Jan Diaz


Senior Staff Engineer


New York, NY

Built Environment Queer Project

" I understand that it can be difficult and scary to pursue a career in engineering, but don't worry! just be yourself. At the end, the only thing people will care about is how good you are at what you do. Don't let fear stop you from chasing your passion! Sometimes the hardest part is accepting yourself and being comfortable with who you are."

Q&A with Participant:

  1. Describe your current position.
  2. I'm a field geotechnical engineer. Generally I perform geotechnical explorations, foundations, ground improvement, instrumentation, and support of excavation.

  3. What is your educational background?
  4. I did my bachelor's in engineering in Domincan Republic and my master's degree in Geotechnical and Geomechanics Engineering at SUNY Buffalo.

  5. What do you love about your career?
  6. My faborite thing of my career is that there is always a new challenge. Since I work a lot in the field, I frequently always encounter interesting engineering problems as it is the nature of the job. There is always uncertainty and it is my job to make sure that conquer each of the challenges that come my way.

  7. Do you incorporate your queer identity in your career? How?
  8. I think that incorporating my queer persona in my work has often given me the advantage of thinking out of the box. I frequently see engineering problems from a different point of view than others, so I try to bring my opinion into the equation to make things flow better. Also, I've learned due to my queer identity that when teams are diverse (e.g. background, gender, ehtnicity, etc), solutions are more innovative and work is performed more effectively.

  9. Have you ever had a negative experience in a professional environment that was related to your queer identity? How did you deal with it?
  10. I haven't had any direct encounter or experience in the professional environment, But there has been different suggestions and comments made by contractors, clients and colleagues that have made me felt awkward. As Michelle Obama wisely said "When they go low, we go high". Don't let the ignorance let you do your work and prove them wrong, prove them that you can excel in every sense of the word. This way others will not just respect you, but also see you as what you truly are, and excellent engineer.

  11. What role has mentorship played in your career? Do you have a queer mentor?
  12. I do not have a queer mentor, unfortunately!

Follow our Participant in Social Media!

Instagram: @janc10

Interesting in participating?

Please email us at BEQueer@qu-ake.org and we will send you instructions within 48 hours.

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