What is a “just” company?
For the second year running, Amazon ranked #1 in the Retail category and #30 overall on JUST Capital’s ranking of America’s Most JUST Companies – but being a just company can mean a lot of different things depending on who you ask. That’s why JUST Capital surveyed over 80,000 American consumers to determine what issues matter most to them when it comes to the nation’s top businesses. Companies were then evaluated against those criteria – including jobs created, treatment of workers and customers, environmental and community engagement efforts, and more. The areas that are important to our customers are the ones that are important to us, and we’re honored to be recognized with this award.
At JUST Capital’s annual awards dinner, Ardine Williams, vice president of worldwide people operations at Amazon, spoke on a panel alongside leaders from other just companies to discuss how different organizations keep these issues at the heart of how they operate. Ardine shared her thoughts on what makes Amazon a “Most JUST Company.”
Why do you think Amazon was recognized on this list?
Our Leadership Principles challenge us to operate at our best – to earn and keep customer trust (Customer Obsession), to have strong judgment and seek diverse perspectives (Are Right, A Lot), to think differently and look around corners (Think Big), and to listen attentively, speak candidly and treat others respectfully (Earn Trust), among other qualities. This foundation sets us up, as individuals and as a company, to make decisions with an understanding of their impact, and to consider the implications of what we say and do, every day.
We strive to be a great place to work, and to create products and services that have a big impact on our customers and the communities where they live. A great example is Disaster Relief by Amazon, which leverages our vast logistics network to enable customers, sellers, and employees to immediately support communities when natural disasters occur – and it can be as easy as asking Alexa.
Amazon ranked especially high in two categories - workers and jobs. What do you think contributes most to that?
I’m proud to be part of a company that creates thousands of good, well-paying jobs in communities across the country and around the world. The range of talent we attract – from software developers to research scientists, operations managers, customer services representatives, and finance professionals – as well as the recruiters that hire them – is incredible.
At Amazon, we look for individuals, at every level, in every role, who understand what we’re trying to build, and are excited to be a part of it. And we reward people well for their contributions – from a $15/hour minimum wage, to comprehensive healthcare on Day 1, to providing the same generous benefits to our hourly employees, as we do to our most senior executives.
You’re not only a proud Amazonian, but also a loyal customer, what do you think puts Amazon at the top of the customer category?
I really believe that our customer obsession sets us apart. In every decision we make, we put our customers front and center, focusing on building products and services we think they’ll want in the years to come. And when we fail (which happens!), we learn from those missteps and apply them to future innovations. That customer-centricity is something deeply ingrained in every Amazonian, and is a large part of why we’ve been able to continue innovating for the past two decades.
What was most exciting about participating on the JUST Capital Panel?
We’re among incredible companies on this JUST 100 list. And I used this event to learn from other leading companies by diving deeper into their efforts and programs, and seeing how they are growing and building while keeping communities, workers, and society top-of-mind.