I am an out and proud transgender man who transitioned on the job at Symantec over nine years ago. I have worked as both a man and a woman in this company and have experienced firsthand how men and women are treated differently. For example, female technicians are trained to “show their work” when answering a question, whereas men’s answers are implicitly trusted without having to explain their thought processes. Since being seen as a man, people have said to me “no, I trust you” more times than I can count. This tells me that as a woman I was inherently not trusted, but as a man I am. Even in the same job role and dealing with the same people, suddenly my answers no longer needed justification.
That said, however, my experience at Symantec has been overwhelmingly positive. I was the first woman to ever be hired onto an advanced technical team in the history of my department and though I transitioned while in that role I ensured a woman replaced me upon my departure. I was pivotal in helping Symantec secure transgender healthcare benefits, and I have assisted in drafting and implementing multiple policies, procedures, and guidelines around transgender inclusion, such as our official Gender Transition Guidelines and changing all single-stall bathrooms to “all-gender” bathrooms in buildings that Symantec owns in the US. I have been involved with PRIDE, our LGBTQ+ Employee Resource Group (ERG), for seven years, and I have acted as my local chapter’s lead and champion for the last four.
I know that for many of you reading this right now you have felt like your gender, sexuality, or some other identity label prescribed to you (or held by you) is preventing you from progressing in your career here at Symantec – and elsewhere too. As someone who has experienced discrimination in my life because of who I am, I want you to know that I have spent more than a decade building institutional support and encouragement for people like me, like you – like us! – to bring their whole, unique, and authentic selves to work every day without fear of repercussion.