Three inspiring women at difference career stages of their career at Amazon discuss their interests. And ... what's an Amaversary?

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Women explain why they joined and stay at Amazon

Women explain why they joined and stay at Amazon

 February 12, 2019

At Amazon's weekly New Hire Orientation, everybody gets exactly the same kind of identification badge. The photo ID badge is edged in blue, and Amazonians keep their "blue badge" for years – until they get yellow, red, purple or silver badges to celebrate their 5th, 10th, 15th, and even 20th "Amaversaries," as work anniversaries are called inside the company.

Meet three women who are in different stages of their Amazon journey, and all with different colour badges, to find out what drew them to Amazon in the first place and why they've chosen to stay and build their careers.

Janice Dearlove, Director in the worldwide consumer organization at Amazon 

Janice is a former mechanical engineer in the auto industry. As a director in the worldwide consumer organization, she focuses on customer relationships.

"When people offer their opinions, you're not likely to hear someone say, 'Well that came from a purple badge. So that must be really important.' You can be here two months, and you might have an amazing insight, and we'll listen to you," says Janice.

"Having said that, I've been in meetings where we've had a number of purple and red badges, and you can feel that there's a lot of experience in the room. I like having that, especially when we have big, thorny issues to work through. Just hearing how other people have invented especially Amazonian ways of getting around difficult roadblocks is extremely helpful."

When Janice took a leave of absence to care for her ill mother, she used that time to think about what she wanted to do, where she wanted to go next, and did she want to stay at Amazon?

Janice narrowed it down to a few things that were very important to her.

"I want to work in a space where I can innovate and grow a business. I want to work for a great manager. I want to work on something customer-facing. I want a role where I can work hard, but I can also have a good life outside of work. I chose to stay at Amazon because the opportunities I found here matched those criteria," adds Janice.

Muge Erdirik Dogan, Director of Amazon Flex

Muge was a research scientist. She has a Ph.D. in optimization. Muge really liked her area of expertise, and had invested a lot in it. She was therefore a bit skeptical when she went to her Amazon interviews, but she fell in love with the company and with everyone who interviewed her that day.

"One great thing about working here is that I still feel like I'm a scientist. We work on these very hard but fascinating problems that have not been solved before. We run a bunch of experiments. We use data and intuition. And the best thing, compared to another research environment, is that you get your feedback much faster. Because customers will tell you. They'll tell you if they like something, and they'll tell you if they don't," says Muge.

"These experiences we end up launching for customers, none of it is a one-person effort. It's a collaboration, sometimes across many, many teams. So getting a new badge color is a great moment to pause and kind of reflect back and celebrate it with all those teams, all those amazing people. I'm super proud to be an Amazonian."

Jenna Powers, Director of the human resources organization at Amazon

Jenna was not a runner when she started at Amazon but then she ran her first marathon four years ago as part of a bucket-list item. Jenna was going to check it off and move onto the next item, but it became one of her biggest passions. Since 2014, she has run 43 races of marathon distance or longer.

"People often wonder how I fit long runs into my schedule. I prioritize it," says Jenna.

"You can't have eight passions or hobbies and make time for all of them, so it’s necessary to pick the one or two things that are really important to your wellbeing and not compromise on them. For me, it's running."

Jenna explains that having a group of colleagues who support your passions outside of work is vital. She is lucky enough to have this support group: they have early morning meetings for international projects that interfere with her morning run. So how does Jenna fit in her passion?

"I ask myself: "Can I delegate this meeting to someone on my team?" Other times I say: "I will be on the phone but will not able to contribute. I'll circle back after." Because I'm on mile four," explains Jenna.

"My background is in law. I left law because I felt like I was a lot more creative than I had the opportunity to be. Coming to Amazon, I got to use all that creativity. I would have ideas, and I could just go do them, in ways I can't imagine you can do at another company — because of bureaucracy, because of 'Well, that's not your job.' I love that Amazon isn’t that way."

Join talented women like Janice, Muge and Jenna at Amazon

Amazon is indeed a prime employer for women and is the right place for women with a pioneering spirit. Search and apply for your next career move with one of the largest and most recognisable brands in the world.


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