Amazon Saudi unveils blueprint to enhance inclusive careers for people of determination across the country

Comprehensive framework will address upskilling and inclusion programmes to deliver best-in-class employee experience for people of determination

Ain Alalam – Rashad Iskandrni

4 December 2022: Amazon today announced its blueprint to increase workplace inclusivity for people of determination in Saudi Arabia. Launched in time for International Day of Persons with Disabilities, the inclusion blueprint is a comprehensive framework of on-the-job accommodations, policies and sensitization training that is designed to create a best-in-class employee experience for this talent pool.

Supporting the Saudi government’s vision, Amazon’s initiatives will help enable people of determination to be effective participants in society, and gain meaningful careers. The company’s approach to nurturing a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace across its corporate and operation sites includes identifying unique needs and delivering personalised support to allow their full and equal participation – from job search through to employment.

Speaking about Amazon’s efforts, Alanud Alfagir, General Manager of Partnerships and Cooperation at the Authority of People with Disability (APD), said, “The Saudi government believes in the fundamental role that every person plays in the development and advancement of the country’s economy. We welcome Amazon’s efforts to build an inclusive work culture that empowers a diverse pool of Saudi talent and supports the sustainable development goals.”

Abdo Chlala, Director of GCC, Amazon, commented, “At Amazon, we believe we are at our best when our employees reflect each other and their communities. We fully support Saudi Arabia’s vision to empower people of determination and are committed to spearheading progress towards a diverse, equitable, and inclusive society. We remain deliberate in nurturing an environment where our employees, inclusive culture and policies come together to expand the horizons for people of determination.”

The company’s regional blueprint for creating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive employee experience for people of determination covers three pillars:

  • Deploying global standards for on-the-job accommodations, encompassing both physical and technology-based assistance, such as real-time translation to sign language, screen reader and magnification tools, voice dictation software, and training in basic workplace skills, including team engagement, public speaking and interpersonal skills.
  • Empowering policies and benefits that provide options, such as flexible working hours, choice of location and upskilling and reskilling programmes to support access to a variety of roles.
  • Fostering a culture of inclusion through workshops and training programs to sensitise managers and existing employees, creating an environment where employees of determination are able to thrive and advance their careers.

While supporting government objectives, Amazon Saudi is extending its partner ecosystem through its collaboration with APD – the government agency that works to enhance the services provided to people of determination; and non-government organisation, Qaderoon, which encourages and enables employers to recruit, retain and include people of determination in the workforce. These alliances will widen access to opportunities at Amazon for this talented group.

Dr. Hatem Samman, Public Policy Lead, Amazon Saudi, said: “We are very proud to expand our partnerships in Saudi Arabia. Leveraging the expertise and know-how of public and non-government organizations, such as the APD and Qaderoon, will further enhance Amazon’s practices to ensure that people of determination are well equipped to participate in and advance their careers at the company”.

Nujood Alotaibi who works at Amazon Saudi in Riyadh, and is hearing impaired, said, “My experience at Amazon has given me both the confidence and assurance that career progress is not only possible, but also nurtured at every stage. Moreover, I feel empowered to learn new skills and reach my goals, thanks to the variety of training programs and consistent support from my colleagues.”

Beyond the workplace, Amazon’s transformational technology aims to improve the quality of life for people of determination, bringing the convenience of voice control to their connected devices. Amazon Alexa, the cloud-based voice service, allows users to manage everyday tasks hands-free. Alexa also understands Arabic Khaleeji dialects to cater to the needs of customers in Saudi Arabia.

Dr. Raf Fatani, Regional General Manager, Alexa, Amazon MENA said: “Saudi Arabia’s vision sets an ambitious agenda for the country, one that we are proud to be investing efforts towards as a company dedicated to the growth of local talent. We are looking forward to unlocking new ways for companies to invest in and contribute to Saudi Arabia’s growth. Adding a local personality to Amazon’s Alexa is yet another testament to how we continue to support our customers locally with products that serve their needs.”

Since the launch of Amazon.sa in 2020, the company continues to invest in Saudi Arabia, supporting the country’s vision to accelerate a digitalised and diversified future. Committed to nurturing a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workforce, Amazon is now paving the way for even more talent in Saudi Arabia.