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Pride in Jacobs: Introducing Erin

This Pride Month we’re putting a spotlight on colleagues from our global LGBT+ network, Prism, and asking them to share their stories on camera.

This Pride Month we’re putting a spotlight on colleagues from our global LGBT+ network, Prism, and asking them to share their stories on camera. 

Introducing Erin: U.S. Navy Veteran, controls and instrumentation engineer, proud parent of two incredible kids… and transgender woman. 


She’s based at our Bingham Farms, Michigan office and works for our Critical Mission Solutions team to help deliver automotive and aerospace test systems like wind tunnels and rocket test stands. 

It’s a demanding job for anyone – but “resilience” and “strength” are two words that perfect explain the life journey that Erin has been on. It’s just over a year since she came out as transgender, despite knowing for decades that this was her true identity and being compelled to hide it from her wife, family and colleagues.   

A successful spell in the U.S. Navy during the infamous “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” era and a job in the construction industry forced Erin to hide even more, conditioning her to wear what she calls “a gender uniform” that denied her the ability to express who she really was. 

When she moved from the Navy to work for Jacobs, however, Erin started to feel that she was in a workplace where LGBT people like her would not just be tolerated but encouraged to thrive. After coming out to her wife and close friends in 2019, Erin was emboldened by Jacobs’ focus on LGBT issues – in particular our LGBT employee and transgender support networks – and came out to her supervisor and colleagues soon after.  

As Erin summarizes: “Seeing how much Jacobs supported the LGBT community gave me the confidence that they were a company I wanted to invest my life into."

Erin says that the support she’s had since from her supervisor and colleagues has been incredible. They worked with HR and IT to reflect Erin’s new name on Jacobs’ system, printed out new office placards and helped raise awareness of transgender issues and Erin’s situation on the construction site – while these might feel like small gestures, for people who are transitioning these can make a huge difference to their experience. Erin puts it best when she says:  

“The first time I went back to the office after coming out, when I saw my name on the placard I sat at my cubicle for a moment and couldn’t help but reflect on how far I’ve come from being the young, confused child growing up in a world that couldn’t understand how they felt. 
 
The same child that would never have believed a future existed where they could live happily as their true self. "

Find out more about Erin’s journey in the video below.  

 

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