Meet and learn about two members in SWE’s LGBTQ+ and Allies Affinity Group: Melissa Rickman and Marcie Mathis
Job/Studies: Senior Engineer, Phillips 66, Sustainability Innovations (R&D)
SWE involvement: I co-presented at WE21 on the topic of allyship in the workplace. I try my best to stay active in the LGBTQ+ affinity group!
What is PRIDE for you: For me, PRIDE is creating safe spaces that allow my friends and colleagues to be their authentic selves without shame. It’s calling legislators to advocate for equal rights for all. It’s educating friends what it means that their friend Melissa is unapologetically non-binary and queer and what they can do to make their communities safer for other LBGTQ+ people.
Job/Studies: I Graduated from the University of Washington in 1990 with a BS in Electrical Engineering. I also have a BS in Natural Science. I work at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in the Quality Division of the Engineering and Planning Department. My volunteer work includes being on the boards of my local Pride organization (Kitsap Pride Network) and of Out to Innovate.
SWE involvement: I have had many roles in my 30+ years as a SWE member including: Student Section Treasurer, Region J Secretary, South Puget Sound Section Treasurer. Currently I am on the SWE Magazine Editorial Board and am a Co-Lead for the LGBTQ+ and Allies SWE Affinity Group.
What is PRIDE for you: Pride is a way to celebrate, and raise awareness. It is both historical and current – showcasing the work and sacrifices by those in the past, while also reminding us that, while we have many safe spaces to gather and be authentic, there are still far too many places where we cannot safely be ourselves. As long as kids are being kicked out of their families and homes, there is still work to do.
SWE acknowledges that the observation of Pride Month in June is in accordance with a United States tradition and that LGBTQ+ history and culture are celebrated at many different times throughout the year across the globe.