Elaine, 29, shift operations manager – Melbourne
When Elaine was just 18 years old she ticked off two things on her bucket list and threw caution to the wind by going skydiving and bungee jumping.
“I’ve always pushed myself,” she said, adding that Olympic golden girl Cathy Freeman inspired her to go for gold in her own life when she watched the Indigenous superstar win the 400m sprint at the Sydney Games in 2000.
Elaine had a challenging childhood at times and learned resilience from this, and from her mum Ting’s indomitable perseverance, which set her on a career path that has seen her take strides in her leadership position at Amazon.
“I wanted to work at a company that was on the frontier of things and Amazon as a company always wants to continue innovating,” she said.
It was a high school physics teacher who sparked her passion for science and ultimately inspired her to gain an engineering degree, which taught her invaluable problem-solving skills and gave her the ability to see the bigger picture.
“One of my main goals is to achieve a work-life balance for myself and the associates I work with,” she said.
Emma, 26, operations area manager – Perth
Emma has a very strong belief that women can really have it all and has never compromised her own beliefs or self-professed femininity as she forged ahead in the male-dominated building industry before landing her dream job at Amazon.
“People (read men) can be sceptical when they meet me because I am a girly girl with blonde hair who likes to get her nails and hair done, but I was also promoted to my first leadership role when I was just 21, and I had men double my age reporting to me,” she said.
“The most important leadership advice I can give is to ‘sit at the table’,” she said.
“You need to be determined, curious, and hard-working. I completely support women to lead and to be successful. I want to motivate women to reach their potential. At Amazon, everyone is provided with equal opportunity."
“If you’ve got the passion it will allow you to remain determined. My mum Kelly has always inspired me and pushed me to be successful. Her best advice was to find my passion and stay curious and push myself to learn.”
“I firmly believe that as women we have many superpowers due to our ability to show empathy, passion, and overcome obstacles.”
Georgina Coutsavlis, 27, outbound operations manager – Melbourne fulfilment centre
Georgina is almost reluctant to reveal the woman she looks to for inspiration in her own life and career, before putting late, great Hollywood icon Marilyn Monroe forward as one of her biggest influences.
“She was unapologetically herself and I’m all for being yourself … don’t try to be someone else or compare yourself to someone else,” Georgina said, adding that she believes empathy to be the key to her success as a workplace leader.
She was working for Amazon in the UK when she first applied for a job with Amazon in Australia.
“It was a great opportunity for me to bring my knowledge and experience, and there’s nothing I like more than sharing my experience. I came at the perfect time to get in there and really show what I can do.”
“My biggest strength is my empathy. I have really good relationships with my associates because I’ve been an associate and I know how important it is to feel valued. It’s a company that provides a lot of opportunity for advancement and if you seize the opportunity you can rise fast here.”
Amanda, 25, Process Assistant – Brisbane
For inspiration Amanda didn’t need to look any further afield than her own family with older sister Michelle motivating her to follow her dreams through her own stellar career as a manager at a major discount department store.
“She helped me a lot with understanding people and embracing ambition,” explained Amanda, who secured her role at Amazon after gaining previous leadership experience as a warehouse manager after she completed her HSC.
“I’m very ambitious and once I knew what I wanted, I went for it,” she said.
“I’m very good with understanding the process and understanding people. Amazon supports your development and there are lots of associates who want to do better for themselves—almost everyone wants to do better, and helping them achieve that is very rewarding.”
“I’m very competitive and goal oriented. I would like to be an area manager by the end of the year, looking at the bigger picture. Amazon is very big on developing its own staff, and I love being a part of that process.”
*The research was commissioned by Amazon and conducted by Lonergan Research in accordance with the ISO 20252 standard. Lonergan Research surveyed 2074 Australians 18+ throughout Australia including both capital city and non-capital city areas. The survey was conducted online amongst members of a permission-based panel, between 10th and 15th February 2021. After interviewing, data was weighted to the latest population estimates sourced from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.