Amazon Australia has been officially recognised for its work over the past 12 months in promoting LGBTQ+ inclusion and initiatives in the workplace through a raft of new measures and policies.
The Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI) recognised Amazon Australia as an AWEI Bronze Employer after a cross-business effort led by LGBTQ+ employee affinity group, Glamazon. Glamazon helps make Amazon in Australia and New Zealand a great place to work by educating and informing employees about Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and/or Queer (LGBTQ+) issues as well as organising events, meetings, and information.
“It’s fantastic recognition and I’m incredibly proud,” says Glamazon ANZ co-leader Katie Daly.
“I did have a tear in my eye when it came up on the screen and I know a few people at the table had some real tears of joy. It is gratifying to actually know you’re making a difference.”
The AWEI is Australia’s national benchmark on LGBTQ+ workplace inclusion and is recognised as a rigorous and evidence-based benchmarking tool to annually assess workplaces in the progress and impact of LGBTQ+ inclusion initiatives.
With the full support of Amazon management, Katie led a team of passionate and committed employees in creating the 400-page submission to AWEI which lead to Amazon being recognised for its work in improving LGBTQ+ inclusion.
“It was a labour of love – it’s a passion project for anyone who helped to contribute,” she explains, adding that the incredible recognition had only spurred the team to work harder.
“Even yesterday we were back in a room, having a strategy meeting about what are the steps for the next 12 months - how do we make sure we’re continuously improving?”
Of the172 organisations that participated in the 2022 AWEI, only 50 were recognised, with Amazon’s bronze achievement inspiring management to commit to even more initiatives.
“We’ve done something special here,” beams Katie, who moved to Sydney from Perth four years ago to take on the role of Expansions Manager, APAC.
“It’s acknowledging that we are going in the right direction.”
The submission content included Amazon Australia’s HR policies and benefits, bullying and harassment policies, trans and gender diversity inclusion, visibility and inclusion and training and awareness of LGBTQ+ issues.
From a handbook that is gender neutral to updating the dress code to be reflective of individual’s gender identity, Amazon Australia was recognised for policy progress across the 2021 calendar year.
More recently, Amazon Australia updated its parental leave policy to ensure primary caregivers, regardless of gender have equal access to parental leave – including adoption and surrogacy cases.
The win kicks off an exciting few weeks of activities as the team celebrates Pride Month with LGBTQ+ initiatives including interviewing Josh Thomas for his upcoming Audible podcast, “How to be Gay” and sponsoring two great events: the Clifford Chance PrideArt Exhibition and the Aurora Group, a charity that funds LGBTQ+ organisations.
Katie also praised the support Glamazon’s Australian chapter has received from the local business and in particular AWS Managing Director ANZ, Rianne van Veldhuizen, who attended Glamazon’s Mardi Gras party and gave a speech in support of LGBTQ+ employees.
“We’re on the start of the journey,” she says.
“Amazon is definitely diverse and it’s getting better at being inclusive. We want to continue building an environment where everyone feels welcome to be their authentic self.”