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Why we’re saying ‘Yes’ to marriage equality in Australia

Diversity and inclusion are core values at Microsoft. They’re at the heart of our mission as a business to empower every person and organisation on the planet to achieve more.

This lofty goal requires us to have a workforce that’s as diverse and inclusive as our customer base.  Whether it’s age, gender, sexuality or race, we want to attract employees that reflect the society we live in and who feel comfortable in bringing their whole selves to work every day.

For this reason, and because we believe it’s the right thing to do as a society, we support marriage equality in Australia.

Marriage equality is a cause we’ve put our voice behind for some time.

In 2012, we joined other high-profile companies to support same-sex marriage in our home state of Washington in the United States.  In 2015, Microsoft became one of the first signatories of the Australian Marriage Equality campaign here in Australia.

We’re backing marriage equality because it makes good business sense, as our President and Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith articulated in this blog post back in 2015.

As Brad argued, championing diversity helps make Microsoft an even more attractive place to work. In a highly competitive industry, it’s difficult to overstate how important this is in attracting and retaining top talent.

Marriage equality here would also make Australia a more attractive destination for professionals in other markets looking for a great place to live and work.

One of our aspirations is to make Microsoft Australia the best place to work. To be the best, we need our people to perform at their best and we need to attract the best talent. Marriage equality in Australia will help us achieve this.

Beyond these valuable business benefits, we strongly believe people have a basic human right to be treated equally. When people are treated equally and with respect, our society becomes stronger and more prosperous.

At Microsoft Australia, we have encouraged and supported our employees to vote in the postal survey.  We have also made it clear that this is their personal choice, and that we are respectful of differing views.

For me personally, marriage equality is a simple matter of equality and respect. I believe marriage equality is good for people, good for business and good for our Australian economy. Which is why I’ll be voting ‘yes’.