IT Consultant Ellie Webster at work.
When you think about going to work, your mind might automatically imagine offices, managers, projects, collaboration or deadlines. But for some, it’s not that simple. They may feel a sense of uncertainty, fear of judgement or even discomfort.
Though not always discussed, discrimination in the workforce is a real issue faced by many. While a key factor in your ability to produce your best work is a safe work environment where you feel comfortable and can be authentic to yourself, finding these environments is not always easy or clear cut.
Ellie Webster is a proud West Michigan native, an IT systems administrator, a lover of vinyl records and a vintage motorcycle enthusiast. She has built a Tesla coil and has traveled internationally. She is, and has accomplished, many things worth telling. Yet, what she calls the “least interesting thing about her”—that she identifies as being transgender—is something that she was not always comfortable sharing, especially in the workplace.
Webster found a passion for her career early on in life. In high school, she discovered a love for computers during a basic technology class. She showed advanced skills, leading her teacher to pull her from his class to run as a teacher’s aide instead of using the class for extra study.
IT systems administrator Ellie Webster, TEKsystems diversity team lead Graci Harkema, TEKsystems recruiter Mike DeDomenic, and in the front is TEKsystems account manager Jessica Targosz.
After high school, she began working at small family-owned businesses, running home networks or operating data entry just to be in front of a computer instead of on a factory floor. She worked with IT recruiting companies, like TEKsystems, to find specific roles to drive her career. She eventually worked her way up to running entire departments, managing projects, budgets and processes, and working internationally.