Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Voices of pride

Discover the inspiring personal stories of our LGBTQIA+ employees and their transformative experiences within the company since their first feature on our website.
Published on May 31, 2024
<p><strong>Two years have passed since Anna Wischlitzki took the courageous step of publicly speaking about her coming out at work, showing how important it is to live our true selves openly. Since then, a lot has happened in her life. Hear from her in her own words:</strong><strong>&nbsp;</strong></p><p>"Coming out is never a straightforward path. It's a delicate dance of narratives, where one must be gentle not to overwhelm others. I've found an unexpected ally in my company, which provided a platform to amplify my voice, sparing me countless draining conversations. After the first <a href="https://www.siemens-healthineers.com/perspectives/coming-out-at-work" target="_blank">article</a> about me, I received so much positive feedback from both within the company and my personal network – more than I could have ever hoped for. This support has been instrumental in my journey to becoming my true self.</p>

The picture on the left, taken six years ago, and the one on the right, from a Christmas party three years later, may seem worlds apart, but they are of the same person. The person in the first picture had no inkling of what the future held.

<p>What truly astounded me was the personal acknowledgment from one of our board members for sharing my story. We had a great conversation about my transition and my family. When I expressed my father's concerns about my professional future, she invited us both for a follow-up meeting. This gesture dispelled any doubts I had. Today, I continue to enjoy my role as head of Business Partner Management for digital service operations and feel widely accepted.</p>
<p>Since my global coming out, I've had the privilege of being a panelist and speaker at various internal events, where I've shared my insights and experiences. My role in developing a guideline for trans* individuals at Siemens Healthineers, which successfully launched in Germany, marks a step towards a more inclusive future. I'm eager to witness its global adoption at our company. This journey has been incredibly fulfilling. And it made Siemens Healthineers a place where I can be my true self."</p>
<p id="isPasted"><strong>Last year, Gerardo Guarderas discussed the importance of allyship with a colleague, </strong><a href="https://www.siemens-healthineers.com/perspectives/allyship-in-the-workplace"><strong>sharing their personal journeys</strong></a><strong> towards being their true selves at work. But Gerardo's story didn't end there. Read his update here.&nbsp;</strong></p><p>"The world is still far from perfect – there is still a long way to go in terms of human rights and equality. I truly believe that sharing our experience and being visible helps people see that, in the end, we are all human beings and that everyone has the right to pursue their dreams and find happiness.&nbsp;</p>
Two men with a baby outside

"I am grateful for our company’s support during the process and for the joy and encouragement I’ve felt from my colleagues."

<p id="isPasted">Last year, our biggest dream came true: Tim and I became parents. It was a long and challenging path for us, as it is for many couples who cannot have children the natural way – be they straight or gay. The surrogacy process is very complex, time-consuming, financially stressful, bureaucratic, and therefore obviously brought about many emotions. Yet, it stands true that where there is a will, there is a way. I am grateful for our company’s support during the process and for the joy and encouragement I’ve felt from my colleagues. Our policies generally recognize LGBTQIA+ parents as equal to straight parents. Although some system adaptations were necessary, the willingness to make it work proved that we at Siemens Healthineers live our company values.</p><p>Tim and I are madly in love with each other and with our son. As proud fathers we will protect and support him. All we wish for him is to be happy and a big part of that means living in a world where he can be his true self."</p>
<p><strong>Lindsay Krakauer shared how her&nbsp;</strong><strong>coming out</strong><strong>&nbsp;</strong><strong>has helped her become the person she wants to be. Today, she welcomes two chapters of her life: career advancement and being a new mom. Read where life has taken her in her own words.</strong></p>
<p>"Since I shared <a href="https://www.siemens-healthineers.com/deu/perspectives/be-your-best-self" id="isPasted">my story</a> to encourage all Healthineers to be their best selves, I have been touched by the outpouring of colleague support, including many parents of LGBTQIA+ children. As a parent now, this was especially meaningful and a reminder that we have allies all around us.</p><p>My career has always had two threads: leading folks through significant transformations and creating environments where everyone can thrive. But it was when my passion for transformation met my commitment to not leaving anyone behind that I realized more of my personal purpose by becoming the Global Head of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Culture.<strong id="isPasted">&nbsp;</strong>My current role involves collaborating with Healthineers around the world, to create and maintain a culture where people's views and inputs are valued and respected, and they feel a sense of belonging and recognition.</p>

