Amazon hosted LGBT+ Leaders: STEM conference at its UK Head Office to help further inclusion and diversity in tech


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Amazon hosted LGBT+ Leaders: STEM conference

Amazon hosted LGBT+ Leaders: STEM conference

 March 30, 2020

Amazon partnered with LGBT+ Leaders and media outlet PinkNews to host the LGBT+ Leaders: STEM conference at Amazon's UK Head Office.

Students from around the UK had the opportunity to meet leading voices from a range of STEM-related industries, participating in a careers fair that included discussions, workshops and networking opportunities.

The LGBT Leaders: STEM conference is designed to address the under-representation of LGBT+ people in science, technology, engineering and mathematical roles. Here’s a taste of what went on at the event:

Choosing a values-driven employer

Jamie Brown, an Engineer at the Financial Times, chaired a panel session on his experience of leadership when working in areas such as coding, data and software. He focused on his own experience of corporate culture and how to recognise when an organisation is truly inclusive before you consider them as a prospective employer.

Jamie cited that the majority of young people are motivated to work for values-driven companies: “It’s a cultural thing. With Amazon and the Financial Times, I know they’re supporting me. When I see organisations engage with positive and inclusive initiatives, I know they’re striving towards goals that make a real difference. Many people like me will be more inclined to apply for a job if I see that employer as an ally.”

Inclusivity helps drive business growth

Oliver Beach is the London Chair of Out in Tech, a global LGBT+ non-profit. He focused on how people can make an impact through their work, what diversity in tech looks like, and the benefits of inclusivity for business growth.

“When it comes to diversity goals,” Oliver commented, “we should not shy away from talking about the positive impact a diverse and inclusive workforce has on a business. It’s no longer an assumption to say that a more inclusive workforce can boost productivity – in fact evidence suggests it has a positive impact on an organisation’s bottom line.”

Gareth Johnson, Events Lead for glamazon (Amazon’s LGBT+ employee affinity group) and a manager in AWS, also discussed how diversity and LGBT+ inclusivity can drive innovation in business.

“For a company like Amazon,” Gareth said, “innovation is crucial to our success. Having a diverse workforce gives us a better understanding of customers’ needs and is key to unlocking ideas. We have a strong belief that innovation is a prerequisite for growth, and diversity has been a key ingredient in creating a workplace where innovation can thrive.”

A space for non-binary people in tech

Arora Ashani is a Developer for YOOX Net-a-Porter and co-founder of Non-Binary in Tech, a conference that creates a space for non-binary people working in the tech industry to network, share ideas, create communities and to raise their visibility.

Arora feels the conference will inspire many more people to be their authentic selves, saying: “The most important outcome from this event is that attendees will be inspired to be themselves, to build their own networks and communities, and to raise the visibility of their communities. In any industry, we need to see relatable role models – people like us – working in the careers that we aspire to. Those mentors and role models can connect with, share ideas and raise the ambitions of many young people.”

Former glamazon Chair Christon Mallett has previously written about their experiences of being non-binary in the workplace, saying: “The ability at Amazon to wear what I want every day without feeling judged or excluded is remarkably affirming. It has given me the confidence to insist on the same acceptance in other areas of my life.”

Amazon LGBT STEM conference

Further your career with a supportive, diverse employer

Amazon wants to ensure everybody feels comfortable to be their authentic self. The company was recognised as a Top 10 Inclusive Employer at the British LGBT+ Awards.

Search and apply for job opportunities with Amazon.

 

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