Being Your Authentic Self

June 26, 2017 Pivotal Software


Pivotal engineer Zoe Gagnon talks about what it’s like to be trans and build software


“I feel like anytime you’re releasing software where the user base is the general public or interacts with the general public, you have an issue of coming to contact with trans or gender-variant people. In the United States 0.6% of the population, about 1.4 million people, have had a gender confirming surgery. Some surveys also say that only about 1/10th of transgender people ever have a gender confirming surgery…

Everybody will come into contact with a trans person, possibly without knowing it. If you create software that excludes those people then you’re contributing to a situation where people who are already repressed and having challenges presented to them just because of who they are. You are contributing to that, you’re multiplying it because the software that we use is the underpinning of modern life…

Honestly, right now I can say I’m super happy that I’m at Pivotal. Not only is it a place that affects me quite a bit, but the interaction I have with clients, I feel like I have the support to be a visible trans person. I’ve spent quite a lot of time being authentic to myself and Pivotal is a place I’m safe to broadcast my past, my history. One of the things I love about Pivotal is that I can take that history, that viewpoint and share it with different companies — large banks and large retailers. Companies that you would not expect to find welcoming to change and difference. I can share myself, my past, with those places and really start to have an influence on the people in those organizations.”

—Zoe Gagnon, Senior Software Engineer at Pivotal NY

This post was originally posted on our Instagram, on March 31st, as part of Trans Day of Visibility.

Being Your Authentic Self was originally published in Built to Adapt on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


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