When Irene found out she'd got a job at an Amazon site in Zaragoza, Spain, she cried with joy. “It was the best day of my life!” she recalled.
For Anxo, an Amazon employee at another site, joining the company was a "dream come true”.
For Christianne Ester and Rosa Gedeon, the best thing about working at Amazon is the freedom to think big: "For us," Ester said, "the goal is changing lives."
That's exactly what they did when they came together in May of 2022. Gedeon, an HR business partner for Amazon Logistics Spain, worked with Ester, DEI Programme Manager, to write a document outlining their idea. They worked with a local organisation to identify the right candidates for jobs.
In Europe, less than 5% of those living with Down syndrome or related learning difficulties are able to find employment. The number is higher in the U.S., though only about 3% have full-time jobs.
"Many people think that those of us with disabilities are incapacitated. We're not,” Irene said. “Being here now at Amazon, I'm proof of that."
With 16 people working in Spain, Gedeon and Ester's programme is now set to launch in more countries, Ester said. "The programme has had such an impact worldwide and we've now been asked to support the programme in other countries. I hope we will keep achieving our goal."