At Amazon we’re preparing a month of celebrations for this year’s International Women’s Day (IWD), kicking off Monday 8th March. We’ll be focussing on Women Champions of Change – those who dare to innovate, lead and uplift others towards a more equal and inclusive workplace.
Led by our Women@Amazon UK employee affinity group in partnership with teams across our business, we are launching a five-day programme of internal events, including panel discussions, career coaching, mentoring opportunities, fitness and meditation classes, and even a virtual art gallery.
We’re also extending our IWD activity to customers for the first time with the launch of the IWD Festival – a month-long celebration including a concert, podcast, panel events, TV and film recommendations, interviews from small businesses and much more!
John Boumphrey, UK Country Manager for Amazon, said: “We have an exciting and inspirational International Women’s Day line-up for our employees and, for the first time, for our customers. We’ve created new ways to celebrate the inspirational women who are champions for change, from musicians to entrepreneurs, to small businesses owners and authors. We are committed to diversity, equity and inclusion across Amazon, and we look forward to celebrating International Women’s Day with our employees and customers across the UK.”
Read more to find out about how we’re celebrating IWD this year – and how you can get involved.
International Women’s Day Festival
We’re making this year’s International Women’s Day at Amazon in the UK bigger than ever before by bringing our celebrations to customers for the first time, with the International Women’s Day Festival. From 8th March until the end of the month, customers can head to Amazon.co.uk/IWD to access a range of events and curated content from small businesses, Prime Video, Audible, books and more.
You can tune into an IWD concert on Wednesday 10th from Amazon Music with up-and-coming artists Griff, Birdy, Olivia Dean, Yonaka, Rose Gray and GRACEY, who will also be taking part in a Q&A about their experiences of being a woman in the music industry. If you prefer to celebrate women through books and literature, join our fantastic Author Panels. Amazon Publishing and Kindle Direct Publishing authors will be discussing their personal career development journeys in the ‘Women at Work’ panel, and their personal experiences with mental health in the ‘Be Kind to Your Mind’ panel.
For aspiring entrepreneurs or those with small businesses, we’re hosting panel discussions on ‘Meet the Women Business Owners, Makers, and Entrepreneurs’ and ‘How can small businesses champion change within their organisation’.
As part of our championing change in small businesses panel, we’re also pleased to announce that we’re expanding Amazon Amplify workshops to beyond our employees. Amazon Amplify workshops provide participants with actionable tips that enable them to speak up, become a better ally and lead inclusively, as well as highlighting the importance of inclusion to delivering better results in businesses of all size. The workshops will be rolled out as part of the Amazon Small Business Accelerator.
‘Alexa, tell me a fact about International Women’s Day’
Alexa users can listen to a free podcast from Audible featuring famous comedians including Sara Pascoe, Lolly Adefope, Sandi Toksvig and Sheila Hancock. Just say ‘Alexa, Read Women Unlocked’, to access. Users can also discover facts about International Women’s Day by asking ‘Alexa, tell me a fact about International Women’s Day’ or learn who inspires Alexa by saying ‘Alexa, who inspires you?’
Activities to inspire and support
To celebrate, support, and empower our employees in the UK, we’re also hosting more than 20 internal events and activities. Focused on raising awareness and educating about gender inequalities, spotlighting inspiring stories of women who thrived during the pandemic while providing moments centred around wellness and wellbeing.
Throughout the week we’ll be hosting guest speakers, panel sessions and career coaching covering important topics such as ‘Women in Public Health’, ‘Future-proof Leadership in a Changing World’, ‘Women Entrepreneurs Changing the Game’ (focused on amplifying Black and underrepresented entrepreneurs), ‘Showing Women Diversity in Fashion’, and much more.
Employees can also tune in to daily morning meditations that will teach how to do basic body scans and exercises that revitalise and centre for a good day ahead. We’re hosting HIIT sessions, beginner dance classes with FRAME, plus yoga classes designed to calm and relax.
We will be showcasing 45 specially curated pieces of art from 10 UK based women artists in our virtual art gallery. There will also be a Q&A session where employees can meet the artists, ask questions and find creative inspiration.
We’re also delighted to launch the Amazon Manbassador programme, an allyship programme with the aim of increasing male membership and participation in our Women@ employee affinity group. Manbassadors will host forums, talks, trainings and events that educate on allyship and gender equality.
Supporting charity this International Women's Day
In addition to activities and events, we’re also supporting the #ChangeAGirlsLife campaign by The Princes Trust. Amazon will pay £5 for each Kindle, Fire TV, Fire Tablet, and Echo device sold, and 15% of the purchase price for certain products from selected women owned small businesses, from 8th – 31st March (subject to cap) to The Prince’s Trust, a registered charity in England and Wales (1079675) and Scotland (SC041198)).
Supporting gender equality all year round
Amazon is continually looking for ways to diversify its workforce and promote an inclusive culture, reinforced by our 14 Leadership Principles, which encourage team members to seek diverse perspectives, learn, and earn trust.
We celebrate our employees and leaders who work hard to achieve diversity, inclusion and equality, and we’re delighted to see our employees recognised for their hard work. Rashada Harry was recognised among last year’s TechWomen100 winners, while Jacqui Chin and Ramat Tejani were recognised among Top 100 Executives and Top 100 Future Leaders respectively by the HERoes Women Role Model Lists.
Through our career programmes and initiatives, we also work to support gender equality all year round through
- Career coaching and mentorship programs including workshops on topics such as imposter syndrome and taming your inner critic
- Amazon Amplify, which provides training on seeking diverse perspectives, making confident contributions and improving effectiveness
- Return to work after a career break with the AWS Returners Programme, helping women at Amazon continue to move forward in their careers
- Amazon employees are also encouraged to chart their own path, with options such as flexibility, part-time working, job sharing and shared parental leave
- Committing to diversity goals by becoming a signatory to the WISE Ten Steps Commitments.
- Helping young women build exciting careers in computer science with Amazon Future Engineer
- AWS GetIT encourages girls aged 12-13 to consider a career in tech – challenging long standing gender stereotypes.
International Women’s Day Festival will run from Monday 8th March and is dedicated to showcasing women business owners, makers, entrepreneurs, authors, artists and charities.
Find out more and get involved from Monday at Amazon.co.uk/IWD