Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Amazon Employees Bring Their Parents To Work

Amazon employees and their parents explore a "science fair" at the company's first ever "Bring Your Parents to Work" day.
Simone Alicea
Amazon employees and their parents explore a "science fair" at the company's first ever "Bring Your Parents to Work" day.

Many companies have a bring-your-child-to-work day, but Amazon thought maybe their employees' parents were feeling left out. 

On Friday, the Seattle-based company held its first "Bring Your Parents to Work Day."

Thousands of employees and their parents crowded into Amazon buildings downtown and in South Lake Union. They attended sessions like Amazon 101 and a screening of a new Prime series. 

With activities like a "science fair" and people in bright yellow shirts directing the massive crowds, a lot of parents said they felt like they had done this before.

When software engineer Arin Soyen told his mother, Gonca Soyen, about parents day, she said it was like her son was back in school.

"Elementary school, high school, university, and now I'm here in the work place," Gonca Soyen said.

'It Puts Reality Around What They Hear'

But the idea isn't to make employees seem like schoolchildren.

Ardine Williams is the vice president of talent acquisition for Amazon Web Services. She said work is something parents and children talk about, and the modern tech world can be different from the offices parents have worked in. A parents day helps give them an idea of what their children actually do.

"Because otherwise it's just a concept, 'I go to work.' [parents day] puts reality around what they hear" Williams said. "And then when we have those conversations, when we email or text ... they have a chance to think, 'Oh yeah, I was there. I know what that was like.'"

Other Amazon employees pointed out that the company tends to attract a lot of young talent, so a day for parents might make more sense than a bring-your-child-to-work day.

Williams said she hopes the company can have other family days in the future.

A Seattle native and former KNKX intern, Simone Alicea spent four years as a producer and reporter at KNKX. She earned her Bachelor's of Journalism from Northwestern University and covered breaking news for the Chicago Sun-Times. During her undergraduate career, she spent time in Cape Town, South Africa, covering metro news for the Cape Times.