Leaders from teams across Amazon gathered to reflect and share advice on career wins and challenges

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Female leaders at Amazon share advice for career success

Female leaders at Amazon share advice for career success

 December 03, 2018

Amazon Music's Diversity Action Team (DAT) hosted a Women in Leadership panel and Q&A session with leaders from across Amazon’s Seattle campus. The discussion included the leaders’ unique paths to success, barriers they encountered along the way, and lessons learned.

Sharing vital career advice

The panel was moderated by Christina Lee, Vice President of consumer public relations, and panelists, Tami Hurwitz, Vice President of global marketing for Amazon Music and Jennifer Cast, Vice President of specialty recruiting. The panel talked about confidence, the importance of diversity, and self-advocacy, with an honest and open discussion about their own paths to becoming a leader at Amazon.  The discussion generated important pieces of advice.

Believe in yourself

The first piece of advice from these Amazon leaders is to advocate for yourself and trust your gut throughout your career.

"Be honest about where you are and what you deserve. There is nothing embarrassing about advocating for yourself," said Jennifer.

Play the long game

The second is to play the long game. According to the panel, it's important to remain open to new opportunities, especially when they challenge and broaden your current skill set. 

“Playing the long game and thinking about the multiple opportunities that may come down the road. If there are interesting opportunities for you to expand, it's worth it. It may not pay off right away, but that collection of experiences becomes valuable in the future," said Tami.

Inspire diversity of thought

The panel also advised people to inspire diversity of thought - that leaders should embolden everyone on their team to have a voice.

“I have felt a responsibility to listen better and to create mechanisms to encourage [those on the team who are more] quiet to speak up. I created processes with management to look at the team together and talk about how we'd encourage our team to push themselves and grow; make them uncomfortable," said Jennifer.

"It’s important to understand your team members’] personality styles – whether they are extroverted vs introverted. And you have to try to make the time for growth conversations...is this job something they love? Or is it a fit?" said Tami. "Zeroing in on what our needs are as a business at this time and really understanding where people are at mentally. A leader needs to prompt some of those conversations." 

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