The Network Journal has always been about educating and empowering our readers. So, when Amazon recently announced its upcoming two-day summit—called “Represent the Future, Success is Inclusive”—we knew we wanted to connect our audience to this unique opportunity. We spoke to Elizabeth Nieto, head of global diversity, equity, and inclusion at Amazon about the summit and the company’s commitment to the Black community.
TNJ.com: Hello Elizabeth. We’re excited to talk to you today. Can you start by telling us a little about yourself, and your role at Amazon?
Elizabeth Nieto: Thank you for having me. I joined Amazon in 2019, and my team is responsible for driving the strategic vision around diversity, equity, and inclusion at Amazon. This includes building processes and programs to attract, develop, and retain the best talent from all backgrounds for Amazon globally.
TNJ.com: Amazing. What can you tell us about the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion team’s efforts at Amazon?
Elizabeth Nieto: Our DE&I team around the world work to ensure diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts are scaled globally. We create and implement programs and processes– big and small. From our ongoing collaboration and support of internal affinity groups, like the Black Employee Network (BEN), to external recruiting efforts like the upcoming two-day “Represent the Future, Success is Inclusive” career enrichment summit for BLNA professionals, we strongly believe in using mechanisms, not good intentions, to drive improvements.
TNJ.com: What I love is that you are doing more than just talking the talk. Amazon is walking the walk by hosting the upcoming “Represent the Future” summit. Can you talk a little about that? What is it, and why is it important?
Elizabeth Nieto: We are very excited about this! Amazon will host this first-ever FREE virtual career enrichment summit specifically designed to bring together Black, Latinx, and Native American professionals from all backgrounds and levels of experience on October 20-21, 2020. “Represent the Future, Success is Inclusive” will provide participants with an inside look at Amazon’s global business ecosystem, customer-obsessed culture of diversity and inclusion, and the role innovation, invention, and intrapreneurship play in building the future. My colleagues will share authentic stories of what it’s like to work at Amazon, from the Black, Latinx, and Native American perspective.
In fact, one of the panels I am really looking forward to is “Come Build an Inclusive Future with Us,” with panelists including J. Ofori Agboka, VP of Human Resources in Amazon’s Global Customer Fulfillment organization. There will be lively discussion about Amazon’s company culture, 14 Leadership Principles, tech and non-tech job opportunities, and the application, interview, and hiring process. I expected the panel, and summit as a whole, to really be full of valuable information.
TNJ.com: Why is Amazon now making this effort to attract BLNA talent?
Elizabeth Nieto: Thanks for asking this important question. We strive to be a top employer for diverse talent and acknowledge that it is up to us to make Amazon a place where individuals of all backgrounds want to grow their careers. Our diversity and inclusion work is not new, however we’re definitely putting renewed energy behind these initiatives as a way to meet the moment.
We’re also asking everyone to be part of this effort alongside us. Now is the time for each of us, not only at Amazon, to ask ourselves, how can I be more inclusive? What role can I play to recognize and celebrate my teammates’ differences and diverse backgrounds? Here, we know that true diversity and inclusion starts with every hiring manager, every recruiter and every Amazonian paying attention, educating oneself and seeing us all as part of the solution.
TNJ.com: Elizabeth, this has been great. How can our audience participate?