Amazon Canada creates colouring book celebrating its LGBTQ+ employees

Amazon Canada has created a colouring book celebrating the experience and leadership of its LGBTQ2S+ employees. Fièr.e.s (Proud) is being distributed to hundreds of Amazon employees across Quebec and Canada as part of what the company describes as an effort to promote “engaged, constructive dialogue about inclusion and diversity in the workplace.”

While the online retail giant has received plenty of poor press about working conditions at some of its facilities, it has a stated mission to become “Earth’s best employer” by creating inclusive workplaces “where diversity is celebrated and where everyone has equal opportunities to succeed and advance.”

Developed by Cossette, with PR from Citizen Relations, the 50-page colouring book features portraits of five Canadian Amazon employees who belong to the LGBTQ+ community.

“There are so many programs, initiatives and activities that are implemented to ensure an inclusive work atmosphere,” Yahir Castillo (right), human resources business partner at the YUL2 distribution centre in Montreal and one of the employees featured in the book. “Fièr.e.s is the perfect example of this, and the impact projects like this can have on the lives of employees is immense.”

The company enlisted Chris Bergeron, Cossette’s vice-president of inclusive creativity, to assist on the book’s text and its preface, with visual artist Maxime Prévost creating the illustrations.

In Quebec, Bergeron is known as the author of the book Valide, which she describes as a “sci-fi autobiography” that has been published in Quebec and France and is coming out in English Canada and the U.S. The book is also being developed into a movie.

“This project gave the opportunity for some Amazon Canada employees to express their truths in long form,” Bergeron told The Message. “It’s important for queer people to be able to share their stories, their journeys, not only to educate the straight majority but also to act as beacons of hope for all those that are still afraid to show their true colours at work.”

The company has partnered with the Glamazon Affinity Group, an employee collective committed to raising awareness about LGBTQ2S+ issues and promoting opportunities for engagement both inside and outside the company through mentorship and social gatherings. Glamazon, which has more than 40 chapters around the world, is one of 14 affinity groups within the company.

Chris Powell