Latinx professionals making a difference. We work.
Home Invites Members Groups Careers Videos News Photos Blogs Chat Health & Wellness
Home > Blogs > Post Content

Featured Microsoft Employee - Unapologetically Himself, Authentic and an Ally to All! (99 hits)


This year, Hispanic Heritage Month takes on a whole new meaning with everything going on in the world. It has put a spotlight on my identity, prompting me to dissect what it really means to be Latinx. As a queer Afro-Dominican, that exercise has been energizing and empowering. Latinx people come in all shapes and colors and we need to do a better job at embracing that. More than ever, Iím feeling all the different ways I connect to our diverse community.

Chris Mateo.Throughout my life, Iíve found myself in many different environments that continuously expose me to things that make me Latinx. The Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York where I was born and raised was a cultural melting potóprimarily Latinx, Polish, and Jewish families. At home with my mother and brother, I was immersed in the richness of my own heritage-the expressive Spanish language, the rhythmic music, and, of course, my grandmotherís delicious arroz con habichuela.

When I was 14 my family relocated to Columbus, Ohio, and thatís when I first realized that not all places in the US are as diverse as where I grew up in New York City. I went from being a young Dominican who was not Latino enough in a city rich of Caribbean Latinx culture, to a place where I was mainly seen as Black and then too Latino when people came across my family and clearly noticed English was our second language. It was a culture shock. Living in these two very different environments brought me closer to feeling and understanding the different parts of my identity, my intersectionality, and what that means for me. This laid the foundation for one of my philosophies that I live by day-in and day-out: being unapologetically me.
Chris Mateo3

This strong sense of self, and my background, is who and what I bring to my work. For example, my family experienced firsthand how difficult it was to navigate a complicated healthcare system because of language barriers and limited access to culturally competent providers. These experiences fueled my passion for making healthcare more equitable for everyone. So, when I joined Microsoft, I set out to figure out how to do a better job of intersecting technology and healthcare, and accounting for how it impacts all populations. I use my experience and my voice to push the envelope around diversity and inclusion, ensuring that everyone is being mindful of how our work impacts certain populations, not just Latinx people. I feel these conversations build new levels of empathy and compassion that allow us to work much better together.

At Microsoft there are multiple employee resource groups (ERGs) where I have found even more space to be me-whether thatís me in a Latinx sense, me in a queer sense, or me in a Black sense-I have the space here to feel comfortable to be me. Recent events, such as the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, have connected me to fellow Black colleagues. We naturally open up and have conversations that I once thought were too uncomfortable to have in the workplace. Once again, itís all about the theme of being confident in yourself. I tell people, ďI am Afro-Latino. I have Black heritage, but I am full-on Latinx too.Ē

Chris Mateo..

This Hispanic Heritage Month, I want to celebrate how different we Latinos are and yet how connected we are at the same time. I want my Latinx community to recognize that when we start embracing each other for who we are, we are then able to embrace others for who they are. I believe all individuals, no matter the color of their skin or language they speak, should support each other. You have your own different identities and your own different culture, and we love it, letís invite it in. Iíll show you my culture, you show me your culture, and letís celebrate it together.
Posted By: Will Moss
Thursday, October 22nd 2020 at 10:08PM
You can also click here to view all posts by this author...

Report obscenity | post comment
Share |
Please Login To Post Comments...
Email:
Password:

 
More From This Author
Microsoft Partners with Trabajamos to Recruit Latinx Professionals
Merck Leadership Development Program for Graduating Seniors - Deadline Friday!
Visiting Cuba Should be on Everyone's Bucket List!
Puerto Rican Day Parade raises awareness of serious issues...
Real Borinquena's true identity: Social activist law student
Latino punched at Trump rally: Coming out as mogul's supporter harder than coming out as gay!
Professional Networking Reception for HBCU Alumni - Register to Attend!
Cardinal Health is serious about recruiting diverse candidates Ė Apply Today!
Forward This Blog Entry!
Blogs Home

(Advertise Here)
Upcoming Hiring Events
Register for Microsoft's Diversity Hiring Event in partnership with Trabajamos on November 18th, 2020!
New Members
>> more | invite 
Latest Photos
>> more | add