Why the red dress?

John shares about giving, community and diversity at Microsoft


In honor of Microsoft’s Day of Caring, we wanted to highlight an employee who could share what Microsoft’s commitment to giving really means. In his own words, with his own amazing story, John Fulton tells how Microsoft’s giving campaign influenced his decision to come here, and on a personal level, its significance.

I am the UX Design Lead for Office Content Publishing. I oversee an incredibly talented group of designers who are working on the future of consumer and enterprise productivity. I have a couple of friends who have been working at Microsoft for several years, and each year I heard about this amazing amount of money that was being raised for the community.

In my job search, I was looking at other larger companies in Washington and began to factor in their positions and contributions in the community. Microsoft stood head and shoulders above them all.

Last year, I participated in the 5K run (my first) and am also the reigning co-champion of the annual Giving Campaign Office C. Pub Karaoke competition. Seriously, I love this place!

Microsoft has become a huge part of my life. I am so proud to work for a company that supports its community and the diversity that exists within it. The compassion and support I have felt here over the past 18 months is unreal. I have to also give a HUGE thank you to Microsoft for its support of marriage equality in Washington! My partner of 11 years and I were married July 13th of this year. Much of my team and org were there to celebrate!

I am a Co-Founder of the Seattle Red Dress party, an annual fundraising event that raises money for local HIV and AIDS charities that teach prevention and help those living with the disease. The unique aspect of the event is EVERYONE has to wear a red dress: man, woman, gay, straight, and everyone in between! We have been very successful in raising money each year and have grown the event to more than 1,000 people in red dresses.

My responsibility in the event was geared around the branding, online UX and event planning. But when you have a team of four to six people putting on an enormous event like this, I quickly realized that my role was bigger than just the design. I am a part of something the entire community has embraced as a symbol of support and generosity. I couldn’t be more proud.

When I interviewed for a design position about 18 months ago, I got the opportunity to present my design portfolio, including my work around Red Dress, to two different groups in the same week. In the end the team I ended up on was so supportive about the event and the work I had put into it that I HAD to be a part of Office.  This past summer several of my co-workers went to the event, including my manager…all in dresses! The 6th Annual Seattle Red Dress Party will be February 8, 2014 at Fremont Studios.


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