We’re thrilled to be celebrating Pride with our amazing community of Stuwies this year. Empowerment is one of our most important values, so we’re especially excited to be hosting panels, speakers and events for Pride. That’s also why we’re bringing you a special Pride edition of our 🎤 Inside Stuart interview series.
Meet Bernardo Prudencio, Corbmac McKay, Leo Boni and Mar Barroso!
📌 Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Bernardo: I come from a small village with a big heart in Portugal, and I spent most of my life in Benedita. From a young age, I wanted to be a painter. I was the kid who enjoyed doing everything except playing football (or anything that would require too much effort physically). Eventually, my passion for designing grew, which led me to move to Coimbra to study and later to Lisbon for work and study!
Now, in Barcelona, since October 2019, I say that I'm living my best life. I start my days going to the office again since lockdown has ended, end them by going for a run or having beers and tapas around the city. The weekends with the Mediterranean weather can be pretty amazing to have a good time with friends, go rollerblading or chill and read a book by the sea.
Corbmac: I’m Corbmac and I come from a tiny village in the north east of Ireland, right between Dublin and Belfast. I moved out as soon as I turned 18 and have lived in Dublin, Siena, Rome, and London since then. Barcelona has been my home since 2015 and I live here with my two dogs Lito and Louis. In my free time I love hiking in the mountains surrounding Barcelona and more recently I’ve started CrossFit which is a great way for me to keep fit. I love eating out (especially trying the many Mexican and Peruvian restaurants in the city) as well as spending a lot of time with my friends who are basically my family here.
Leo: I was born in Italy and spent most of my life living in California with the exception of going back to Italy in middle school. I went to university at UC Santa Barbara where I studied piano performance before switching to Anthropology. I worked in Silicon Valley for over 20 years before deciding to move to Barcelona for the next chapter in my life.
I am one of four children but am not very close to two of my siblings because of their homophobic views. It’s difficult to accept that homophobia exists in my own family; it’s a source of pain for me, but I do not let that stop me and my husband (22 years together this November) from being happy and living our life to the fullest. We love to travel and we moved to Barcelona in part to be closer to my family in Italy and also so that we could travel more easily throughout Europe. We did a bit of traveling before the pandemic, but since then, not much!
I came out in 1991 which was at the height of the AIDS pandemic. AIDS greatly shaped my outlook as a gay man and while I believe we have a lot more work to do, we’ve come a long way.
Mar: I’m Mar and I’m 25 years old. I’ve always loved mathematics and computers and that’s why I studied both Mathematics and Computer Engineering degrees. Apart from my studies I also like playing with makeup a lot, using any colour but mostly pink and purple, and I love the Internet.
Since I was a kid I felt that I didn’t fit because I was the only girl in the class who didn’t show interest in guys because I preferred playing video games, for instance. With time, I realized that there was nothing wrong with me, I just was more attracted to girls.
📌 In a few words, what’s your role at Stuart?
Leo: I am the Head of Agile. I love agile and when I saw the role posted I knew I had to apply for it. Turns out I LOVE working at Stuart as well. I get to bring Agility to teams and I get to learn from them as well. Stuart is a young company that is transforming from a startup to a scaleup and I love the challenge that represents. It has a very inclusive culture and we are always looking for ways to improve on that.
Bernardo: As Senior Product Designer, my role is about connection and facilitation, ensuring that every user is listened to and, most importantly, present in all the conversations. What drew me the most was the challenge of working in logistics (and Barcelona), as it is indeed a vast new world. Also, it is great to have the chance to bring all the different areas of expertise and execution that we currently have in Stuart into the same shared mindset—serving our users and solving the problems right.
Mar: Nowadays I’m a Mobile Engineer at Stuart. It’s funny because when I ended my studies I started working as a Backend Developer, but I wasn’t happy in my old workplace so I decided to start searching for new opportunities.
Stuart reached out to me with a Junior position for Mobile application development and I decided to accept it because I wanted a change in my career. I’m really happy with the change and I really enjoy what I do here at Stuart. Furthermore, this company allows me to express myself not only through coding but also with these kinds of opportunities.
