You have to remember that those were very different times. Plus, for as few protections as there are for trans people now, there were none then. Had she actually transitioned at IBM, more than likely sexism would have come into play. In reflection, IBM may have done her a favor.
We like to believe that the US is a meritocracy, but this incident was clearly the opposite. While those that she worked with and for were OK, the opposite was true as you went up the food chain. They let their prejudice and fear lead them to a bad decision.
However, times are changing. Compare Dr. Conway’s experience with that of Dr. Maggie Stump at Prudential. Worlds apart.
Actually, my LGBT employee affinity group at Corning brought Dr. Stump in for a speech, but I missed it as I was working out of the country at that point…