After working as a hairdresser for two decades, Luv-Luv was ready to dive into a new career, but not without inspecting the waters first. Access to quality health benefits was a top priority, and she wanted to make sure her next move could support her needs.

"I googled insurance for transgender individuals and found out the insurance at Amazon was way above average," Luv-Luv said. Her research revealed that Amazon's benefits start the first day on the job and include equal health coverage for transgender individuals, without exclusion for medically necessary care.

In 2018, Amazon raised its starting wage for all U.S. employees to at least $15 an hour. We’ve seen the positive impact this has had on our employees, their families, and their communities. Since then, we’ve been lobbying Congress to increase the federal minimum wage—which has been stuck at $7.25 since 2009.

The potential to bolster her health benefits led her to apply for a role at the fulfillment center in Shakopee, Minnesota. Though she looked forward to the journey ahead, her career shift didn't come without some hesitation.

"I had so many people saying 'don't do it,'" she said, referring to friends and family whom she'd told about her decision to take a role at Amazon. She heard things like, "it's going to be long hours" and "you're going to be on your feet all day." Luv-Luv moved forward anyway, accepting an associate role. Soon, she discovered that working at Amazon was quite the opposite from what others had said. "Amazon is here for us,” she said. “People don't see the love and the kindness that goes on in here. They don’t see the financial support and the fact that it's fair."

In addition to finding a healthy environment and enjoyable work, Luv-Luv’s role at Amazon offered another important yet unexpected benefit. "At first I was nervous and scared. I didn’t feel like I fit in,” she said. “Someone told me that when you're with Amazon at this facility, you're family. And I was like, there's no way. I'm not gonna be family. But it ended up being that and it's been a beautiful experience for me."

An image of an amazon employee standing in a fulfillment center wearing a mask and a safety vest while giving instructions to fellow employees.

Since starting at Amazon nearly four years ago, Luv-Luv's health benefits have helped pay for four surgeries. "Before Amazon, I was pre-op transgender, and since then, I've fully transitioned,” she said. “Amazon paid for all that."

Though the insurance was her main reason for joining the company, the pay at Amazon has helped her afford a comfortable lifestyle for her and her two pets—a pup named Buddha-Baby and her rescue cat, Lady-Cashmere. "When I started, I really didn’t think of the pay,” she said. “But now I have a beautiful place to live that I never thought I could afford with Amazon."

An image of a woman in a pink, floral robe relaxing on her couch with a small white dog and a brown and gold cat.
Luv-Luv, a fulfillment center employee, sits in her home smiling for a photo in a pink dress.
A woman sits in front of her bathroom mirror applying mascara.

Support from her colleagues, benefits, and paycheck at Amazon have helped Luv-Luv achieve many goals. She continues to raise the bar on safety and inclusion as a leader at the company while proving that amazing things can come from taking a leap of faith. "Amazon has allowed me to live a comfortable life that I've always dreamed of,” she said. “I live on my own on terms and I’m not dependent on anyone else. It's been a phenomenal journey for me."