Brought together by love, Daniele and Taize are a gay couple, with shared backgrounds in STEM and a dedication to more inclusive society. Both have built successful careers at , where they’ve also made a significant mark on the company’s culture through initiatives that foster diversity and inclusion (D&I). How did their journey bring them here, and what does their success mean for the LGBTQ+ community?
Women in STEM
Taize grew up in the Brazilian countryside, but it was her move to the city that exposed her to the opportunities that would shape her career. Graduating with a degree in Computer Science, and joining the working world as a woman in technology, Taize remembers: “During my journey through large technology companies and startups, I had the opportunity to work with great female leaders who supported me. Although the majority of my peers were typically male, from the very beginning of my career, I was afforded leadership positions in charge of teams where I worked with very diverse people.”
With a PhD in Biophysics, Daniele’s career shifted after she moved with Taize to the city of Sao Paulo. Her dedication to equality led her to become a partner in a consultancy firm focused on developing gender diversity programs for companies, universities, and entrepreneurs.
Through her work at the consultancy, Daniele remembers how her passion for the cause ignited. “I began having conversations with my colleagues during lectures and talks, company trainings, and media interviews about my sexual orientation. The more I talked and introduced myself as a lesbian, the more LGBTQ+ people came to me to say thanks for standing up and representing their voices. I felt empowered to be more connected with LGBTQ+ themes and to be part of the movement to promote equal opportunities for the community.” This experience got Daniele feeling compelled to do more. “At the firm, I knew that some of our programs were not enough to make the transformation they needed in terms of D&I, so I asked myself, ‘What would I do if I could design my own D&I strategy? How could I measure its progress?’ This was my motivation to join Oracle and become a D&I Lead for Latin America, where I would own my strategy and have the visibility to adjust it accordingly.”
For Taize, her advocacy came out of her career experience. Taize always wondered if being a lesbian had made a difference in her career opportunities. “Perhaps the perception of leaders was that being a lesbian would keep me from creating a traditional family, that I would always have the time to be 100% dedicated to my work. I also wonder if some so-called male skills would have determined some chances. That’s why I insist on breaking these paradigms in my day-to-day.”
While both Taize and Daniele were focused and driven advocates for D&I on their own, it wasn’t until they met that they would shift these paradigms and change perceptions, not just for themselves, but also for others.
Daniele and Taize established strong careers and became a model of a proud gay couple. After 8 years of marriage, Daniele and Taize decided to start a family. Through in-vitro fertilization, life blessed them with their daughter, Rafaella, who is now 7. “As an LGBTQ+ family, we understand our role is to spread a message of pride. Our family, friends, and co-workers see what we’re building with our family and are learning it’s not better than anyone else’s—it’s just different.”
Adds Daniele, “We understand the importance of building these strong relationships and spreading knowledge and education about homo-affective families, helping mitigate some bias about the LGBTQ+ community. In addition, we can see the effects in the next generation of allies: our daughter is always standing up for equal rights and she’s influencing her little friends and their families to do the same.”
Making an impact at Oracle – together
When Taize and Daniele began working at Oracle in 2015 and 2018, respectively, they both found what they were looking for in an employer. “Everybody wants to be valued and respected by his or her , and that’s what we get at Oracle,” Taize says. “Here we live the same experience as other heterosexual couples, we feel included in our teams. We can share our personal experiences with colleagues without fear of being judged, and we’re welcome to be part of the company.”
“I feel that Oracle recognizes my work and that I have the opportunity to have my ideas heard and considered,” Taize adds. “I’m very proud to see my leaders and top management team in Latin America not only be aware of LGBTQ+ inclusion, but also actively engaged in our actions.”
As an Oracle employee, Daniele works towards creating an inclusive workplace for LGBTQ+ employees. “I am proud to share many Diversity & Inclusion achievements in Latin America, such as gender-neutral restrooms in Brazil, HRC Award recognition in Mexico, three new OPEN chapters across the region, and special recruitment programs for LGBTQ+ students,” she says. “However, these great results aren’t only ours, as many employees from different lines of business and career levels are on board and advocating for D&I. People here build a collaborative environment to achieve a common goal, not only personal goals ones.”
Even though Daniele and the LAD HR Team have led successful D&I initiatives, this work is only the beginning. “We’re still working to be a better place to work for all and, luckily, we can count on great sponsors like Marcio Silveira, SVP of Legal and Compliance, and ,” Daniele says. “We’ve worked on creating awareness for the last two years, and we’re now looking at the data and designing action plans, customized by our team to achieve our goals.”
“We’re happy to see more collaboration between external organizations, and even other IT companies, to advance inclusion and belonging for LGBTQ+ employees in the workplace, and Oracle is part of that”, Taize says and Daniele adds: “Our main goal is to build an environment of respect, welcoming, and belonging for all at Oracle, and we’re working hard to have more allies join us on this journey.”
At Oracle, we recognize and support our . The proud work of employee advocates like Daniele and Taize paves the way for future LGBTQ+ generations to enjoy an inclusive workplace, where they can be themselves and grow to become their best professionally and personally.
Learn more about how we Join our team and Create the Future with us in our LGBTQ+ community.