For many in the LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer) community, Glamazon is a music album by American singer and drag queen RuPaul. But if you’re a part of the Amazon family, you’ll know that it’s a name of the company’s LGBTQ+ affinity group. Glamazon became an official part of Amazon in 2005, adding itself to a list that includes other empowering groups such as Amazon PWD, Women in Finance (WiFi), veteran’s group Warriors@Amazon and many more!
Although LGBTQ+ has become an acronym as common as QWERTY, the masses are yet to accept the idea that have been approved by certain courtrooms. However, at Amazon it is a pleasantly different. Amazon has a long history in supporting equality along with affirming and including LGBTQ+ employees and with Glamazon, employees can work and live with authenticity and integrity. The affinity group is open to one and all.
Shy, coy & all about that? Not anymore
When it comes to the LGBTQ+ conversation, India saw progress only in recent years, what with our nation successfully decriminalising homosexuality! With more Indians, coming out of the closet to take their place in the sun—it is important that we create awareness among the masses and learn to accept them as they are.
Amazon India breaking the stigma and how!
Amazon India has been following the path laid out by its global counterpart. It has its own branch of Glamazon that celebrated its second anniversary for providing strength and support to the LGBTQ+ community on October 14th. The group is playing a pivotal role in helping all employees feel more included. It’s not only open to those who are a part of the LGBTQ+ community but also opens its doors to those who would like to support the group at large. The purpose of the affinity group is to support the network, enable mechanisms, create and spread awareness by conducting events including healthy discussions and forums that help those in need to voice their thoughts and feelings with those who are willing to listen. This in itself takes a great load off from those who belong to the community, as many have remained and suffered in silence for a long time.
According to Glamazon India’s business sponsor—Palanidaran Chidambaram, the affinity group has also helped the company understand and identify the challenges and struggles that members of the community face. This is the first and most important step in helping them find solutions and overcome hurdles that are slowing down their lives. Palanidaran mentioned that one of the hurdles that they recently tackled was the inclusion of same-sex partners for health insurance benefits at Amazon.
When asked about the challenges faced by the group, Palani (Director – Kindle, Amazon India) highlights the stigma around topics concerning LGBTQ+. He noted that many people are conditioned to avoid such topics. This, according to him, is a big problem. He believes that freeing ourselves from such a mindset and learning more about the community is a path towards personal growth, and in turn better for our family and eventually our nation. The business sponsor adds that, "Each and every individual plays an important role in making other employees feel accepted and included. Whether we agree with another person’s way of life or not, it is important that we respect their views and empathize with each other. We must stand up for the right thing and take a step towards putting an end to inappropriate behaviour (hurtful jokes, bullying, discrimination etc.)."
Palani explains that diversity and inclusion are basic needs. The Kindle Director points out that when people feel included at work—they feel happier, more productive, connected and energized. Simple acts of inclusion make it better for everyone at a workplace, and at home. Glamazon is paving a path towards a brighter future for one and all, and making the workplace safer and happier for everyone!