Four women are seated at the front of a conference room, leading a panel on leadership. Each is seated on a raised bar-height stool. In front of them, Dozens of Amazonians face them, as they speak.
Photo by David Stuart

Candid career conversations

Leaders from teams across Amazon gathered to reflect and share advice on career wins and challenges.
on October 22, 2018
This month, Amazon Music's Diversity Action Team (DAT) held a Women in Leadership panel and Q&A session with leaders from across Amazon’s Seattle campus. The discussion covered the leaders’ unique paths to success, barriers they encountered along the way, and lessons learned. The panel was composed of moderator, Christina Lee, VP of consumer public relations, and panelists, Tami Hurwitz, VP of global marketing for Amazon Music and Jennifer Cast, VP of specialty recruiting. The panel discussed confidence, the importance of diversity, and self-advocacy, with a candid discussion of their own paths to becoming a leader at Amazon.

Read on for key pieces of advice from the discussion.
  • 01
    Advocate for yourself and trust your gut
    Never forget to be your own advocate throughout your career.

    "Be honest about where you are and what you deserve. There is nothing embarrassing about advocating for yourself." - Jennifer Cast
  • 02
    Play the long game
    Keep yourself open to new opportunities, especially when they stretch your current skill set.

    “Playing the long game and thinking about the multiple opportunities that may come down the road. If there are interesting opportunities for you to expand, it's worth it. It may not pay off right away, but that collection of experiences becomes valuable in the future." – Tami Hurwitz
  • 03
    Inspire diversity of thought
    Leaders encourage everyone on their team to have a voice.

    “I have felt a responsibility to listen better and to create mechanisms to encourage [those on the team who are more] quiet to speak up. I created processes with management to look at the team together and talk about how we'd encourage our team to push themselves and grow; make them uncomfortable." – Jennifer Cast

    "[It’s important to understand your team members’] personality styles – whether they are extroverted vs introverted. And you have to try to make the time for growth this job something they love? Or is it a fit? Zeroing in on what our needs are as a business at this time and really understanding where people are at mentally. A leader needs to prompt some of those conversations." - Tami Hurwitz
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