Why LGBT Equality Is Good for Brands
ADWEEK|April 17, 2017

By Embracing A Fully Diverse Workplace, Companies Benefit From Empowered And Engaged Employees. 

Phil Schraeder
The teenage years are rarely easy, and that’s especially true for those of us in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.

When I was growing up in the Midwest, I had a passion for business. However, there were very few LGBT role models I could look up to in corporate America. I knew that when I started my own career, I wanted to find a job where I could be the same person at work that I was at home; yet, I wasn’t sure if such a job existed.

Finding that job took a lot of perseverance. After graduating from college, I moved to Los Angeles and started my career in entertainment because I thought it would be the most accepting environment. However, even in that industry, which is known to be more LGBT-friendly than most, it was a struggle to find a job where I could be entirely open about my life without any fear of discrimination.

When I did eventually find a job that made me feel truly comfortable, at in-image advertising pioneer GumGum, my world opened and everything changed. The more relaxed I felt about my LGBT identity in the office, the happier I felt in general and the better I performed at work. I found myself quickly climbing the corporate ladder, and I’m now GumGum’s president and COO, where I have the great pleasure of leading a thriving company.

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