As a long-time Amazon employee who’s been part of the People Experience & Technology team since Amazon’s retail business launched in Australia, and the APAC leader of the LGBTQ+ employee resource group, Glamazon, Katie Daly devotes her time to understanding how to improve the workplace for everyone.
She’s been so successful at achieving positive change that, together with two former Amazon employees, she was recently recognised by the Global Equality Index for her work in addressing LGBTQ+ human rights, fostering allyship, representing Amazon at the Human Rights Conference for World Pride, and launching a global campaign in support of inclusion.
The Index also named Glamazon—which has over 200+ chapters and 70,000+ members around the globe—the Network Group of the Year, for championing a “truly inclusive and innovative” workplace.
“It’s a pretty significant message globally that Amazon is taking the inclusion of LGBTQ+ people seriously,” said Daly, who was also instrumental in Amazon Australia being awarded Bronze Tier status last year by the Australian Workplace Equality Index, the national benchmark on LGBTQ+ workplace inclusion.
“We are doing the work that is required to be recognised as a gold employer in this space.”
Daly's top three tips to building diversity and inclusion in the workspace
#1 Focus on key projects
Daly says the single most important tool for change is to focus on key projects that have the potential for the biggest impact, rather than get overwhelmed by trying to please everyone with multiple goals. “That’s been key and critical to our success over the past 12 months,” she explained.
#2 Listen closely to employees
This has helped Daly and the Glamazon group identify where to focus their efforts. “It’s helped drive our strategic direction to focus on one or two key things, as opposed to doing 10 or 20 things not as well as we may want to be doing.”
#3 Hire and develop leaders who understand the importance of these values
It's crucial to invite different voices and viewpoints to your company to continue its growth in all directions, emphasises Daly. This ensures that inclusion is a part of the governance of the organisation, and not an expectation placed on a minority group already facing additional barriers. At Amazon, “I am fortunate to work with an active and engaged leadership team that is role-modelling the behaviour expected from the team”, she said.
The importance of employee resource groups and focusing on broader inclusion
Other initiatives Daly believes would benefit businesses is to have all-gender bathrooms—which have been introduced in all of Amazon Australia’s buildings—and to incorporate the voluntary work done by employee resource groups into job descriptions.
“Employee resource groups are a benefit to a business. They’re scientifically proven to improve employee retention because they create a synergy, and inclusion in general supports productivity.”
Daly also believes that companies and groups should focus on broader inclusion support and be open to accepting allies from different parts of a business or community—for example, welcoming new members to a group who aren’t necessarily a part of that community, to promote inclusion.
“We are changing the narrative by using themes that are about people and not just about the groups,” she said. “Our main goal is to move from the focus on what LGBTQ+ people need, to just focus on being inclusive.”
Next, read more about how Glamazon is helping to build an inclusive culture in Amazon Australia and New Zealand.