Giving voice to the LGBTQ+ community

May 31, 2023

At Boston Scientific, we encourage everyone to bring their full selves to work, knowing they’ll be accepted, heard and valued. 

For Pride Month, three employees from around the globe share what having a supportive and inclusive culture means to them, and how their involvement in the Promoting Respect, Inclusion, Diversity and Equality (PRIDE) employee resource group has helped them speak up and out on behalf of their LGBTQ+ colleagues.

Finding courage, strength and acceptance

Cadu (left) with his fiancé

Growing up in Piauí, Brazil, Cadu was bright, energetic and fascinated by culture, leading him to learn four languages and eventually build a successful career in international relations. But for years, Cadu kept part of himself hidden: “I thought my parents would be angry when they found out I was gay,” he says. “In my mind, I tried to compensate by aiming to be the best in school, the best at everything.”

Though this drive helped Cadu excel in many aspects of his life, finding the courage and acceptance to embrace his authentic self would prove to be a long road.

When he was 16, Cadu moved to Brasília to study International Relations. For the first time, he met others who identified as gay, which played a major role in his eventual decision to tell his friends and family. “Despite my initial fear of telling my parents, they immediately supported me. In fact, as soon as Brazil started allowing same-sex marriages, my mother became one of the first judges in my state to perform them.” 

As he began his career, Cadu chose to remain discreet about his sexuality. But soon after he joined the team at Boston Scientific as a Government Affairs specialist, a simple act by his manager changed his mind: “We were entering a building that required us to show our credentials,” he says. “A guard at the door asked if we were ‘together, but in a good way.’ My manager responded, ‘Is there a bad way for us to be together?’ The guard immediately looked ashamed. In that moment, I knew I could count on my manager to be supportive.”

A few weeks later, Cadu decided to come out to his manager and colleagues. He also joined the PRIDE ERG. Today he lives with his fiancé Caio, whom he’ll marry next year.

“Boston Scientific is the first company where I feel truly comfortable being honest and open about my sexuality and celebrated for who I am,” he says. “Through PRIDE and other platforms, I’m able to speak up for others like me and help inspire them to embrace who they are, without fear.”  

“I can’t imagine not having that time with my daughter”

Michael (right) with his husband and daughter

For Michael, a senior marketing specialist supporting the company’s WATCHMANTM business and global communications lead for the PRIDE ERG, helping people live healthier, better lives has always been a passion — it’s what drew him to Boston Scientific almost five years ago. For him, living life to the fullest meant starting a family with his husband, Matt. 

Michael began the adoption process a few months after joining the company, in 2020. “I don’t think many people realize how challenging and lengthy the process can be,” he says, reflecting on the multi-year experience. “But having support from the company made such a difference for us, from a benefits standpoint and also in the outpouring of encouragement we received from so many across the organization.” He recalls a baby shower his colleagues held for him, and what that meant to his growing family.

Michael and Matt finalized the adoption of their daughter, Mila, in 2022. “We were there for Mila’s birth, and since it was an open adoption, we remain close with her birth mother,” says Michael. He and Matt also had the chance to bond with Mila over the first few months of her life as part of the company’s global parental leave benefits. “I can’t imagine not having that time with my daughter,” Michael says. “Without it, I think it would have been a very different experience.”

A pioneer for change

Anna (left) with her wife and children

Fifteen years ago, Anna joined Boston Scientific in Sydney, Australia, not long after she married her wife, Yasmin. The wedding took place in Canada, because same-sex marriage was not yet legal in Australia.

Anna came out to her manager during her first week at the company. Since then, she has not been afraid to speak up about who she is or when she’s felt a need for change. For instance, when her wife was expecting their first child, there were only two types of leave available at Boston Scientific in Australia: maternity or paternity. “I felt uncomfortable, because I wasn’t taking either of these,” she says. She approached Human Resources with this concern, which eventually led to changing the name of the policy to “parental leave” for all employees in Australia and New Zealand.

Anna’s unwavering commitment to championing diversity and inclusivity was likely what influenced company leaders to select her to launch the Asia-Pacific PRIDE ERG in 2020. “It was hard, because it’s a region where LGBTQ+ is not often spoken about,” she says. “But we got so much accomplished that first year, spreading education and awareness across our region where there was nothing before. It’s just grown ever since.”

Anna says that leading the Asia-Pacific chapter of PRIDE has been a highlight of her career. “For me, it’s so important for others to see people who are out and proud and able to thrive in a career at Boston Scientific,” she says. “I know I’m part of something bigger than myself, my team, even my country.”

Boston Scientific is committed to fostering a diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace where all of our employees can bring their authentic selves to work and thrive personally and professionally. See our objectives and progress to date in our recently released 2022 Performance Report.