Growing up, Aditya always felt different from other kids. When he came out to his father at the age of 11, he wasn't rejected for it. Instead, he was taken for counseling so that he could understand how to come into his identity with more confidence.
Aditya credits the role his psychologist played in helping him better understand his orientation and encouraging him to be his authentic self more openly. While his father was supportive and willing to learn, he had reservations about his extended family being the same way. It took a while for Aditya to come out to his family and friends but his newfound confidence helped him immensely in the process.
In the workplace though, it was a less positive experience. When Aditya came out to his first boss as a fresh college graduate, he was misunderstood and made to feel like he didn't belong there. He recalls, “The HR called me in for a no-agenda meeting and said that my co-workers are unhappy with my orientation and don't like working with me because of it. This impacted me immensely; I felt completely unwelcome.”
When Aditya joined Amazon as an Operations Manager in 2018, it was smack dab in the middle of Pride Month celebrations. The moment was a pivotal one for him, to be in a professional environment where his identity was not only acknowledged but his diverse perspective also being celebrated.
It’s encouraging to see how everyone is treated equally at Amazon.
"I feel at home at Amazon," says Aditya. "It’s encouraging to see how everyone is treated equally and with a great degree of respect. I have become more comfortable sharing my experiences with colleagues than ever before. I've met people who didn't know much about the LGBTQIA+ community and the biases they face, yet they were courteous and eager to learn and understand. This is an ingrained cultural thing at Amazon: in every aspect of our work and life, we are encouraged to Learn and Be Curious. This has helped me meet a lot of allies in the workplace."
Nurturing and supporting an inclusive work environment is a year-long conversation at Amazon.To learn more about Amazon's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion program, watch this video with Beth Galetti, who is Amazon's Senior VP of People eXperience and Technology.