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The importance of being out in the workplace

IbyIMD+ Published 17 June 2021 in Leadership • 6 min read

“From the locker room to the board room, visible LGBTQ+ female leaders are needed more than ever,” says former professional athlete Nikki Symmons. 


Not enough LGBTQ+ people are “out”. 

This June, you will see millions of us marching in Pride Month parades around the world, both in person and virtually, fighting for equality and acceptance. But sadly, this visibility does not often carry over into the corporate world. 

An athlete’s career is short-lived. A former professional field hockey player, I am now Global Communications Studio Planner at PMI, Phillip Morris International, where I see the same problems with LGBTQ+ visibility in the business world that I did in the world of sports.   


Becoming a visible LGBTQ+ leader 

As Ireland’s first female athlete to come out publicly, I have first-hand experience in this area. When I came out in 2014 it was mainly to create more awareness and visibility for the LGBTQ+ community. I felt I had a responsibility to show that it was…

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