BOOK REVIEW: The Glass Closet: John Browne

August 18, 2015


The Glass Closet: Why Coming out is Good Business 

John Browne

When John Browne’s long-hidden sexuality became an open secret after a cheap pot shot at him from a newspaper colluding with an ex-boyfriend exposed the false witness statements (or lies) he had told the police, this caused him no end of trouble. He quit his job as Chief Executive for BP and stated he would make no further comments on his gayness…

And then utterly changed his mind to write this interesting book on corporate culture and LGBT working lives. Part memoir and part social criticism, The Glass Closet addresses the issue of homophobia that still pervades corporations around the world and underscores the immense challenges faced by LGBT employees. He says…

“I wish I had been brave enough to come out earlier in my tenure as CEO of BP. I regret it to this day. I know that if I had done so I would have made more of an impact for other gay men and women. With The Glass Closet, I hope to give some of them the courage to make an impact of their own.”

So opens this book examining why coming out at work, at least in the private sector is still a momentous event and what can be done to make the journey out of the closet easier and safer for the army of LGBT folk who have a secret (real) life.

Whether you’re lesbian, gay, transgender or straight, John Browne’s message ( now Lord Brown) is simple and clear, it’s better for you and it’s better for business when you bring your authentic self to work.

For more info check out the books supporting website here: 


Drawing on his personal experiences and the experience of other gay and lesbian business leaders, and by investigating the research and the social contexts Browne strives in The Glass Closet to find way to engender courage and inspire the LGBT community that despite the risks involved, self-disclosure is best for employees and for the businesses that support them.

Every CEO, every HR Manager, every team leader, anyone in fact who thinks they may have LGBT staff members or anyone who is responsible for the culture and success of their business should read The Glass Closet.

And for anyone fearful or lacking the confidence to bring their true self into work every day, this book was written for you and anyone looking for a workable blueprint to make daily office life better for LGBT staff, this is a good guidelines from someone who spent most of his life doing the opposite. This is an interesting book and managed to elicit sympathy from me in unexpected ways, possibly as some of the folk intervened for the book – who have similar experiences to Browne also negotiated for their identities to be kept secret.

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose

For more info or to buy the book, click here:

Out now