In the second of Noah Kennell’s blogs, he reveals his experience of hiding his transgender identity for his interview with Atkins.
Once the lady from Atkins had hung up after running through my A-Levels, whether or not I’d be willing to go to different offices and confirm my interview date, I punched the air in triumph. Finally an interview. But wait. Clothes. I’d said I was female. I was going to have to present female. Challenge accepted.
I’d never been a “prim and pristine princess” more like a muddy potato.
The day before my interview I went *gasp* clothes shopping. I searched high. I searched low. I searched in high street stores. I searched in charity shops. Then I found what I was looking for. I found a skirt suit – my size.
I ignored the wave of discomfort. Anything for a good impression. I paid the assistant (I remember it was £35 for a Moss skirt suit – bargain) and searched for a hairdressers. I found one. We engaged in empty chatter about the interview and ‘what I was doing at the weekend’. After a very ‘fluffy’ cut I paid (I remember this too – £60 for a haircut – rip off) I headed home and prepared for the next day.
As I was scanning the website, I stumbled across the Atkins Awards Page; ‘The Times Top 50 Employers for Women’. A warm fuzzy feeling built up. Maybe there’s hope.
Fast forward to the individual interview and the dreaded question: “Have you any questions for us?”
I shift in my seat. Partly because tights are uncomfortable (props to those who tame those evil vestments) and partly to buy myself time about how to phrase my question.
Do I ask, “Is it okay to be trans*?” No. That doesn’t sound right. Do I ask, “Do you have job prospects for transgender people?” Nope – that’s not right either. Aha – general diversity and inclusion question!
“I notice you’ve been awarded for your intake of women in the company. What are the prospects like?”
The two men smile and assure me they don’t mind who you are or where you’re from – they just want you to do a good job.
To read the next part about Noah’s experience of disclosing his transgender identity, please click here.
To read about Noah’s first day at Atkins, please click here.
Read Noah’s first post about the Application process here.
To read about the future for Noah, please click here.