Ariffa Bevin, Sr. Global Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity Manager – Amazon Web Services
Ariffa has worked in the state and non-profit sectors, spending most of her career in health and education, with an emphasis on health equity, health literacy, and the social determinants of health.
Her work in the space of Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity has supported one of Albany, New York’s top managed care companies as well as a tech organization aiding health and social care coordination in New York City.
She now works for Amazon Web Services as a Senior Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity Business Partner, driving and operationalizing IDE programming and strategy to support transformational culture change through education, coaching, and leadership.
Ariffa is also a certified diversity executive, health coach, and mindfulness/meditation instructor.
Ariffa and I met through Vivian Acquah’s AmplifyDEI Summit. When I posted on LinkedIn about her talk, it was viewed almost 4,000 times. The comments people left will bring you to joyous tears. The way that her network speaks about her says everything.
Tammy: What were you put on this Earth to do? In other words, what’s your life’s purpose?
Ariffa: I believe my purpose on this Earth is to be a light in whatever form that may manifest itself to be. It can be as simple as a word of inspiration, a smile, a kind gesture, to actively being a voice for those who need it and an advocate for others who do not have one. My purpose is to inspire and bring light in a way that allows others to be seen and to shine themselves. I work towards that every day.
Tammy: What role does your work play in your life? How does it embody your values?
Ariffa: My work definitely allows me to live out my purpose on a much larger scale. Many of us spend a lot of our time at our jobs, and it’s the same for me. The time that I spend away from my family and hobbies has to be fulfilling and impactful. I joined AWS because I knew the responsibility that being here would carry. I wanted to use that privilege and platform to do more for people and to show others the different ways that they can make a difference, especially in tech.
Tammy: What message would you like to give to other women?
Ariffa: I would say: Develop a supportive network of peers, friends, and allies, especially allies (mentors, sponsors, coworkers). This journey is difficult for many of us and so having a team behind you and next to you is very important. We also need people in our lives to keep us grounded. Do what works for you, not what is trendy. Show up as yourself and let them know why you belong where you want to be. Oh, and don’t take yourself too seriously – laugh at yourself often. I do every day!
Tammy: Tell us about your relationship with clothing? What do you think about the act of get dressed? What role does clothing serve for you? Does it hold a certain meaning or significance?
Ariffa: My relationship with clothing is definitely unique to my personality and story. I wear what makes me feel good, happy, and confident. And it’s all for me. The act of getting dressed is ritual in the sense that as I select my clothing for the day or evening, I ask myself, “How will this make me feel?” As I’ve gotten older, I’ve fallen in love with wearing dresses. I enjoy their versatility, the story they can tell, and the secrets they can hold underneath.
Tammy: How has your relationship with clothing changed throughout your career?
Ariffa: Most of my roles have required me to be fairly casual for work, but as I progressed in my career, I became less comfortable with the jeans and leaned more into business casual and business dresses. Around that time, I heard the quote “dress for the job you want”, and it has always stuck with me.
Tammy: Describe an outfit of yours that makes you feel like Wonder Woman when you wear it.
Ariffa: Any time I wear a dress — formal dress, sweater dress, business dress — I feel like myself. I feel even more empowered, ready, and excited to take on whatever is in front of me.
Connect with Ariffa
If you’d like to be inspired by what Ariffa shares, follow her here.