Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Coming out at work

Why it’s so important to be yourself.

4min
Rebecca Murr and Stephanie Boniberger
Published on June 1, 2022

 

<p><strong>&nbsp;Anna was assigned male at birth, but she identifies as a woman. A woman who is at peace with herself and who lives her <a href="trans%20identity">trans identity</a> proudly. She sets a powerful example that shows us all why it’s so important to be ourselves.</strong></p>
Having a trans identity means you identify with a gender that doesn’t match the sex you were assigned at birth. Gender relates to the social markers that we associate with a specific sex. Sex is assigned on the basis of genitals and chromosomes. People often confuse gender identity with sexual orientation. But being transgender is about who you are inside as male, female, both, or none of these. Being lesbian, gay, bisexual, or straight describes who you’re attracted to.
<p>As a child, Anna already knew she was different. But it was a long time before she could articulate that feeling. When she finally did find the right words to tell her story, she began the journey that would lead to her true identity as a <a href="%20trans%20woman">trans woman</a>. Today, Anna knows how important it is to not waste energy on hiding who she really is – including in her day-to-day interactions with coworkers. “Being able to be open and authentic about who you are makes such a difference,“ she says. “It’s the only way to get the best out of yourself and bring all your strengths to the table.”</p>
A trans woman is someone who was listed as male at birth but whose gender identity is female. The word trans is also used to cover the whole spectrum of trans identities.
<p>Almost three years have passed since Anna stopped coming to work as Michael – who had a muscular build, with a neat beard and shaved head. Today Anna wears her hair long and her figure has become more feminine; she’s started hormone therapy. “Some people at work do still stare,” she says. “But most people just ask. I find that much easier to deal with.” <br><br>More than anything, Anna feels free these days. She can finally be her full self – both at work and in her personal life. The people around her have played a big role in this, and she’s grateful to her wife, friends, therapists, managers, and coworkers for all their support and encouragement.</p>
<p>Anna was very lucky to be able to walk her path among open-minded people and in a safe space. She’s well aware that many trans people still face discrimination at work. This happens for a variety of reasons; often, a lack of knowledge and understanding about the lives of trans people leads to uncertainty and misconceptions. Anna knows that these situations can be avoided by providing information and putting the right strategies in place. That’s why she’s working with our HR department to produce a guide for trans people, their managers, and their coworkers.<br><br>Anna is also involved in the Pride Network, an organization for<a data-ste-link-id="3310502325.on/cp-text-image-583253bf:0005273058.%20LGBTIQA+:3379546017" href="%20LGBTIQA+">&nbsp;LGBTQIA+</a> people and allies at Siemens Healthineers. The members hold events to draw attention to their community, provide advice and assistance, and work to make the work culture at Siemens Healthineers even more open and inclusive. “I know that we’re making good progress, but diversity still needs to be more visible,” Anna says.</p>
LGBTQIA+ is an inclusive term that includes people of all genders and sexualities, such as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, queer, intersex, asexual, pansexual, and allies. While each letter in LGBTQIA+ stands for a specific group of people, the term encompasses the entire spectrum of gender fluidity and sexual identities.
Anna Wischlitzki has been in a leadership position at Siemens Healthineers since 2019. Outside of work, she enjoys playing classical guitar and drinking good coffee. She loves it so much that she took a barista course – and her coworkers are very glad that she did.
Micha in different situations

By Rebecca Murr and Stephanie Boniberger
Rebecca Murr and Stephanie Boniberger are both editors at Siemens Healthineers.