily tops the list for the biggest company led by an openly gay CEO. One story suggests Tim Cook decided to come out as gay in 2014 after working through personal family issues with his children and was inspired to share his own story.


ChinaImages / DepositPhotos


  • Annual revenue: $38 billion

  • Stock price (as of close July 6, 2021): $34,577.37

The Dow company, headquartered in Midland, Michigan, is led by Jim Fitterling. He is the Chairman and CEO of one of the largest companies in the world. He was brought into the role in 2018 after having served in multiple executive leadership positions, including as former Chief Operating Officer. He has made a career with Dow, having started with them two weeks after graduating from college, where he has remained ever since.

Fitterling is now a passionate advocate for LGBTQ rights, diversity, and inclusion, particularly within the workplace. Fitterling has led the charge for diversity within the Dow workplace and hiring practices. He currently serves as the Executive Sponsor of Dow’s Global African Affinity Network and champions causes supporting LGBT non-discrimination and LGBT+ workplace equality.

Fitterling was also named the #1 LGBT+ Executive on the “OUTstanding in Business” list published annually by INvolve in 2018. In 2021, Fitterling received a high honor when he was inducted into the OUTstanding Hall of Fame. He is also a member of the Out Leadership Global Advisory Board, which he joined in 2019.


Courtesy Photo, Wall Street Journal


  • Annual Revenue: $24 billion

  • Stock price (as of close July 6, 2021): $18.26

Jeffrey Genette is both Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board for Macy’s, Inc., where he assumed the role in 2017. Before becoming Chairman and CEO, he was President of Macy’s. One of the most fascinating aspects of Genette’s career is his humble start. He worked as a retail associate in a San Francisco Macy’s and continued to rise through the ranks over the years with increased responsibility.

His corporate background includes roles in merchandising, store operations, and numerous other leadership positions. He is a graduate of Stanford University and has been an employee with Macy’s since 1983.

Today Genette serves in other leadership capacities, including those with an emphasis on LGBTQ workplace equality. In January 2018, Gennette joined the National Retail Federation Board of Directors and Executive Committee. Gennette was appointed Chairman of the NRF Foundation Board of Directors in 2019 and also joined the NRF Finance Committee.

In July of 2020, Gennette joined the CEO for Action for Diversity & Inclusion Task Force and the Governing Committee for Racial Equity.


Courtesy Photo,


  • Annual Revenue: $13.9 billion

  • Stock price (as of close July 6, 2021): $21.40

Beth Ford has served as President and CEO of Land O’Lakes since 2018. Ford’s expansive career and experience in a variety of farm and agribusiness categories have helped her become one of the top female CEOs in the country.

Before joining Land O’Lakes in 2011, Ford worked with other multi-million dollar companies, including Pepsi and Mobil Motor Oil. Now she focuses on leading Land O’Lakes into the next phase of operations with farm-to-fork initiatives.

Beth Ford is the first openly gay female CEO to lead a Fortune 500 company. She is married to her wife Jill, whom she met over 20 years ago while working in the publishing industry in New York City.

Now Ford not only serves as President and CEO of Land O’Lakes, but she is also a member of the Board of Directors for numerous industry leadership organizations, as well as an executive committee member for others. She has also been named by Fortune Magazine as one of the World’s 50 Greatest Leaders and Most Powerful Women. She’s also named as one of Fast Company’s Most Productive People and Best Leaders, rounding out her impressive list of accolades.


Courtesy Photo, Land O’Lakes


  • Annual Revenue: $1.4 billion

  • Stock price (as of close July 6, 2021): $185.27

Martine Rothblatt serves as Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer of United Therapeutics and is a transgender woman. Before her work with United Therapeutics, Rothblatt was a co-founder of SiriusXM satellite radio. She is also one of Forbes’s highest-ranking self-made women, with a net worth of over $330 million.

Rothblatt founded United Therapeutics, a biotechnology company, in 1996 after leaving the SiriusXM corporation. Among the numerous accomplishments in her career, Rothblatt also has a law degree and M.B.A. from UCLA, plus a Ph.D. from the Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry.

Martine is now a transgender rights advocate in addition to her business leadership role. Rothblatt joined the fight against bias laws in the U.S. according to the New York Times. She is also the co‑inventor of eight different patents. She is a published author too, having written Your Life or Mine: How Geoethics Can Resolve the Conflict Between Private and Public Interests in Xenotransplantation.


Courtesy Photo, BizJournals


  • Annual revenue: $13 million

  • Stock price (as of close July 6, 2021): N/A

Sarah Kate Ellis was appointed President and CEO of GLAAD (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) in early 2014. This was after she created her successful career as a media executive. The goal of GLAAD is to advocate and take strong stances regarding discrimination and bias against the LGBTQ community, and Ellis is a powerful communicator with mounds of media experience to aid in accomplishing this goal.

During her years of leadership, Ellis has “evolved GLAAD from a media watchdog organization to one of the most powerful cultural change agents across industries” according to the GLAAD website. She has been a part of countless missions to raise awareness for LGBTQ representation and inclusion in media discussions.

In addition to her leadership role with GLAAD, she works on a global scale and with the media to highlight the challenges and need for global acceptance of LGBTQ. She has been featured on CNN, MSNBC, and numerous other media outlets and forums. Her passion for making sure the voice of the LGBTQ community is heard and recognized across the world is supported by her many accomplishments with the GLAAD organization.


Courtesy Photo, glaad


  • Annual Revenue: $7 million

  • Stock price (as of close July 6, 2021): N/A

SAGE (Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders) is another advocacy organization raising voices and awareness for elderly LGBT. SAGE is a champion for rights and support for LGQT elders and was created in 1978. Today the group is led by Michael Adams.

Today Adams is recognized as a dedicated and passionate advocate for the elderly, particularly with the LGBTQ community. Under his leadership, the revenue has tripled for SAGE as he continues to act as the chief fundraiser. He oversees the major initiatives and programs of the agency, including ones providing technical assistance for aging providers.

Adams has many areas of expertise and experience, including strategic planning, fundraising, building a brand, and implementing programs. He wears many hats at SAGE, from lobbying federal policy change via the White House Conference on Aging, to publicly talking about aging successfully.

Before joining as CEO of SAGE, he was the Director of Education and Public Affairs for Lambda Legal, based in New York City. Adams is a graduate of Stanford Law School and Harvard College and he was appointed as CEO in 2006.


Courtesy Photo, SAGE


Each of these CEOs has made remarkable contributions and accomplishments in the business world, not only in terms of increasing revenue but showcasing their enormous talent for driving change. Whether pushing for greater diversity and inclusion in hiring practices or serving on task forces centered around LGBTQ rights, you can find each of these making incredible headway in their respective industries.


This article originally appeared on JoyWallet and was syndicated by


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