An ally supports people from underrepresented groups. Strong allies listen empathetically and learn about the unique challenges others face. They step boldly, take action, and advocate on behalf of others.

<p>My colleagues have reinforced the importance of community for me. We all go through challenging times, but you don't have to go through it alone. I would not be where or who I am today without my allies. The help offered by others carries you, teaches you and inspires you to show up for people when they need it.</p>

Employee headshott

<p>The moments where I can act as an ally for others are some of the most rewarding moments for me. The PRIDE network we have cultivated embodies this spirit of support and solidarity, providing a safe space for employees to be themselves and thrive. Our culture is based on employee communities where people connect, bond and belong. Community is important to me, it helps us to grow as individuals and as Healthineers. It's about not leaving anyone behind and ensuring everyone feels included so that we can win together."</p>
<p><strong>When Gerardo Guarderas and David Piteira Pereira recorded&nbsp;</strong><a href="/perspectives/allyship-in-the-workplace" target="_blank"><strong>their video</strong></a><strong>&nbsp;last year, they discussed the importance of a support structure among friends and family. This had an impact not only on those watching it but also on David himself. &nbsp;It made him think about his family situation and inspired him to stop hiding his true self.</strong></p><p>"Besides coming out to my friends and family by sharing the video, I used the past months to become even more active in the Pride community at Siemens Healthineers. As Pride Country Lead for Portugal within Siemens Healthineers and as a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&amp;I) advocate within Siemens’ DivIn Portugal’s Pride pilar, I was invited to moderate a Pride conference, do a research project, and give several presentations about the topics of DE&amp;I. I want to be an ally not only to those who already had their coming out but also to those who still feel they must hide who they are. Sharing my positive experiences will hopefully inspire them to embrace their authentic selves and be open about them, at least to those who deserve their trust.&nbsp;</p>

An informal working group consisting of employees from different departments. Together, they want to increase awareness of DE&I, showing that these topics have a direct influence on a company’s business success and sustainability. They analyze data and listen to people to learn about deficits and launch measures against discrimination.

Employee headshot

<p id="isPasted">Being a DE&amp;I advocate at Siemens Healthineers, I am not only exchanging with experts, but I am also very interested in increasing awareness about LGBTQIA+ employees. Showing the devastating effects of discrimination, ignorant behavior, and gender-based violence helps to build empathy and allyship across borders. &nbsp;One of the issues I mention in my presentations concerns with “the cost of thinking twice”, which is the expense of brain power and resources LGBTQIA+ employees use to filter communications and ensure they do not give themselves away. This constant, meticulous re-examination of one’s identity and the emotional and mental exhaustion such a process entails is known as “the cost of thinking twice.”</p><p>Obviously, in a workplace you conceal intrinsic parts of your personal life: it starts with a simple “Good morning, how was your weekend?” and the same goes for meeting colleagues outside of work. Countless situations make life difficult for colleagues who dare not to talk about their true, authentic selves in the workplace. &nbsp;At the same time, having a trust-based and open workplace culture can empower colleagues and support everyone in their private lives, too – as it happened to me last year. Furthermore, studies have shown how those who do not need to hide will outperform those who need to hide their true authentic self, which ultimately hinders their career progression, productivity and creativity. Thanks to my colleague and ally Gerardo Guarderas, my life changed enormously, and I could finally seek greater proximity with my parents."</p>