Working in both corporate America and non-profit organizations, Stephanie Battaglino has seen the many sides of the human condition. Accepting her true self and making it her mission to help people embrace their identity has made Battaglino an inspiration within the Transgender, Gender Non-conforming, and Non-binary communities.
Her new memoir, Reflections from Both Sides of the Glass Ceiling: Finding My True Self in Corporate America, recounts coming out as the woman she knew herself to be while working in the corporate sector — and the repercussions that followed. She hopes that her memoir encourages individuals to find their voice in the workplace and speak up for inclusivity.
Exploring Both Sides of Gender Dynamics and Privilege in the Workplace
During a meeting in October 2005, Battaglino announced to her New York Life co-workers that she was coming out as a woman. Not only would this make her the first transgender officer in the company’s 160-year history; it would also make her the first transgender woman to work at the company.
While she was promised accommodation and support, she was instead met with aversion and invasive questions. Although Battaglino embraced her true identity, this came at the price of losing the privileges she once had at her job.
She writes that the change in her workplace after she transitioned was instantaneous. The opportunities and privileges she had once been able to participate in were now blocked by a glass ceiling.
As a woman, her status as an officer at the company slowly diminished. This gave Battaglino the incentive to end her time at New York Life and begin a career as an advocate, assisting those who also struggle with revealing their true selves.
Her Book is for People Who Want to Work in an Equitable Space
Battaglino’s hope for her memoir is to help women, cisgender and transgender, to reach their max potential and break through the glass ceiling. Battaglino also provides insights around male privilege and her experiences with that privilege before transitioning.
The memoir might be new, but it has already helped women take on corporate America and establish inclusive workspaces. GLAAD President and CEO, Sarah Kate Ellis, said Battaglino “uses her own learnings and experiences in the workplace to create better and more equitable workplaces for today’s employees.”
Jennifer Brown, founder and CEO of Jennifer Brown Consulting, an LGBTQ-owned strategic leadership and diversity consulting firm, recommends the book to “anyone who has ever felt like an outsider in corporate America — regardless of gender identity.”
How Battaglino Continues To Be a Trailblazer
In addition to being a profound writer, Battaglino is also the founder of Follow Your Heart, LLC, where she works as a motivational speaker, workshop presenter, and Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) consultant. She works with different companies to resolve D&I issues and helps them transform their workplaces into welcoming environments.
She is also the director of TransNewYork’s Speakers Bureau, which offers workshops and presentations from the TGNC Community to help businesses strengthen their D&I efforts in a meaningful manner.
Battaglino currently sits on the Board of PFLAG National, serving as the Chair of their Business Advisory Council, and has served on the Boards of the LGBT Community Center of New York and the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund.
You can learn more about Battaglino and where to purchase her book at stephaniebattaglino.com.