An Interview with a courageous transwoman – Celia Daniels. Part 2 of 2

Celia Daniels with the Transgender Pride flag.

Since November 20th is the Transgender Day of Remembrance, this is an ideal time to publish this blog.  Do look for a TDOR event in your community!

In part 1 of this interview (link) with the fascinating and courageous Celia Daniels, we focused on her early childhood and initial part of her adult life and career up to the point where Celia determined she needed to move on with her life as Celia. Now we continue to the discussion on the rest of Celia’s journey up to the present day.

STAN: Celia, continuing our discussion where we left off, you rose to senior level leadership at Dun & Bradstreet, and had also realized that being a transgender person was the way you were born and something you could not change. So what did you do next?
CELIA: At this point, I decided to focus on my transition, so resigned from Dun & Bradstreet. I also decided that I couldn’t transition due to various medical conditions. I decided to socially transition instead of medically. Either way I decided to live my life in my authentic gender. It wasn’t easy.

STAN: That’s a great step, practicing self-care and taking the necessary steps to doing what you needed to do in your life. Did you then return to the job market?
CELIA: Yes! But then something had changed. As Daniel, I was a senior executive in other F100 companies that I worked. As Celia, I had a hard time getting the similar jobs with the same resume. I applied for Jobs in companies that had a HRC Corporate Equality Index of 100%. Unfortunately I realized that these companies were pink washing or hiring trans and gender variant folks in junior roles, blue color jobs or individual contributors.

STAN: How did this job search turn out?
CELIA: I decided not to compromise on my 23+ years of corporate experience in Health care and life sciences. These companies liked my professional experience, but they were not ready to hire me at a senior level. One HR manager even told me at a transgender job fair, “We actually don’t expect to see people like you.”

STAN: How did you respond?
CELIA: I was certainly offered positions quite below my experience level, but I was not willing to compromise on my experience. I have built case management business for $30M across the globe hiring doctors, pharmacist and case managers handling adverse events for pharma companies and here I was offered a job as a case manager. It was ridiculous.

The Transgender Day of Remembrance in 2020 recognized the 34 trans people murdered in 2020 (photo courtesy of Elle)

STAN: So then what was next for you?
CELIA: After being marginalized by more than 30 companies, I got tired and started my own consulting firm, Rebekon Consulting, LLC. I started offering management consulting and DEI services for start up, mid to large companies including F100 companies in Life Sciences and Healthcare. I also started offering companywide training and awareness in the various topics including: Building Allies, Inclusive workplace, Healthcare/Mental Health, Gender Non-Binary Policies and Intersectionality within the marginalized communities. And more!

Secondly, I became an activist for full and fair employment of transgender people. I joined the executive board of TransCanWork, Inc. and frequently speak on transgender equity using the session title “Change from the Bathroom to the Boardroom,” both in US, India and across the globe. As a child I dreamt of living in a world, where I can freely express my gender and feel loved and accepted. Forty seven years later, here I am today. Proud of who I am. This is my destiny and will continue to do this as long as I live.

STAN: How can people get ahold of you if they would like to engage you and your services.
CELIA: I welcome you to connect with me on [email protected] or LinkedIn ( Instagram #celiasandaniels
STAN: Thank you Celia, and I wish you the very best in all your endeavors. You are doing important work and I join you on wanting to see significant progress in this area.