Celia Sandhya Daniels was recently interviewed by TheCelebrity.Online Magazine and below is the Q&A session we had with her.
Celia Sandhya Daniels As Cover Story – October 2023 Edition
How do you introduce yourself?
Hello, I’m Celia Sandhya Daniels. My pronouns are she/they. I am a Management Consultant with 25 years of demonstrated leadership experience in healthcare and life sciences, working with Fortune 100 companies in both the U.S and India. I identify as a gender nonbinary trans femme.
Childhood to Adulthood – How was your transition from childhood to adulthood, and what are the good and bad memories you have?
I realized I was different at the age of four, struggling with gender incongruence. My gender didn’t align with my anatomy, and I lived my life as a girl in secret. I experienced sexual abuse, public humiliation, and attempted suicide twice during high school, carrying these traumas into my adulthood and marriage. It has been a challenging journey as a professional, spouse, and parent to my only daughter. The joy of having an understanding wife and a super-supportive daughter keeps me going every day.
Struggles – What hardships have you faced in life?
The toughest decision I had to make was accepting that I am a transgender woman and learning to navigate my family, profession, and social life. This is not a lifestyle choice but an intrinsic part of who I am, as it is for all trans and gender-diverse individuals. I face numerous challenges every day in living my authentic gender.
After a successful career in the corporate world as Daniels, I struggled to find a job where I could re-establish myself in the business world as Celia. Companies were hesitant to hire a trans woman of color for senior-level strategic roles. The pay gap and equity issues were real. My salary dropped by 30%, and the positions offered to me were lower than what I had before transitioning. My wife encouraged me to start my own business, which I did a year later.
What don’t people usually know about you?
There are two sides to my story. Before coming out, I was a successful business professional in the corporate world, and nobody knew I was a transgender woman. I was afraid of coming out, fearing ostracism and job loss. After I came out as Celia, I was labeled as a trans entrepreneur in the business world, but I am more than that. I am a musician, songwriter, composer, hiker, photographer, filmmaker, blogger, and foodie. I have numerous intersectional identities that people may not be aware of.
What sets you apart from your competitors in the industry and in life?
I am a people-oriented person and a trusted advisor to my clients. The value I bring to my clients, through both my professional experience and my authentic lived experience as a trans woman who has navigated the corporate world, sets me apart from my competitors.
What are your upcoming major events?
As a top DEI and LGBTQ+ advisor in the Biopharma and Healthcare industry on LinkedIn, I am continually educating organizations. I participate in panel discussions, podcasts, and webcasts to advocate for the Trans and gender-diverse community. You can follow me on LinkedIn for my schedule.
What are your food preferences and physical attributes?
I love street food, Chicken 65 and Afghan kabobs are my favorite.
Your love life, relationships, and family?
I am happily married to a cisgender woman of South Asian descent. We celebrated our 26th wedding anniversary this year. I have an amazing daughter in her mid-twenties who works for the Department of Energy in the state of California. She recently graduated from Northwestern and is a strong advocate for the LGBTQ+ community and the environment.
What expert advice would you like to give?
As a DEIBA advisor and coach, I educate my clients, engage with them, and empower their organizations to be truly inclusive, from the bathroom to the boardroom. Remember, ‘Change doesn’t come from the letterhead of the company but from the hearts of the employees, so take care of them.’
Your social media handles and website links?