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How an Inclusive Culture Made this LGBTQ+ Software Engineer Feel Powerful

How an Inclusive Culture Made this LGBTQ+ Software Engineer Feel Powerful

<p>How an Inclusive Culture Made this LGBTQ+ Software Engineer Feel Powerful</p>

Justin White, a Director of Software Engineering at Capital One, shares how the company's focus on diversity, inclusion and belonging helped him find success.

For Justin White (he/they), hiding his whole self at work would have been detrimental for him both personally and professionally. Thankfully, he can show up every day as his authentic self at Capital One.

Justin has worked with the company for about 11 years. He started out by helping build their first in-house card servicing website and now—as a Director of Software Engineering—leads the development of Capital One’s premium experiences in their mobile app including Travel, Rewards, Dining & Entertainment, and Recurring Spend Insights. Working at Capital One has been a new experience for Justin, one that involves a company culture that supports him in being proud of who he is and growing into the role he’s always dreamed of.

“It’s really powerful to be yourself. And now that I’ve come out at work, it’s actually helped me in my personal life. When you edit yourself to make yourself more palatable, and to not create waves, you end up dimming your light across the board,” Justin says.

That type of support is paramount to feeling fully part of a company, and Justin’s leaders are always encouraging him to be himself.

Justin learned how attentive and empathetic his leaders were shortly after he started at Capital One. He went to his leadership team to ask if he needed to change his mohawk or remove his facial piercings before a big meeting. They said, “Don’t go all corporate on us now.”

“That moment was really cool for me,” Justin says. “To know that I don’t have to put on a mask or edit myself when I show up to work is incredible.”

As Justin gained more confidence in expressing himself at work, he was able to earn a director position and start leading by example. He makes sure his team has just as many opportunities to grow and express themselves.

“Capital One has invested in me tremendously. When I came here, I hadn’t coded in a couple years. But people took the time to help me, and in turn I was able to help others. That’s just part of the culture at Capital One,” Justin begins. “Every team I’ve been a part of has taken the time to help everyone learn so that they can contribute.”

For Justin, all of the learning he’s done at Capital One is made even better by doing it as part of a community. He’s a member of Out Front, Capital One’s LGBTQ+ Business Resource Group (BRG), and Gray Matter, a group dedicated to helping/supporting associates with their mental health.

“It’s important to know you’re not alone,” Justin says. “Capital One’s focus on diversity, inclusion and belonging, empathetic leadership and career development make it a perfect place for associates to thrive.”

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