This is my favourite, favourite, favourite topic. At AWS, we are very intentional. And when you think about the ID&E concept, it’s very simple. The reason why we lead with the I is because we believe in creating a culture of inclusion and belonging, a state where employees are able to be themselves and all identities are valued. Inclusion is acknowledging a lived experience, leveraging unique skills and perspectives, so that everyone has experience ownership and empowerment.
And then, when you think about diversity, it’s about representing a full range of visibility for all identities, including but not limited to race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, class, physical ability, religion, language, military status and more. That’s diversity. Then, equity is about access and opportunity. It’s about removing the barriers to success on an individual basis and interrupting bias. It’s about ensuring that policies and practices and systems provide all employees access to the opportunities, resources and recognition of being successful.
However, you can have diversity and you can have equity, but if you don’t have inclusion, it’s not sustainable. For example, if you come to a party, you can walk in a room and have diversity. You have guests from different backgrounds, ethnicities, religions and ages, but you can still walk in and not feel included... and inclusion matters. You build sustainability and have cultural change with inclusion and making others feel like they belong. We don’t want to just invite you to the party; we want to ask you to dance. We want to see if you want something to eat. We want to make you feel engaged. We’re going to say to you, “Hey, what should the DJ be playing?” We believe that is where the true power happens. ID&E is not just a checkbox.