Updated: Oct 26, 2019
Last week I got the chance to attend an event at one of the most innovative and forward thinking companies in the world Amazon.
I was very skeptical at first not to mention very tired from a 7:30am start on site and honestly when I arrived I could not even be bothered to speak to anyone at another boring company networking event, but oh how I was wrong.
First of all there was wine and then there was procecco!
I mean what more could a girl ask for right? Not to mention the tapas bites going around. My mood changed and I begun to feel a bit more comfortable. As someone who has put on networking events in the past, I love a people bingo but today was not of those days for me. I spent far too long conversating in engaging conversations and the idea of people bingo went out of the window.
The first speaker was none other than the CEO of AWS, a $22 billion untold secret of Amazon!
The importance of this was that diversity was not paid lip service to but rather encouraged and supported by the leader of the company. A 22 billion dollar company at the that. He gave us all his email address, a reminder to myself that no matter how much money or power anyone has, we are all human really and truly.
The event was put on by the Black Employee Network (BEN) and there were also 4 speakers from the Amazon black community. Representation matters.
'you cannot be what you cannot see'
A very strong statement that often sticks in my mind but I don't actually remember where I saw this unfortunately. Amazon has 12 leadership principles which is promoted among the employees.
This made me realise that to create and become a company at the forefront of business and society, you must employ leaders to do so.
Due to this reason the journey of Amazon will gradually become a leader in industries not even imaginable. There is so much to learn from Amazon in terms of business and company culture, I left that night feeling inspired and re-energised about my career and where I want to go. I met some great people I can relate to and had some truly moving insightful conversations.
Each speaker told their different and unique stories, each one taking my own lessons from. One of the speakers Sarah-Jane grew up just a few roads away from where I also grew up and now is a Global Talent Manager living in the US. The power of representation is something that cannot be described but if I had to choose a word, it would be Empowerment.
I strongly believe those companies that are truly and deeply innovative are also truly and deeply dedicated to diversity.