myGwork sat down to talk to Larissa Machado, Creative Director Streaming, Titles & Cross Media LatAm at Warner Bros. Discovery


Larissa Machado grew up with three brothers, and laughs explaining that this taught her to hold her own when surrounded by men. This, in part, she adds, because of the influence of her mother: “My mother was insistent that I would never have any fewer rights than my brothers.”

Learning to drive at the same age, going to sleepovers, bringing boyfriends – a word Larissa chuckles over when she says it – it was all equal between Larissa and her brothers. She’s grateful to her mother for this and recognizes the world Larissa’s mother lived in that influenced it. “My mother was a working mother, working as a doctor. It was unusual for mothers to work in the 70s like that, and often I was the last to be picked up in the playground as a result, but I respected that she worked to provide for her family.”

Larissa’s family lived in a small Brazilian town – “not particularly Cosmopolitan” is the review she gives – with her parents coming from even smaller towns. Her parents knew the value of work and the opportunities it brought, but also the importance of family. When she was fourteen, Larissa’s uncle, who was gay, moved in with the family after her mother decided that being gay in an even smaller town in Brazil away from family was no way to live. Larissa recalls it was a liberal environment, and certainly, one that has shaped the way she now navigates the world – she recalls fondly the family tradition of exchange programs, and hosting students from Austria, America, and more, including one girl who later sent the family the pictures of her marrying her girlfriend back home in the States. “We learned early on to be open to accepting others.”

Larissa studied advertising in her hometown and went straight into creating commercials when she graduated. The market wasn’t very big, however, and she embarked on a journey to London, attending Middlesex University studying a Masters’s degree. When she returned, she went into a role at an educational channel, one of Brazil’s biggest, to produce educational entertainment. Working at Canal Futura, she travelled all over Brazil, seeing parts of the country she had never seen before. Seeing the social programs and community work taking place gave her renewed hope for the future of her country. “I could see that there were people doing things, and I realized that I could do things too. It gave me a taste of social responsibility and I realized what was possible.” In Larissa’s view, social responsibility shouldn’t just be left to the Government – it’s for all of us, including companies, to take the initiative to create change.

When asked for advice, Larissa says to start small and do our own thing. “I’m a volunteer mentor, and when I started that it was on a program for women, and since then it’s grown to now including high school students, to support them to achieve the same things in life that I have been grateful to achieve.” It is about asking oneself a question: does what you are doing make an impact on people’s lives? Are you doing something right? Asking herself these questions, Larissa thinks so. “They tell me they feel empowered, that they have access to people they otherwise would not have. That gives them the strength to go out and fight for themselves and what they believe in.”

The media has a responsibility too. “As a lesbian, and as a member of the LGBTQ+ community, I know that in the past when there have been gay characters on screen they would invariably always be killed because we as a society couldn’t accept them. Now, we have the power to see ourselves represented, and the media has the power to tell our stories in a way that makes us feel represented.”

This is especially important to Larissa, who felt growing up that she didn’t even have the language to explain how she was feeling, simply because she did not know that being a lesbian was something that existed. “We have a responsibility to challenge the zeitgeist – if someone is able to come out earlier than I did, I consider that an improvement.”

After Canal Futura, Larissa moved to Discovery, where she worked for seven years. She left and ended up at WarnerMedia, and now the companies are one. She was given the opportunity to be one of the founding members of the Discovery Pride affinity group at the company in Brazil, inviting company executives to meet LGBTQIA staff at the organization and hear their stories. Larissa considers it one of the highlights of her career – making a tangible change to help inform the company on how it creates and sells LGBTQIA media, as well as supporting staff to feel safe out in the workplace. Now Warner Bros. Discovery has a dedicated Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and business resource groups to celebrate marginalized people in the workplace are popping up everywhere.

Being out at work – and enabling others to do so – is important to Larissa. “When you climb the corporate ladder, you look around and think to yourself that you can do more for the people climbing behind you.” She’s herself, only herself, and Larissa isn’t hiding anything; instead, she’s looking at what more she can do and what more has to be done to make sure that others feel as comfortable as she does. “It doesn’t have to be a big step every time. Even just getting a little bit farther may seem like a small step for you, but it may do a lot for someone else.”

Warner Bros. Discovery is a partner of myGwork, the LGBTQ+ Business Community. You can check out their job opportunities here.

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