My life at Nokia: Eve Jutras
Transitioning while at Nokia: Eve Jutras
My life at the company started back in 1999, hired as a Network Tester under the ATM (Asynchronous Transfer Mode) working group. My work evolved over time, in various groups (including testing, customer visible demos and R&D) to finally land as a Solutions Architect working on architecture and design of customer visible demos for the IoT (Internet of Things) group.
My biggest visible accomplishment has been architecting the LTE Connected Car, where that project was initiated back in 2010.
I have been with the company for more than 15 years, yet it feels like it was not too long ago that I had my first day. Time has passed, but that does not mean that nothing other than work has happened in my professional and personal life.
More than a year ago, I began my transition from male to female. I had a discussion with human resources in North America to inform them of my plans, and get their invaluable support if there were to be any negative reactions among my colleagues. Two HR representatives were assigned to me, one from Ottawa, Canada, where our offices are located, and a second one in Plano, Texas, where our extended team is based.
I was fortunate to learn that HR already had a North American gender transitioning guide in place, which later got adjusted based on my experience.
My colleagues all had different reactions. After a year on hormones, people who I didn’t work with on a daily basis stopped recognizing me. Others, who had more experience with people in gender transitions reached out to my manager to ask if I was transgender. Not surprisingly, the people I interacted with every day could not see any difference until an announcement was made.
The relationship with all other members of my team stayed exactly as it was before.
During this whole process, nobody made any negative comments and everybody was fine with the fact that I had transitioned.
My experience as a transgender employee within the company has been very positive, and I’m grateful for HR’s invaluable trainings and support. Without this, my transition would have been far more difficult.
Being different is normal and this is something that should be appreciated by default. A company that does not accept and welcome differences will not survive long.