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Trans employees in tech: an inspirational story from the 90s

  • October 21, 2021

Richard Parker, a principal transgender engineer at Intel, tell us how educating people around and doing the best you can in your work can make the difference for trans employees in tech, in this article at Forbes.

“Transitioning in the 90s was still pretty difficult socially,” Parker explains. “Everyone knows what transgender means now, but in the 90s a lot of people did not. So that had its challenges both in and outside the office.”

“Before Parker could get any policies updated, she needed to educate those in charge on what it meant to be transgender. “I went about it by telling my story to people that would listen,” she says.

“I’m a senior employee now,” she says. “I have around 25 patents. I have done quite well, and I know if I were to look for another career right now, I would not consider any company that doesn’t have those protections in place, and I think probably a lot of new employees coming into the workforce feel the same way.”

“To anyone else fighting for workplace protections, Parker insists on finding allies. “Don’t do it alone. Find an ally in HR. Find an ally in legal…So much of the work was even just knowing the right people to talk to, who to approach, how to approach them, and that’s stuff you can get help with from your allies.”

“She also says to prepare for challenges. “Have a strong support network because there will be setbacks along the way or people that say things that normally you might have trouble with, but you’re educating them and it’s going to take time for them to learn.”