Lord Browne: business community 'intolerant of homosexuality'

The former chief executive of BP and current partner at Riverstone singled out private equity, suggesting fewer than 1% of the people he knows in the industry are homosexual.

Lord Browne, who joined Riverstone Holdings in 2007 after 41 years at BP, has castigated the business community for its attitude to homosexuality. In an interview with the BBC, he singled out private equity, the industry in which he now works.

“My sense is that the business world remains more intolerant of homosexuality than other worlds such as the legal profession, the media and the visual arts… I am one of a handful of publicly gay people to have run a FTSE 100 company.

“In some industries, the situation is particularly bad. Among the many people I know in private equity, where I now work, fewer than 1 percent are openly gay,” he said.

He called on “leaders in companies, and not just in human resources” to “think about inclusion in every decision they take”. He says: “It comes down to a simple maxim – don't do anything that excludes people.”