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10-Second Bio: Meet Ianna Urquhart

Digital Communications Specialist Ianna Urquhart, UCOP Pride Steering Committee member

Link is proud to partner with the Office of Workplace Inclusion and Belonging to highlight employee resource group leaders who are volunteering their time to build UCOP’s culture and community.

Digital Communications Specialist Ianna Urquhart is a member of the UCOP Pride Steering Committee and the moderator of one of the largest online transgender support groups in the world. Learn what inspires Ianna at home, at work and within UCOP Pride.

Meet Ianna

Name: Ianna D. Urquhart

Title: Digital Communications Specialist

Department/Unit: Graduate, Undergraduate and Equity Affairs

Location: Franklin Building

When I started working At UCOP: February 2018

What I do for OP in five words or less: I put UC classes online.

The best part about working for OP: I can help bring education to everyone in the great state of California.

Something your colleagues don’t know about you: I moderate one of the largest online transgender support groups in the world. I’m transgender, and when I joined the /r/asktransgender sub on Reddit in 2011,  it had about 2,000 subscribers. We’re now at almost 285,000 and the subscribers come from all over the world. It’s a place where people can feel safe to ask questions about their gender and explore a part of them that they might hide from the outside world for fear of judgment and ridicule. It’s not easy being trans, even in the most conducive of environments, and some people live in situations that are far from optimal for transition. We do our best to offer advice and support, from worried parents of gender non-conforming children to older transitioners who are worried that they might have waited too long to transition (it’s never ever too late). It’s basically a full-time job after I get off work; it’s tiring, but so very, very rewarding.

One weird fact about the town you grew up in: I grew up in Singapore, where chewing gum is banned.

If you could have any job in the world (besides the one you have now), it would be… Batwoman. If you have a chance, always be Batwoman.

Employee resource group (ERG) you lead/colead: UCOP Pride

How long you’ve been a member: I joined pretty much at the same time I started working for UC in 2018.

Your favorite part about belonging to this ERG: My favorite part about being in UCOP Pride is getting to know the other LGBTQIA+ employees. There’s a unique shared experience there that binds most queer and gender non-conforming people together, and I always look forward to hearing how that experience has shaped other people. I also like that it gives me an opportunity for advocacy in the workplace to help make UCOP a more diverse and accepting environment for everyone.

Why you hope other colleagues will consider joining your ERG: I hope other queer and gender non-conforming employees will join us in our ERG because visibility matters, and there’s a comfort in knowing that there are other people like you who work in the same department/building/system, etc.

Learn more about UCOP Pride

Introduce yourself to UCOP colleagues: Submit your 10-Second Bio!


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