a man smiling with the ocean behind him

“I came across a piece of testimony and thought, ‘Well, that’s not what I expected!'”

As a teenager in small village, Sergio Matos never imagined how another person’s story would shape his own.

A man smilingI come from a small village, and when I was 17, I bought a magazine that featured Microsoft as one of the best companies to work for. And I remember reading it and thinking, “Oh, I’ll never get there.”

But I did! And when I started at the company, I was overwhelmed with the amount of internal information about the culture, volunteer programs, and emphasis on diversity and inclusion. I came across a piece of testimony from a person who began their gender transition while working at Microsoft, and I thought, “Well, that’s not what I expected!”

Because of that employee’s story, I felt support from Microsoft’s culture and decided it was time for me to come out. Had I worked at another company, maybe I wouldn’t have done it yet, but Microsoft was different.

This past year, Microsoft was the first company to have a float in Lisbon’s Pride parade, an effort I helped lead. Our LGBTQI+ employee chapter now has around 30 members, and we hope many more to come!—Sergio Matos, from Santiago do Cacém, Portugal

a photo of a woman laying down on her surfboard in the ocean waves

“These are the lessons my mother and father passed on to me—to help others feel valued and loved.”

Rita Picarra watched her parents dedicate their life’s work to making sure everyone felt supported, included, and seen—a legacy that she carries forward with responsibility and pride.
a collage of scenes from a mango farm

“My great grandfather was a farmer, so working with the land felt like a project with a clear purpose.”

Paris-based Bertrand Launay never expected how a turn as a mango farmer could fulfill a personal passion while also helping empower a local community.
A man in hiking clothing standing in front of a canyon wall

“Am I Asian, or am I American?”

Dat chose not to fully embrace his Vietnamese heritage as a child and young adult. Today, he’s on a new path to uncovering and rediscovering his Asian identity.
A family - man, woman, and two children - walking in a park

“Family is the center of my identity”

After learning others’ stories in a safe space, Blake opened up about—and later advocated inclusion for—a hidden disability that affects other employees and their family members.