Tracey Martin on ‘Growing up’ at Microsoft!

5th December 2022

This week we talk to Microsoft’s Tracey Martin who is Sales Director, Small, Medium and Corporate Business for Germany.  Tracey is also D&I Gender Lead at Microsoft Ireland and a WMB Diversity Ambassador. She tells us how as an ‘early in career’ hire, she has ‘Grown up at Microsoft’. 

Can you tell our readers a bit about your background and your role at Microsoft?

It’s fair to say that I have grown up at Microsoft, joining as an ‘early in career’ hire 27 years ago, after graduating from UCD. Since then, I’ve experienced a number of roles within our Business Operations organisation from account management to strategic change management leadership roles, working in more than 15 teams locally and globally.

I love that after all this time at Microsoft, I am still encouraged to embrace new experiences.  Just a year ago I decided to make the move from our Operations organisation to our Sales organisation to lead the team who support our Small, Medium and Corporate Managed Business in Germany, helping our customers to digitally transform.

I also lead the Women at Microsoft Ireland Employee Resource Group where the focus is on promoting and developing opportunities for employees to flourish in a diverse and inclusive environment.

What is the best part of your job…. And the most challenging?

The best part of my job is undoubtedly the people.  I am lucky enough to work with and lead an amazing team of people at Microsoft – it never ceases to amaze me how much I learn from them each day, how much energy I gain from them and the diversity of thought that they bring to the table.  It is also a privilege to work with our customers, to get a window into their businesses, to learn about their opportunities and challenges, and to be invited to be a part of their journey as they grow and develop their business.

Ironically, I would say the most challenging aspect is also people, as a leader it is important to remain continuously switched on and intentionally focussed on bringing people together, embracing differences, creating an inclusive environment and ensuring there is space for people to collaborate effectively because together we can always achieve more.

As a WMB Diversity Ambassador, what does DE&I mean to you personally and as a leader?

At Microsoft, our Diversity & Inclusion mission is ‘’Come as you are, do what you love’’

When we have diverse teams, we do our best work and deliver the best for our customers and Microsoft. That means creating an environment where difference is expected, valued, and optimised.  When you have a diverse and inclusive team, innovation and creativity are stimulated and our personal experiences at work are so much richer.

Personally, when I think about Diversity & Inclusion,

it is about enabling and safeguarding an environment where everyone is welcome, heard and feels valued and represented – it is about creating a place where people feel they belong.

What DE&I initiatives are in place at Microsoft?

At Microsoft we have a variety of programs and initiatives which focus on attracting and retaining great talent.

Fostering diversity & inclusion by making STEM education accessible to students and teachers with our Dream Space™ is one such example and something we are proud of at Microsoft.  Since 2018 we have engaged over 130,000 young people through in-person and virtual sessions, teaching skills that are increasingly important in our digital economy and society. Just a couple of months ago, we announced our intention to invest a further €3million in the programme with the goal of engaging 1 million students, as well as their teachers, in STEM education over the next four years.

Do women need more flexibility than men?

I don’t believe it is a question of whether women need more flexibility than men, rather that people need flexibility in the workplace and that flexibility will differ depending on the needs of the individual.

The collective experience of the past two years has fundamentally changed how we define the role of work in our lives.  Giving people agency to do their best work is not only in their best interest—it’s good for business.

To make hybrid work work, leaders need to empower managers to be the culture keepers, rethink the role of the office, rebuild social capital for a digital-first workforce, and create new practices for sustainable flexible work.

Technology plays a key role, but this moment calls for a new mindset. As the world continues to evolve, organizations that take a culture-first, learn-it-all approach will come out ahead.

What drives you to succeed?

It is my family who are my purpose and drive me to succeed.  My husband and three fantastic children are my greatest supporters and keep me grounded.

Please share a quote or mantra that will inspire others on their career path?

‘’ Be yourself, everyone else is already taken’’ Oscar Wilde

A little bit about You

If you were a superhero, who would you be?

I believe only in real life heroes.  I recommend you check out Dr Katriona O’Sullivan who is a champion of Diversity & Inclusion, breaking down barriers to education.

Alternative career choice, no limits?  

Teacher, I get so much energy from seeing others learn & develop.

The person who has influenced you the most

My Mum – who taught me that education is freedom.

Name three things that you’re passionate about

My Family, Diversity in our Society, Health & Wellbeing.

If you had a magic wand?

I would tell my younger self to stop worrying about what other people think.