I’m Lisa, a Senior Operations Manager at Amazon and a mother of three. I joined the company in 2020, and since then I have worked across different parts of the Operations business. This is the part of the business covering logistics, packaging, stock planning, deliveries – everything that has to do with getting products to customers. As Senior Operations Manager at our fulfilment centre in Coalville, in the East Midlands, my role is to ensure our customers receive their Amazon orders.

But I also have another role in the company that is very close to my heart: I’m a board member of our Women at Amazon employee resource group (also known as an affinity group). The group is open to women and allies across the business and is dedicated to attracting, developing, and retaining women across the business.

Before starting my Amazon journey, I worked as a director in the automotive and aerospace industries, which are traditionally very male-dominated. I was often the only woman involved in decision-making, so promoting women in leadership was a big priority when I joined Amazon.

I’m also the mother of three wonderful children, and raising awareness of the challenges that come with being a working mother is important to me. Through my work with Women at Amazon — including organising this year’s International Women’s Day events — I get to drive awareness of these issues while also growing my professional network.

This was my third year running events across International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month. We’ve had a great line up of events, including a talk from Jodie Taylor, former Lioness and Football Services Executive at Arsenal, who came and spoke about her journey and experiences navigating such a male-dominated sport. There was also a fireside chat with some of Amazon’s senior women leaders, where they shared their advice to other women looking to emulate their success in the company.

With UEFA Women's Champions League tournament merch to drop in 2024.

Inspiring inclusion and growing my network

I’ve always been passionate about equitable opportunities, regardless of gender identity, race or sexuality. I brought this passion into my role when I joined Amazon, and I was excited to learn that my then-manager was co-lead of the board for Women at Amazon. That is how I got involved with the group.

As well as allowing me to raise awareness of issues that affect women, Women at Amazon has given me access to a broader network within the business that I otherwise wouldn’t have had.

I now have a network from so many different parts of Amazon which has helped with my progression. I can lean on a diverse group of colleagues coming from all walks of life when I need advice or support. Being part of this employee group has been a really positive experience, and I would encourage all new employees to join.

Learning to balance work and motherhood from other women leaders

When I first joined Amazon, I was put in touch with the mentorship circles programme, which gave me an invaluable opportunity to connect with another senior woman leader. I’ve also been informally mentored by other experienced women in the business. These women have been immensely helpful in navigating my career at Amazon and what to expect as I progressed in the company, as well as my personal journey as a working mother.

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to balancing work and motherhood — every person is unique, and every day is different. Earlier in my career, I was reluctant to take time off, feeling like I had to be the first person in the office and the last person to leave to make a good impression. But I’ve come to learn that you can still prioritise your home life while advancing your career.

A graphic showing Lisa Swan, Senior Operations Manager in Coalville

Leading the way on International Women’s Day

Leading the business’s annual International Women’s Day initiatives in the UK for the last three years has been one of my biggest career highlights.

These events are a powerful opportunity to showcase what makes Amazon a great place for women to work, whatever stage of life they’re at. From gender diversity to navigating leadership, it’s important to emphasise the opportunities and policies we have in place to support women and help them thrive.

I loved the theme for International Women's Day this year, which was ‘Inspire Inclusion’, because it isn’t just about celebrating women. It's about embracing diversity and creating an environment that’s inclusive for everyone, regardless of gender identity.

With this year’s events, we challenged ourselves to raise the bar and promote the incredible women we have within the business.

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