An Inclusive Workplace: Unlocking Employee Potential to Drive Growth

An Inclusive Workplace: Unlocking Employee Potential to Drive Growth

Multimedia from this Release

Clorox vice president of Finance Tom Johnson

Out & Equal at Work

Friday, June 21, 2013 - 10:30am

CAMPAIGN: Clorox's CR Matters Blog


This post was written by Tom Johnson, vice president of Finance, Global Business Services.

When I joined Clorox in 1988, coming out as a gay man was the furthest thing from my mind. The company didn’t have domestic partner benefits, a GLBT (gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender) employee resource group or openly GLBT employees in leadership positions. I wanted to progress in my career, but I saw no one like me in the management or leadership ranks. I concluded that the safest option for my career was to stay in the closet.

I stayed in the closet at Clorox for nearly five years before coming out to a very few trusted co-workers. At about the same time, the company offered me a role as the finance leader in London for our European and Middle Eastern businesses. I’m sure they thought they were signing up a low-cost, hard-working single guy for this international assignment. But — surprise! — I came out to my manager and let them know I’d accept the assignment, but my partner needed to go with me. Without missing a beat, my Clorox manager and human resources created a package that enabled us to relocate to London. That experience was the very beginning of a journey that has led Clorox to become a visible champion of workplace equality around the world for LGBT people. In 1998, Clorox was one of the first consumer products companies to implement domestic partner benefits, which is just one indication of the company’s support for its LGBT employees and their advocates.

Click here to read more about Clorox's support for diversity.