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.

“The importance of creating inclusive technologies like the hybrid event room is deeply personal for me.”

During the pandemic, Experience Lead Sascha Ackermann and his team set out to make meetings and events more inclusive, for both remote and on-site teams. The result was Microsoft’s first hybrid event room.
Thad Stafford wears a green jacket in front of a blue colorful background.

“It wasn’t until I started learning about all the different types of PTSD that I realized you don’t have to have fought in war to have it.”

For Customer Success Account Manager Thad Stafford, struggles with PTSD, anxiety, and substance abuse disorder led to an early retirement from law enforcement—and an unexpected fresh start.
Dylan wearing a blue button-down shirt and smiling in front of a brown background with colorful hues.

“Your culture is your personal contribution and helps shape how you view or solve a problem.”

Cloud Solution Architect Dylan Apera leverages the power of soft skills learned from his small island upbringing to build relationships with customers.