Corbmac: I’m a Senior Tech Talent Acquisition Manager in Stuart which basically means I hire tech profiles! I’ve been working in talent acquisition for close to eight years now and absolutely love what I do because I get the opportunity to meet people from across the globe every day. I also love seeing how people I hire positively impact Stuart and help us grow—it’s like being a proud dad!
I was drawn to this job in Stuart because I saw a great opportunity to join an inclusive and diverse team and had the opportunity to really utilise my experience of scaling teams in previous companies. I’ve had a great chance to really make an impact from the beginning and hire many talented Stuwies since!
📌 How has your team evolved since you joined Stuart?
Corbmac: Considering I just joined the team some months ago and teams usually don’t evolve so rapidly in a short amount of time, the team has evolved A LOT. I’ve had the opportunity to start managing two exceptional tech recruiters which is a great challenge for me. Plus as a team we have moved to a new ATS, changed many procedures around, streamlined a majority of recruitment processes, launched ships, and ran Hiring Academies. The team I work with never fails to impress me and there is so much love there!
Mar: At first, we were only five people. A few weeks later, another woman joined the team and now we have nine people total. I feel like even though there are a lot of us, we have created a good atmosphere and we can count on each other.
Bernardo: I joined a year and a half ago, and we were four: three Product Designers and Ágata, our Head of Product Design. Fast-forwarding, we are now eight (soon to be eleven), from five different nationalities, with entirely different backgrounds, and I couldn't be happier about the evolution and growth of my team. I’ve had the chance to be part of the team since the beginning, so I can't even start describing how things changed and everything we went through, but I can say that has been quite a ride—a good one!
Leo: We have grown immensely! We went from two to eight people. My immediate goal when I got here was to establish and develop a new team and to develop an Agile Evolution Strategy. Our team is moving quickly from tactical activities to more strategic activities that lend themselves to a culture of continuous improvements and agility at scale. Things like Agile Community of Practice, the Agile Academy, measuring the maturity of our teams and working with them on strategies for improvements. The Agile team I am working with now is the best team I have worked with in a long long time. They are amazing.
📌 How are you celebrating Pride this year?
Mar: Probably I will not be doing anything fancy! I will do some Pride themed makeup, maybe with the bisexual flag colours or the Pride ones and then spend the days with my friends. As well, I’ll watch some series or films related to Pride and try to be more active regarding this topic on my social media.
I’d like to celebrate it but nowadays with the COVID situation it’s hard to imagine doing something different.
Corbmac: My favourite thing about Pride is that it runs through my birthday every year! It has become an annual tradition for my friends and I to throw a Pride themed birthday celebration which is always great fun!. Unfortunately, we won’t have Pride in Barcelona this year as COVID has interrupted that but we will spend our time in Madrid, this time with both of my dogs joining us and breaking their Pride virginity!
Leo: This year, my husband, dog and I are going to as many Pride parades and celebrations as we can here in Barcelona and in Sitges where we live! Participating in Stuart’s Pride celebrations as well, and taking the time to reflect on what I can do to help make things better for the people that haven’t come out yet.
Bernardo: Considering the times we live in, I think it is important to keep educating ourselves and others. The reality is that there is a lot that we might not experience, but others struggle with daily. We must acknowledge the struggles of the entire LGBTQIA+ community across the world and do our part in the path of change.
📌 Any final thoughts for this special Pride talks edition of 🎤 Inside Stuart?
Leo: Be kind, love people and appreciate their differences. Everyone is unique.
Mar: I’d like to say that most people have their own fights to battle so, please, be kind and respectful to everyone!
Bernardo: Be kind! Be empathetic! Engage in self-care and allow yourself to rest.
Corbmac: Pride is not only for members of the LGBTQ+ community. If you’ve a LGBTQ+ brother, sister, cousin, niece, nephew, friend, neighbour, colleague, then you are welcome to show your support! Pride is about inclusion, acceptance, remembrance, and support.
As part of our Pride celebrations, we've built a set of beautiful custom stickers. Check them out below!