3. min read

Pride In Tech

7 Change Makers Leading The Way In Tech Today

Celebrating Pride Month is an important occasion for all companies to create an inclusive environment for their employees. At Xena, we believe an inclusive environment is one where employees feel happy, safe and are able to work to the best of their abilities. With the beginning of Pride weekend about to kick off in Berlin, we wanted to celebrate some of the trailblazers who are paving the way for trans in tech.

Here is only a tiny snippet of 7 change-makers in tech, but we just wanted to give them the praise and recognition they deserve:


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1. Joanne Lockwood

Inclusion & Belonging Specialist | She/Her | Advisor | Talent Acquisition & HR | Keynote Speaker | Panelist | Podcaster | Board Member | Transgender Awareness | Gen-X

Founder and CEO of SEE Change Happen, a Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging Practice with a specialism in providing Transgender Awareness and support to organisations and businesses. Joining the Royal Air Force straight from school as an electronics apprentice, Joanne rejoined civilian life to develop her own self-taught career in computer networking. Joanne has a breadth of life experiences as an entrepreneur, involvement in fundraising activities and volunteering with Chrysalis, a Hampshire based charity supporting Gender Identity Matters.Joanne featured in the Channel4 documentary, “The Making of Me” which documented her transition period over three years. Joanne uses her own experiences in life and business to inspire many others with her journey.


2. Dr. Kortney Ryan Ziegler

Entrepreneur at Ideas42 Ventures | Race and Technology Practitioner

An award-winning writer, filmmaker and scholar. He’s also the co-founder and creator of Appolition, a crowdfunding platform to raise money to help pay bail for people across the United States, and Trans*H4CK, a non-profit dedicated to developing technology for the transgender community.

3. Ana Arriola

(They/she) |Head of Design | AI & Insights | Cloud + AI |Microsoft

Ana Arriola has been listed as one of the most powerful LGBTQ+ people in tech by the Business Insider. Currently, her title is Head of Design / AI & Insights / Cloud + AI at Microsoft, Ana is an accomplished “craftswomxn in bringing award-winning products and services to market, leveraging nearly two decades of experience and expertise in brand, human-centered product design, and product management.”In a 2016 interview and before Ana went through her full biological transition, Ana said the biggest reason she hadn’t done so yet was “fear for my 26-year career and financial implications for my family’s future.”



4. Martine Rothblatt

Chairman | CEO| Founder |United Therapeutics Corp

“Martine sees herself less as transgender and more as what is known as transhumanist, a particular kind of futurist who believes that technology can liberate humans from the limits of their biology—including infertility, disease, and decay, but also, incredibly, death.” — New York Magazine, September 7, 2014

Martine Rothblatt is responsible for the creation of a satellite radio start-up that later became known as Sirius XM. Following this success, Martine became inspired and determined to find a cure for her daughter’s rare lung disease which led to her changing the lives of thousands of patients through United Therapeutics. Martine’s books include The Apartheid of Sex, inspired by her experiences as a transgendered woman, the book depicts traditional male and female roles are defined by social attitudes.  Her latest book, Virtually Human, explores human rights for the digital lifeforms in the not too distant future.



5. Angelica Ross 

President at Miss Ross, Inc. | Founding CEO at TransTech Social Enterprises

Angelica Ross is the founder and Executive Director/CEO of TransTech Social Enterprises. She’s also an actress, transgender rights advocate and self-taught computer coder. Angelica’s passion for education, building business, and community are at the heart of her work helping companies and individuals develop their brand identity. Angelica believes making brands aware of their impact on society and social causes empowers them to create change. Angelica creates engaging Social Media Strategies, Educational Speaking Events & Workshops for LGBTQQIA with a focus on the most marginalised communities.

6. Stuart Barette

Trans lead of HSBC’s UK Pride Network

An openly trans man working as Global CMB IT Application & Infrastructure Streamlining Manager at HSBC. Stuart has been featured for his efforts toward helping transgenders have a better banking experience on OUTstanding’s Future Leaders list. Stuart described his own experience of going to the bank as “terrifying” because every time he did, he had to declare he was trans. Stuart supported the inclusion of lesbian, gay, bi, and trans employees by sharing his own lived experience with HSBC who introduced non-gender-specific titles for its retail bank account.

7. Karla O’Brien

Computer science student | UCD, Dublin, Ireland

Speaking at Inspirefest in 2016, Karla O’Brien has been applauded for her openness and visibility of coming out as a transgender woman. Empowered by the acceptance she felt in Berlin where she believes is a place where “anybody can be anybody”, she returned home and came back as the person she always wanted to be. Karla describes technology and the world of gaming as giving her the first experience of escapism in her life. “My theory is that the escapism felt by me and many other trans people are the reason so many of us find a home in tech. We feel a sort of nostalgia for the first place to accept us as we are”.

So this weekend we are asking you to celebrate all trans and non-binary. Send a message to a trans friend or LGBTQIA colleague, or donate to a local organisation.

Donate to LSVD Berlin-Brandenburg
Donate to TGEU