Gigi Chao, executive vice chair of Cheuk Nang Holdings Inc and daughter of Hong Kong real estate mogul Cecil Chao, recently placed first on a list of leading LGBTQ executives compiled by Financial Times and OUTstanding.
The list aims to recognize one hundred out senior executives who are actively working to create a more equitable environment for LGBTQ people both inside and outside the workplace. Nominees were judged according to their business performance, and influence within their companies, their efforts to encourage inclusivity in the workplace, and outside activities that help improve the lives of LGBTQ people.
Other than her position as a high-level executive within her father’s company, Gigi Chao speaks freely about her experiences as an out lesbian working in the corporate world and the challenges she faced coming out to her conservative parents. She is also one of the founding members of Big Love Alliance, a non-profit charity that aims to promote equal rights for the LGBTQ community.
Chao made global headlines in 2012 when her father offered $65 million to any man willing to marry his daughter after he learned about her overseas wedding to longtime partner Sean Eav. The “marriage bounty” garnered tens of thousands of suitors from around the world, thrusting the young heiress into the international spotlight. After her father doubled his initial bid, Chao penned an open letter urging her father to accept her as a lesbian and treat her spouse as a “normal, dignified human being.”
In response, Cecil Chao decided to drop the bounty stating that he respected his daughter’s choices but still refuses to welcome his daughter’s wife into the family.
By Avery Davenport
Images via (CNN / The Telegraph)