Adrian Richards is a Brand Specialist at Amazon Grocery, a co-founder of the Manchester chapter of Glamazon and member of the Black Employee Network.
Adrian made a big move from London to Manchester for his new role one year ago and decided to help build a welcoming atmosphere for his LGBTQ+ Amazon colleagues.
“I just wanted to live my authentic life,” said Adrian. “I’m quite a private person, but for me personally, it feels like a breath of fresh air being free to be open with people.”
“One of the reasons I joined Amazon is because the company champions big thinking and innovation, it’s progressive and forward-thinking, and there’s a sense that every year is always going to be better than the last.”
Since starting at Amazon last year, Adrian has co-founded the local branch or ‘chapter’ of Glamazon for the Manchester corporate office.
Glamazon started as an email list for LGBTQ+ Amazonians in Seattle in 1999, and in 2022 the group was recognised as a Top 10 LGBT Network in the Global Diversity List. It now extends far beyond Seattle – with more than 3,000 employee members in 60 chapters (the term for local groups) worldwide.
With 13 different affinity groups at Amazon, including Women@Amazon, the Black Employee Network, and Amazon PWD – a network for people with disabilities – Adrian sees an opportunity for the groups to work more closely together. By focusing on intersectionality, they can create a more welcoming environment for employees through tackling the different issues that overlap between the affinity groups.
“There’s definitely an appetite for affinity groups to work together more. There was an amazing employee session during Amazon’s Pride celebrations last year that hosted Lady Phyll, co-founder of UK Black Pride and an activist known for her work for racial, gender and LGBTQ+ equality. This was a great example of catering to members of both Glamazon and the Black Employee Network, and recognising the experiences of people in both the LGBTQ+ community and those who face challenges to do with race.”
Adrian’s belief in the importance of intersectionality is based on his own experiences.
“Sexuality is not something that should be viewed in isolation, I just view it as part of other wider issues that you're navigating, in the corporate world or even in your personal life.”
When Adrian launched the Glamazon corporate chapter in Manchester, he was focused on breaking down as many barriers as possible for employees.
“I started the chapter last summer with two colleagues. We knew we wanted to break down barriers and that started with other Glamazon groups, so we partnered really closely with the operations side of the business, in fulfilment centres and other sites, to work together as one LGBTQ+ network in the Northwest region.
“I thought this was important because it also helps us tackle social mobility issues, work across different areas, not limit our support to those who don’t work in Manchester city centre, and give people with non-corporate roles more access to support and a wider network.
“For example, we had a Pride celebration in our corporate office that we opened up to all members across the Northwest region to come and join. I think it's important to have one space that's open to everyone, so that we're not creating unnecessary barriers while trying to be more diverse and inclusive.”
Discover how Amazon is celebrating Pride Month 2022.