Re-thinking advertising: Kristin’s mission to build a better workplace for women in the business


Meet Kristin Ekerold, Head of Product and Sales Specialists in the EU. With Amazon for more than nine years, Kristin shares why she thinks advertising is the best career for tech-minded creatives and why she’s committed to supporting women at Amazon.

Hi, Kristin. Tell us: How did you get into advertising?

It wasn’t a choice! I fell into advertising during an internship at another company and never looked back. It’s a fast-paced job that allows me to connect with an incredible amount of interesting people.

What makes it so compelling?

The blend of creativity and technology and everything in between. The rate of change is really quick in our industry. AI is leading the way, and there are trends emerging that will completely transform the way we operate and engage with audiences.

How has Amazon influenced your passion?

The rate at which we innovate is beyond anything I’ve experienced elsewhere, and that's what keeps me here. Amazon embraces change and pushes boundaries, so it's an incredibly exciting place to work. We’re constantly pioneering advertising solutions, and that's really fun and fulfilling.

Can you tell us a bit more about your role and your team’s focus?

My team sits in a unique position between sales and product development. Our job is to understand what advertisers need and to work out how we can improve our proposition to best suit those needs, pre-empting any industry changes along the way. We test, then we scale, ensuring that we are launching products in the right way for our customers.

We’re constantly thinking about how we re-imagine and improve things. For example, the launch of advertisements on Prime Video showcases our approach to re-imagining advertising and driving scalable solutions in new ways. It’s very exciting.

You’re in a busy role, but you’re also heavily involved in employee initiatives. Can you explain more?

Yes, I’m on the leadership team for the Women at Amazon affinity group in the UK.

Right now, I’m responsible for supporting women’s career development. We’re building a program to equip both employees and managers with the tools to encourage deeper career development among women, and to help more women get into leadership roles.

What motivates you to support women's career advancement?

I have two young boys and know how hard it is to manage it all. If I can support women facing the same situation, I feel it’s my obligation to do so.

It’s disheartening to see women leave the workplace because they don’t feel they can balance work and family. It’s our duty to make sure they can stay. It’s not just about events and access but about policy changes and ensuring that we’re continually improving the workplace for women.

I also love the opportunity to work with like-minded women—and men—across different business areas, and I have met some great friends by being part of Women at Amazon.

Kristin, with her sons

Kristin, with her sons

How has Amazon supported you as a working parent?

I have the flexibility I need to get the job done but in a way that supports my family. It’s important to have that balance, especially when you work across different time zones.

How do affinity groups like Women at Amazon contribute to the company's culture?

I think it makes a better workplace for everyone, for now and the future. And it gives people like me a seat at the table for making real change, based on what our community of women want and need to be successful in their careers here.

Finally, what's your favorite Amazon Leadership Principle, and why?

“Invent and Simplify!” We constantly look for improvements, even when things aren’t broken. Innovation comes from anywhere. The onus is on us to own the process. It’s how we constantly improve on behalf of our customers.

People think our Leadership Principles are just something used in interviews, and I was surprised in my first meeting when people started using them.

At Amazon, it’s easy to understand how to work with people because we're all guided by the same thing. You can shift from one role, team, or country to another, learn new skills—but we all operate in the same way because even though our company is big, the Leadership Principles are ingrained in our culture.