Anyone who is a regular Native Business reader knows that our core purpose is to promote and advance Native American business, entrepreneurship, and economic development. So, when Amazon recently announced its upcoming two-day summit called “Represent the Future, Success is Inclusive”—we knew we wanted to connect our audience to this unique opportunity. We spoke to Elizabeth Nieto, Head of Global Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Amazon about the summit and Amazon’s commitment to the Native American community.
QUESTION: Hello Elizabeth. We’re excited to talk to you today. Can you start by telling us a little about yourself and your role at Amazon?
ANSWER: Thank you for having me. I joined Amazon in 2019, and my team is responsible for driving the strategic vision around diversity, equity, and inclusion at Amazon. This includes building processes and programs to attract, develop, and retain the best talent from all backgrounds for Amazon globally.
QUESTION: Amazing. What can you tell me about the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion team’s efforts at Amazon?
ANSWER: Our DE&I team around the world work to ensure diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts are scaled globally. We create and implement programs and processes– big and small. From our ongoing collaboration and support of internal affinity groups, like Indigenous@Amazon, to external recruiting efforts like the upcoming two-day “Represent the Future, Success is Inclusive” career enrichment summit for BLNA professionals, we strongly believe in using mechanisms, not good intentions, to drive improvements.
QUESTION: That sounds empowering. What I love is that you are doing more than just talking the talk. Amazon is walking the walk by hosting the upcoming “Represent the Future” summit. Can you talk a little about that? What it is and why it is important?
ANSWER: We are very excited about this! “Represent the Future, Success is Inclusive” is our first-ever virtual career enrichment summit specifically designed to bring together Black, Latinx, and Native American professionals from all backgrounds and levels of experience on October 20-21, 2020. The free summit will provide participants with an inside look at Amazon’s global business ecosystem, customer-obsessed culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion, and the role innovation, invention, and intrapreneurship play in building the future.
One of the summit panels that I’m really looking forward to is “The Power of Connection and Collaboration,” featuring leaders from Amazon partners including the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES). AISES CEO Sarah EchoHawk is a featured panelist, and the group will share details on their organization’s mission, programs and how they continue to operate in a virtual environment in the midst of a pandemic.
QUESTION: You mentioned Indigenious@ is an Amazon affinity group. Can you tell us more about that?
ANSWER: Absolutely. We have 12 affinity groups at Amazon positively impacting our company and ensuring these groups are engage employees at every level of the organization. Indigenious@ was launched at Amazon in 2018 and is a group where our employees can connect with other tribe members within Amazon. The group strives to make an internal and external impact that celebrates and elevates diverse, Indigenous cultures across Amazon’s global footprint. And they’re doing truly amazing things. Just this month they’ve been partnering with some of our business teams to deliver relief and support to Navajo Nation in Arizona, one of the communities hit the hardest by COVID-19.
QUESTION: Elizabeth, this has been great. How can our audience participate?
ANSWER: Thank you for giving me the opportunity to share details about the “Represent the Future” summit. I encourage everyone to visit www.amazonrepresents.com to register and learn more.