Can you tell us about your career evolution at Amazon and what has kept you here for more than 10 years?
I am originally from Medellin, Colombia and started at Amazon as an MBA intern in the summer of 2007. I joined full time in 2008 and have since supported a variety of businesses across countries. I worked in finance with teams in Operations, Kindle, and Appstore in Seattle. Four years ago, I moved to Madrid and since then I have been supporting the Retail Organization for Italy and Spain, while also enjoying the food and the weather. What I like about being at Amazon is that Finance has a seat at the table: we are key partners and decision-makers. I also love that we encourage all employees to move around and gain experience in various disciplines and businesses. Another key reason that has kept me here for over 11 years is the amazing talent and human quality of the individuals that I get to work with every day.
You were recently a key sponsor for launching the Women in Finance initiative in Italy and Spain at Amazon. Could you share with us what this affinity group is about?
The vision of Amazon’s Women in Finance (WiFi) initiative is to make Amazon the earth’s most sought-after long-term career choice for women in finance. We seek to create a network of women and advocates, regardless of gender, to develop a welcoming, diverse, and inclusive workplace through recruiting, training, career development, and community events.
What inspired you to become an ally for this initiative?
Supporting gender equality is fair and just. Additionally, it makes our ideas stronger, drives innovation and creative problem solving, and helps find solutions to serve our internal and external customers better. As a leader in the IT/ES organization, I believe that I am in a unique position to help drive this initiative and motivate the adherence of more allies to this program, regardless of gender.
How does Amazon ensure equal career opportunities for men and women?
At Amazon we have very clear leadership principles that help us understand the drivers of performance of an individual in the organization. As such, advancement opportunities are equal for all genders. In our recruiting processes, we also have mechanisms in place to ensure that we are giving applicants from all genders an equal opportunity to join our organization.
What advice would you give to women who want to evolve into successful finance professionals and leaders at Amazon?
Make sure that you are constantly looking for growth opportunities inside the company and that you create a career plan with your manager. I also think that getting a mentor can be very beneficial, especially if they are someone you can connect with and that has faced similar situations. It also helps if they are outside your direct organization so you feel free to discuss any topic. Additionally, you should join some of the great organizations that support women at Amazon, such as WiFi, Women@Amazon, and Amazon Women in Engineering. Furthermore, make sure that you encourage your fellow teammates, regardless of gender, to join these initiatives and become allies!