Updated: Jun 15
In conjunction with Pride Month, we’re celebrating great LGBTQ+ business leaders!
To celebrate Pride Month, we’re looking at 10 of the top LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs and businesspeople. In any industry, it takes an immense amount of hard work to reach the top. As a minority, it can be even more challenging. In recognition of this, we’re going to take a closer look at ten business leaders that have made an impact in their chosen field.
At 6° Media & Marketing, we believe in an open and inclusive working environment and welcome contributions from all people, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, or race. The 6° team is a proud supporter of the Conscious Culture pledge. We are committed to the values of Conscious Culture in our work from anywhere, remote-first, women-owned business. We are proudly putting our values to work by putting our staff first.
What Is Pride Month?
Pride Month, always in June, is an entire month that’s dedicated to the celebration of LGBTQ+ culture, uplifting LGBTQ+ voices, and supporting the continuing fight for LGBTQ+ rights.
Throughout June, there are thousands of celebrations at both a national and international level. Some of the traditional celebrations include parades, protests, performances, memorials, and celebrations of LGBTQ+ activists who have lost their lives.
While pride month is a month of celebration, it’s also a significant opportunity to increase awareness about issues facing the LGBTQ+ community.
Our Top 10 Top LGBTQ+ Entrepreneurs and Founders to Watch In 2022
Alicia Garza is a political activist and the co-founder of Black Lives Matter, an internationally recognized organization focusing on combatting anti-Black state-sanctioned oppression and violence. Garza is also the Special Projects Director at the National Domestic Workers Alliance and Principal at the Black Futures Lab. Follow their LinkedIn, Twitter, & Instagram pages.
“Diversity is what happens when you have representation of various groups in one place. Representation is what happens when groups that haven’t previously been included, are included. Intersectionality is what happens when we do everything through the lens of making sure that no one is left behind. More than surface-level inclusion, or merely making sure everyone is represented, intersectionality is the practice of interrogating the power dynamics and rationales of how we can be together.” – Alicia Garza
Angelica Ross is the founder and CEO of TransTech Social Enterprises, a co-working and co-learning community that focuses on economically empowering lesbian, trans, gay, queer, and bisexual people. Angelica’s passion for education, building business, and community are at the heart of her work, helping companies and individuals develop their brand identity. Follow their LinkedIn, Twitter, & Instagram pages.
“While I don’t necessarily believe the cliché that ‘everything happens for a reason,’ I do believe that every encounter, every situation, and every challenge I’ve experienced has shaped me into the woman I am today. And I am proud to say that I have never backed down from life’s challenges.” – Angelica Ross
Mercury Stardust is a Professional Home Maintenance Technician, burlesque performer, and award-winning activist from Wisconsin. Known widely as the Trans Handy Ma'am, her unique brand of compassionate education in the Home Repair space has earned her internet fame. She has given tips on everything from ceiling collapses to unclogging drains and has helped tons of humans live better. With over 1.7 million followers on TikTok, Mercury spreads DIY knowledge with love. Follow her TikTok & Instagram.
“When it comes to business and being queer, you don’t have to pick one or the other. You don’t have to decide between your future as an entrepreneur and your queerness. The moment I embraced my identity is the moment I stepped through the biggest door I ever had.
Prior to that I was afraid of who I was and I hid myself from opportunities. In order to have a good successful business, you need to have a community around you, and the queer community is really good at that. Trust in yourself, you’ve got this.” – Mercury Stardust
Hayley Sudbury is the founder and CEO of WERKIN. WERKIN is a people analytics platform that uses behavioral science to promote diversity. Before founding WERKIN, Hayley built a career in financial services. She saw a need for more mentors and role models for women, LGBTQ+ individuals, ethnic minorities, and other under-represented groups.
“We really wanted to … turn intentions around inclusion and belonging into real action.” – Hayley Sudbury
Leanne Pittsford is the entrepreneur and founder behind Lesbians Who Tech & Allies, the biggest LGBTQ+ professional community globally. Lesbians Who Tech & Allies are committed to visibility, intersectionality, and changing the face of technology. Check out Leann’s LinkedIn, Instagram, & Twitter.
“Like many women, I wanted to change the world and believed nonprofits and education were the main paths toward creating social change. The reality is that it takes money, sustainable revenue and major influence to make things happen and we need more women to work towards having more economic power.” – Leanne Pittsford
You’re probably familiar with Martine Rothblatt’s work without even realizing it! In the ’90s, Rothblatt cofounded Sirius XM Satellite Radio. She’s also the co-founder and CEO of the biotech company United Therapeutics. United Therapeutics builds on the strength of research and development expertise and distinctive, entrepreneurial culture that encourages diversity, innovation, creativity, sustainability, and, simply, fun.
“Once we realize that our essential sweetness is in our minds, and that each of us has unique life-path potential not fully tethered to a body-determined route, then it is as sensible to be transhuman as it is to be transgendered. The being is mightier than the gene.” – Martine Rothblatt Ph.D.
Peter Arvai is the co-founder and CEO of Prezi, a cloud-based platform that intends to reinvent the way people worldwide share knowledge, inspire their audiences, and tell stories. As well as his success in the tech industry, he has achieved an incredible amount as an LGBTQ+ leader and advocate. Follow his LinkedIn & Instagram.
“Create a culture that you want to be a part of. Our company is built on communication, creativity, and inclusion. In order to sustain that through the years, it’s important to pick the right people who can help you live your culture in your daily life.” – Peter Arvai
Suki Sandhu is the founder and CEO of Audeliss, an executive search firm that is dedicated to leveling the playing field for all diverse candidates and promoting diversity worldwide. Along with being the founder of Audeliss, Sandhu is also a vocal advocate for LGBTQ+ rights and a board member of OutRight Action International. Follow their LinkedIn & Instagram.
“It’s been an amazing journey, with many ups and downs. Business is doing incredibly well and I genuinely feel we’ve made a difference to the diversity landscape. It hasn’t been easy, but I’ve loved every step along the way and I’ve learned so much.” – Suki Sandhu
Dr. Vivienne Ming is a theoretical neuroscientist and co-founder of Socos Labs, which is an independent think tank dedicated to experimenting with new versions of education, work, and inclusive economies to inform more human-centered policies. She has used her extensive background in neuroscience and her experiences as a trans woman in her mission of recognizing and maximizing human potential. Follow her LinkedIn & Instagram.
“One of the best things about being ‘different’ is that you can make an impact just by being visible.” – Dr. Vivienne Ming
Amy Erret is the founder and CEO of Madison Reed, a beauty and hair color company that was founded in 2013. Since its inception in 2013, Madison Reed has raised almost $200 million in funding. Erret started Madison Reed with a simple mission: to provide the best, most luxurious hair color made with ingredients you can feel good about. Follow her LinkedIn & Instagram.
“It’s easier to stay quiet. But in saying nothing, you’re saying something.” – Amy Erret
Celebrate Diversity Every Day
There is no denying that LGBTQ+ people have a significant impact on the business and tech world we all live in. However, often their achievements aren’t celebrated as highly as they should be.
Our list of LGBTQ+ people to watch in 2022 aims to highlight just some of the exciting achievements of LGBTQ+ people worldwide. Diversity in any industry should be a top priority for all companies every single day.
Note: All images were sourced from LinkedIn and Google. 6° Media does not own the rights to any of the images that have been used in this article. If you would like to have any of these photos removed, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
We support causes with actions, not just words.
6° Team supports LGBTQ Mental Health through donations to The Trevor Project, the world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, & questioning) young people. For PRIDE month, our team supports The Trevor Project because we believe access to mental healthcare should be a right for all young people in crisis.