Once again, the tech world is abuzz with some fantastic news that is sending ripples of excitement throughout the world; Tim Cook, current CEO of Apple has come out as gay in an interview with Businessweek. Of course, what goes without saying are the repercussions of his act; him being a role model for queer children everywhere in terms of what they can achieve without compromising on their identities, how inclusivity will be more of an expectation in enterprises and how non-discriminatory work places will be encouraged.
The media scrutiny on a person in his position is always immense. The need to have an outing in the media for the world to analyse when his colleagues at Apple already knew about his sexuality, may seem like just a token move, but it is BIG. Big because in the past CEOs have stepped down from their positions after being outed by the media. Big because every stake holder in Apple, specifically in our continent, will be more open to reflecting on their organizational culture. Big because it also underscores the question as to when someone in South Asia will ever be able to do the same without unpleasant, speculative backlash pasted all over the news. If we were to be extra special realistic, wouldn’t the stocks go down with such news or would the media and corporate world put on a façade of maturity, at least for the sake of political correctness?
On home ground, Indian media is less forgiving as was evident with the Bangalore incident where emphasizing the employer of the man involved was deemed necessary. ‘Coz people should know those respectable seeming IT folks could also be criminals, right? Oh Indian media, how low you feel the need to stoop sometimes.
But let’s keep it an optimistic Friday. I hope that the effect of this coming out benefits every gay man, woman and trans* person working in the IT sector in the States. Maybe it wouldn’t be too much to ask that the corporate world here take notes and consider revamping their HR strategy and promoting inclusiveness. The key point should be to seek excellence and intelligence in whatever package it comes in, even if it not be of the so called ‘normal’ variety, right? Three cheers to Tim Cook though, for the simplicity in his declaration of how his sexuality is fundamental to who he is and yet, makes not a grain of difference in the way he works at Apple.