Trans-Inclusivity at Amazon India: A progressive next step
From the earliest days of our operations, Amazon has always been committed to equality in our workplace. Our commitment to equality has continued to grow through our dozens of GLAmazon chapters globally and our inclusive hiring policy. As we continue to take steps in achieving our goal of being a more diverse and inclusive workplace in India, our operations team has taken another step in this direction by creating meaningful opportunities for transgender community in our operations network including our Fulfilment Centres, Sort Centres and Delivery Centres.
In Gujarat, we have worked with our delivery service partner to create multiple roles in a delivery station - including station manager, delivery associate and security personnel. Additionally, we are running a pilot with transgender associates in a Sort Centre in Delhi and working on the inclusion of transgender associates in our Fulfilment Centre in Sonipat. Last week, we had the opportunity to have an in-depth conversation with some of our transgender associates from Delhi and here are their heart-warming stories.
Satyam (preferred pronoun, she) 22, joined Amazon through the NGO Pahal Welfare Society, which works actively in empowering and integrating transgender people in mainstream society. Satyam works as an associate with Amazon and believes that she is no different from anyone else. Satyam enjoys working at Amazon and feels supported at every step of the way. Satyam’s family is supportive of the work she does at Amazon. Her message to the LGBTQIA+ community is to “believe in equality, and the power is in all of us to achieve anything and everything we desire.”
Yogendra (preferred pronoun, she) 20, has joined Amazon as an associate and feels accepted at Amazon. She was introduced to Amazon by her Councilor Ms. Sarita from Pahal; she joined Amazon in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic and is impressed with the measures taken by Amazon, “The work environment is friendly and the task force is cooperative and most important thing is that we maintain all protocols of social distancing including 6-ft mandatory distance, frequent sanitization of hands and wearing masks.”
Rajender (preferred pronoun, she) is a 35-year-old Amazon associate, who is married and has two children. She spoke about the struggles being faced by the transgender community in India. “I have been subjected to disapproval by society for being part of the hijra community. After a hard life, I feel secure at Amazon and receive acceptance from my staff and family.” When we asked her the best part of her job, pat came the reply, “working at Amazon has given me the respect that I always craved for, in life.”
Sachin (preferred pronoun, she) is a 24-year old young graduate with professional experience in the export industry, a job which she had to leave due to discrimination that she was subjected to. She reluctantly joined Amazon after her previous experience but she was amazed at the friendly atmosphere and inclusive workspace that she met. She says, “I see a future with Amazon, and am so proud to work at Amazon. I always wanted to work in a place like this. Transgender community has to go forward and work in professional space so that people change their mindset about transgender people."
Inclusion is the foundation of diversity programs. No good diversity program can grow and flourish unless inclusion gets equal if not more focus than the diversity agenda. At Amazon India, we have extended insurance coverage to same-gender partners as part of our continued commitment towards diversity and inclusion. “Our focus here, in addition to our ‘input mechanisms’ is on affinity groups, support groups, sensitization workshops, infrastructure investments like transgender He/She toilets, additional training for our managers on inclusive leadership, and a special cohort for supporting military veterans to settle into Amazon post their service to the country,” said Swati Rustagi, Director, Human Resources, Amazon India.