Summary of The Glass Closet

Why Coming Out Is Good Business

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The Glass Closet book summary
John Browne, former CEO of BP, makes the case for LGBT openness at work.


8 Overall

9 Applicability

8 Innovation

7 Style


Back in 2007, author John Browne, then CEO of BP, resigned after a British paper bought a story from a former boyfriend and outed him as gay. Rights for people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) have since made important strides. Browne’s experience may almost seem to belong to another age. But, as he states clearly, equality for homosexuals is not a fact of life in the corporate world. Many LGBT people feel they still must guard their sexual orientation closely. With unique insight, Browne explains why discrimination – overt or covert – against LGBT employees hurts a firm’s bottom line. He shares LGBT workers’ stories, and presents strategies to prevent discrimination and foster inclusion. getAbstract recommends this thoughtful discussion of openness to executives, HR officials, LGBT people in the workforce, their colleagues and the people who care about them.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How the media caused former BP CEO John Browne to lose his job;
  • How closeting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) employees harms your bottom line; and
  • How your company can foster LGBT diversity and inclusion.


The Mail Changes a Life
John Browne, the closeted chief executive of BP, ended a secret relationship with a man named Jeff Chevalier in 2006. Afterward, the man sent him vaguely threatening emails. Browne had given Jeff money to help him out, but stopped and didn’t respond to...
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About the Author

John Browne, CEO of BP for 12 years, works at Riverstone Holdings, a private equity firm, and has written a business memoir and a popular science book.

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