EXCLUSIVE: Ben Farmer (pictured), head of HR, UK corporate, at global retail and technology organisation Amazon, will deliver a keynote address at Employee Benefits Live 2019, during which he will discuss the household brand’s inclusion journey, and share his lessons on why diversity creates a better business.
His session, ‘Overcoming the diversity gap’, will close the first day of the conference on Tuesday 1 October 2019.
The session will focus on the guiding principles behind Amazon’s approach to leadership and HR practices, and why attracting and developing the best talent is fundamental to providing a strong service.
Farmer said: “We take a unique approach to our hiring, learning and development, so I will be lifting the lid on what Amazon’s ‘Day One’ culture is, why we still follow the guiding principles set by Jeff Bezos in 1997 on a daily basis, as well as [giving] examples of some of the recent initiatives Amazon has taken to make the [organisation] a great place to work.”
A key part of building an innovative and talent-led culture, Farmer added, is diversity and inclusion. “Whether solving problems, addressing issues or simply keeping our customers happy, we need a diverse talent base that represents our diverse customer base,” he explained. “I want everyone that attends [Employee Benefits Live 2019] to leave understanding the true value of diversity: the ability to drive innovation and better understand the challenges that face customers every day.”
Farmer will be discussing how diversity has and will continue to improve business, and aims to encourage a wider conversation among delegates about the related challenges and actions ahead in the world of work.
“The skills gap and lack of diversity in our industry must, and can, be addressed in tandem with our own challenges as individual businesses, so we need to work hard to champion diversity in every sense,” he said. “This is something we are constantly striving to improve at Amazon and I hope we can inspire others to do the same, collectively making a meaningful impact.”
The keynote will provide delegates with both an opportunity for high-level, future-focused discussion, as well as practical learnings from Farmer’s own experience.
“I will be uncovering a lot of the typical day-to-day practices that underpin Amazon’s unique culture and approach to innovation, many of which should hopefully leave attendees with inspiration for the simple, effective changes that they can consider for their own organisation,” he concluded.
Employee Benefits Live 2019 will take place on Tuesday 1 and Wednesday 2 October 2019 at The ExCeL London.