Corporate Director - Ethics and Anti-Corruption
Teledyne FLIR GTC Projects
I came out when I was 16 years old and it was liberating as it was something that I could no longer deny within myself. During the mid-seventies, being gay was something that was not spoken about or discussed. This was especially true when I joined the military as their position was that this lifestyle was not compatible with the military service. The military has not always been on the best of terms regarding people who choose to serve in the military and who are a part of the LGBTQIA+ community.
Being in the military was difficult and had its challenges. As a gay female, I was so proud to serve my country, but I also felt there were times that my country did not believe I was fit for duty because of my sexual preference. So, in essence I was forced to go back into the closet while enlisted due to the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy that was launched. After completing my enlistment, I departed the military and started my career of working for various defense contractors both internationally and domestically. Some companies were accepting of my status, others were not.
I started at Teledyne in 2008, working as a Corporate Compliance Director. I remember when I first interviewed with the senior leadership team I started the interview with Melanie Cibik and first stated that I wanted to tell her upfront that I was gay and if that did not fit into the culture of the company then I did not want to waste her time. Her reaction was, “No we have no issues as a Company with your sexual orientation.” Hearing that was priceless for me as I felt that I found a place that accepted both my expertise and me as a gay person. Teledyne is a great company that has a very diversified culture with strong leadership commitment to providing a work environment that is free from harassment, and threatening behavior. I would highly recommend anyone from the LGBTQIA+ community to come work at Teledyne and feel confident in knowing there’s always a place for them within the company.