Women We Love 2022: Stephanie Battaglino

Stephanie Battaglino

by Stephanie Battaglino

Stephanie Battaglino was corporate vice president of New York Life when she became the first transgender person to come out and transition in the company’s 165+ year history. In her high-profile role, Battaglino’s transition was more than just a personal journey: she had to work closely with Human Resources to manage the logistics of her transition in her professional life. “I realized [through that experience] that speaking to and educating companies about the transgender and non-binary community was not just my passion, but my calling,” she tells GO. What started out as a side hustle quickly grew. Battaglino went on to found Follow Your Heart, LLC, an organization that promotes workplace inclusion and diversity, and she is now an internationally recognized speaker, workshop presenter, trainer, author, and workplace diversity, equity, and inclusion consultant. “My identity as a transwoman sits squarely at the center—at the heart—of everything I do,” says Battaglino. She openly shares her experiences with the aim of changing hearts and minds about transgender and gender-diverse individuals and, ultimately, hopes to be a catalyst for cultural change in the workplace. Battaglino’s first book, Reflections From Both Sides of the Glass Ceiling: Finding My True Self in Corporate America, explores her experiences of transitioning, losing male privilege, and being treated differently in the workplace as a woman. “If by telling my story of living into myself in the workplace, and the associated backstory of growing up feeling very, very different from those around me, speaks to those that read it in a way that’s personally meaningful to them,” she says, “then I’ve accomplished what I set out to do.” –LC

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