... Australian businesspeople and boards tend not to care about people's personal life so long as they perform. But at the same time, lack of disclosure would be seen as a breach of faith. When - or even should - I let my sexuality be known when discussing positions in the UK?
Read what Lucy Kellaway, "agony-aunt" of the Financial Times (London), answered:
The part of your predicament that troubles me most has nothing to do with your sexuality but that you are finding it difficult to find work in a country where the sun shines and the economy is relatively perky. So much so that you are considering travelling 10,000 miles to a country where there is no growth at all - and hardly any sunshine.
The other worrying thing is your use of the word "completed". Usually, we talk of completing projects, jigsaw puzzles and levels on video games, but not of managing director roles. These tend to go on indefinitely unless terminated. What I would want to know if I were interviewing you would not be details of your private life but of your public life, in particular what happened in each of these jobs.
Still, to answer your question: No, you do not have to let your sexuality be known. It's not your employer's business. Keeping quiet would not be a breach of faith. I fail to see why you ever thought it might be.
In any case, they won't in a million years ask you about your sexuality during an interview.
However, while you should not go out of your way to make it known, you shouldn't try to hide it either - for your own sake. Think of poor Lord Browne and the damage he suffered from all those decades of pretending he wasn't gay. He now says his private secret life was "a little grain of personal terror" and wishes he had come out sooner. But that was the macho oil industry 40 years ago. Things are surely different now.
You say that in Australia boards are much more interested in performance than in sexuality. That is true in the UK, too. While there are still very few openly gay executives at the top of companies, the banks and big consultancy firms are all furiously banging the diversity drum and things are changing. To discriminate is not just illegal, it is uncool.
Yet I realise your aim is less to change society than to fund your retirement. The best way of doing that is to make sure that there really are openings in the UK before you slog all the way over here.
Aus: The Financial Times, London. www.ft.com