Congrats. You’re rare. We should be on the team. It’s still somewhat rare. Even when I’ve been on the team I was nearly constantly circumvented, overruled, or given nearly zero time to do deep, quality work. They just wanted wireframes in 2 days.
As for stop acting like second class citizens and step up, we try. UX attracts people who are strong-willed, customer advocates, and not shy. We try. We are often shot down. Typically some Agile purist will tell us that’s not how SAFe works… or that’s not “really Agile.” If portfolio and others aren’t including us in early estimations, and are guessing at what time we need, it’s disasters waiting to happen.
I can request to be on the team. I can demand it. I can give people the book I wrote about it. I can do the 1-day workshop I wrote on it. And if that’s not how Engineering or leaders or coaches see it, all my “stepping up” will have been meaningless.
So again, congrats that all is going well in your walled garden. There are many other realities out there that I’m glad you haven’t experienced.