Get to Know Field Technician Soph Davenberry

Soph has been with McKinstry for nearly two years as a field technician out of our headquarters in Seattle and has over 25 years of experience in the industry. Soph is a member of McKinstry’s Pride Alliance and strives to promote respect and inclusivity for all. In the Q&A below, learn about Soph’s role at McKinstry, the meaning of pride month to them, how individuals in the workplace can better support the LGBTQ+ community and more.

Learn More About Soph’s Experience

What is your role at McKinstry/ how did you get there?

I am a field technician with the Technical Services Department since Jan 2022. I was dispatched through SMART LU66 as a Building Trades/ TAB journeyworker. I had two connections with McKinstry—one through attending a Project Management course in 2021 at Arcade Wayfinding who introduced me to Kevin Flynn in Special Projects, and by serving as an intern with Ron Fues in Energy in 2017 while I attended the Sustainable Building Sciences Technology program at South Seattle College.

We provide field measurements and data, Test, Adjust, and Balance and Commissioning for projects across many McKinstry divisions.

What is the meaning of Pride Month to you?

I very much remember and celebrate that U.S. Pride started as a riot— everyday extraordinary people, our BIPOC trans siblings at Stonewall, pushed back after terrible assaults and arrests from the police despite efforts by others in power to prevent such raids. When I was in my twenties in the 1990s I made an effort to be visibly queer, which I continued into my apprenticeship and career in the trades. Pride Month for me has been a time of gathering with my communities to be outwardly visible in numbers, especially for those who can’t. This year feels particularly important—members of SMART LU66 will be officially marching with Pride At Work at the Seattle Pride Parade (I have done so in the past, but not with the support of my union) and other places I have lived such as Florida are trying to eject and jail people like me.

How can individuals best support the LGBTQ+ community in the workplace?

R-E-S-P-E-C-T is central for me. The cultures at job sites and offices can be quite different, but we can be professional with each other across the safety barricades. Stop using homophobic insults, even if “in fun”. Offer a supportive comment to coworkers who openly share about their 2S (two-sprit) LGBTQIA+ identities. Ask about equity in benefits, especially if you work in an area that doesn’t require them.

What are helpful resources for people who want to become allies to utilize?

A great way to start is to follow and contribute to any of the numerous creative content folks such as jmaseiii and mercurystartdusttopz. Organizations such as ANEW offer training such as their RISEUp program, so asking to have those held at your jobsites are a good way to go, too.

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