Featuring LGBTQ Engineers during Pride Month Pt. 1

Meet and learn about engineers in SWE's LGBTQ and Allies Affinity Group: Angie Gonzalez and Christine Penn.
Pride Month

In celebration of Pride Month, SWE will be highlighting outstanding members in a series of blog posts showcasing their professional and personal accomplishments.

In this article, we will be highlighting Angie Gonzalez (Reliability Engineer at Northrop Grumman and part-time graduate student at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University) and Christine Penn (Software Developer at Honeywell Process Solutions).


Angie Gonzalez // Reliability Engineer Northrop Grumman and Part-Time Graduate Student at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University

Featuring LGBTQ Engineers during Pride Month Pt. 1 pride month

 

Angie Gonzalez (she/her) is a Reliability Engineer at Northrop Grumman and a part-time graduate student at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, pursuing a Master’s in Systems Engineering on the Engineering Management track. She’s been busy as of late: as an essential worker in national defense, reporting to work onsite at Northrop Grumman every day, all the while keeping up a grueling Crossfit workout schedule and starting a new degree program at Embry Riddle.

Angie was born and raised in New York and graduated from New York University with a BS in Physics and a BS in Electrical Engineering. Her professional accolades include being selected as a Point Foundation Scholar, a National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering (NACME) Scholar, and an INROADS Intern.

Angie is passionate about increasing LGBTQ acceptance and visibility within engineering. She currently volunteers as a Programming Director for the Out for Undergrad (O4U) Engineering Conference and serves as the Human Resources/Talent Acquisition Liaison for Adelante (Northrop Grumman’s Hispanic/Latinx employee resource group). 

“Connecting with LGBTQ+ leaders has been instrumental to my early career. having queer leaders has empowered me to be the unapologetic, authentic person I am today both at work and outside of work,” said Angie. “I really appreciate Northrop Grumman fostering an inclusive work environment where I am able to openly and proudly share my bisexual identity with my co-workers and managers, without fear of retaliation or discrimination.”

Angie is passionate about aircraft and spacecraft, whether it be commercial aircraft, military aircraft, or all the new ideas being pitched and tested for 21st century space travel. Her hobbies include Crossfit, hiking, rock climbing, traveling, dancing, and trying new foods! She has been hitting her workouts every day at home during quarantine, and walking, running, rollerblading, and longboarding along the beach in LA.

When asked for her advice for young queer engineers, Angie emphasizes being proactive in your career: “push yourselves out of your comfort zone and to take risks. I can’t even begin to name how many opportunities I’ve afforded myself by simply sending an e-mail or for taking on challenging assignments for visibility at work.”

Above all, she stresses the importance of authenticity and believing in yourself: “Believe that you deserve to be where you are, and that you’ve fought hard for all you’ve earned.”

She shares that she feels more empowered when she wears her natural hair, shows her piercings, and wears shirts that may expose her tattoos. She notes, although others may disagree, “it did not stop me from receiving the top performance rating at Northrop Grumman (a rating only 10% of the company achieves each year) and from receiving an early promotion. I will also share that there are times where I feel more empowered to hide some of those things, but ultimately, the power lies in what makes you feel the most confident and allows for you to perform your statement of work to best of your ability.”


Christine Penn // Software Developer within Honeywell Process Solutions

Featuring LGBTQ Engineers during Pride Month Pt. 1 pride month

Christine Penn describes herself as a “parent, trans woman, competitive cyclist, aspiring writer, dog lover, advocate, volunteer, website developer, and professional who works as a software engineer for a Fortune 100 company, Honeywell.”

Although Christine has worked for Honeywell for 26 years and as an engineer for 22, she actually does not hold a formal engineering degree: she began in the engineering major but graduated with a degree in business. “The engineering mindset has never left,” she says, and it hasn’t stopped her from having an impressive career: she holds four patents in a variety of topics, including networking, status/display, and intelligent information tracking.

Currently, Christine works as a software developer within Honeywell Process Solutions, on the Experion PKS and other related product lines. At the moment, she is developing a new approach to control systems called the HIVE, with a focus on firewall protections, wall to wall quality of service, and virtualization configurations.

Christine is new to SWE and the affinity group, having gotten involved thanks to women’s engineering and technology groups at Honeywell. She is an advocate for women in engineering and volunteers as a mentor to three women in Honeywell’s mentorship program.

Although Christine knew she was trans at four years old, she faced difficultly coming out. She was able to transition recently beginning in 2015, and has been involved in the Lehigh Valley transgender community as an active member of Lehigh Valley Renaissance. She is also an advocate for trans participation in sports and an avid cyclist, as a board member of the first USAC registered trans biking team, the Trans National Women’s Cycling Team. Currently, she is a member of the cycling team Sturdy Girl Cycling and the secretary for the Lehigh Wheelmen.


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