I did not knowingly know any members of the transgender community until late 2015. I was at a KPMG event representing InterEngineering and recognised the leading transgender role model on Twitter, Jacqui Gavin. Jacqui has led on change within the Civil Service, works with the LGBT Foundation and is National Chair of a:Gender, the national Civil Service network for gender identity and intersex. At the event, she was chatting with some others and, in proper-networking etiquette, I went over to introduce myself. One of the ladies she was speaking to was Isobel Sheldon, Engineering and Technology Director at Johnson Matthey Battery Systems. Safe to say I got super excited when I discovered a potential senior engineer trans role model! Shortly after this event, I met Christina Riley who is co-chair of the Balfour Beatty LGBT Network and a transgender role model working to raise awareness of LGBT+ inclusion in the construction sector.
In order to advance my education on what it is like being transgender and in particular in engineering, I invited them over to my flat for a conversation-style discussion. We had a lot of fun recording the footage (I laughed so much my sides hurt at some points).
This post presents the journey Christina and Isobel went on to discover their true identity, and they offer heartfelt insight into something very personal to them. We hope this video offers some insight and support to anyone who may be questioning their gender identity.
I am also proud that our InterEngineering Midlands Co-chair, Charlotte Robinson, is transgender and has now began living as her authentic self.
See below for “Being a Transgender Engineer – Part 1:
Author: Dr Mark McBride-Wright, Chair of InterEngineering