Rough childhood & incurable condition does not keep Amazon CSA Nafesa Banu down
At Amazon, workplace inclusion is taken very seriously. The company believes that every new team member should be able to look around and find people they can relate to and are comfortable with. Increasing workplace diversity also fosters a culture of sharing and learning and special care is taken so that employees with disabilities feel comfortable and are able to do their best in the work environment. This story of Nafesa Banu, a customer service associate at Amazon best exemplifies that spirit. It’s a story that will inspire everyone, disabled and non-disabled, to dream big.
“I live a life with a disability, but I have never regretted it because it has made me strong”, says Nafesa Banu Shaik.
Nafesa, a customer service associate (CSA) with Amazon in Hyderabad, was born in 1998 with vision in one eye, a condition known as amblyopia. Nafesa has lived in Hyderabad all her life and was raised by her mother, a single parent. Nafesa says her mother is the strongest person she has ever known.
Her growing up years were not easy as Nafesa was bullied in school because of her disability. That would upset her a great deal and her mother felt sad and helpless watching her pain. Hoping to find a cure they consulted many doctors. To their dismay, they found that the condition was permanent, with no cure.
This made her growing up years challenging for many reasons.
Nafesa has vision in one eye
“Living with a disability in India is harder because you don’t see many specially-abled people around you, since accessibility and inclusion are quite poor for people like us”, says Nafesa. She did not let this feeling of isolation get her down and has come a long way.
Today this 22-year-old has a successful career in Amazon. She enjoys her time in office because there is something new and exciting every day to look forward to. This keeps her work from getting routine or boring.
I love that in Amazon we do not call anyone ‘Sir/Ma’am’ even if we are working on different levels because everyone is treated with respect and as an equal. – Nafesa Banu Shaik, Customer Service Associate, Amazon
Workplace inclusion in the true sense
What sets Amazon apart from other workplaces, says Nafesa, is the warm and comfortable work environment created for employees with disabilities. They receive the same treatment and respect like everyone else.
Nafesa has also written books on independent women on Amazon’s platform, and she is delighted to have a space that embraces and encourages her to be her true self without being mocked or laughed at.
This feisty and articulate young woman has a message for anyone who gets bullied for being different.
“Make yourself strong, big, brave and bold. No matter what happens, never compromise on your self-respect”.
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