We take very seriously our commitment to respect and value people from all backgrounds, including gender, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation and disability. We serve diverse customers, operate in diverse communities and rely on a diverse workforce. Our ability to innovate on behalf of our customers relies on the perspectives and knowledge of people from all backgrounds, and the policies and procedures we have in place for our employees, selling partners, suppliers and customers highlight our commitment and approach.
We are committed to increasing representation of employees from diverse backgrounds at every level of our organisation. We know that diverse leaders attract and retain diverse teams, so we focus our efforts on recruitment, retention, growth and development, including promotion of our employees. In 2021, we set company-wide goals for diversity, equity and inclusion.
Amazon’s definition of inclusion: ‘Being valued, trusted, connected and informed so that we can deliver the best results for our customers.’
Programmes and Strategies
Like many companies and institutions, we have more work to do on diversity, equity and inclusion, but we believe we are on the right path. We have initiated numerous near-term and long-term programmes and strategies across key aspects of our business to increase diversity and representation in our workforce, expand our efforts to build an inclusive culture and address racial justice.
- Focusing on RepresentationWe are committed to increasing representation of employees from diverse backgrounds at every level of our organisation. We know that diverse leaders attract and retain diverse teams, so we focus our efforts on recruitment, retention, growth and development, including promotion of our employees.
In 2020, we set and met goals to double the representation of Black directors and vice presidents, launch inclusion training for all Amazonians and remove racially insensitive language in our tech documentation. We work with strategic partners focused on representation, including Management Leadership for Tomorrow (MLT), a non-profit organisation that works to strengthen recruitment and retention of Black, Latinx and Native American employees. We are joining other employers in the MLT Black Equity at Work Certification, a new standard that requires employers to assess and make meaningful progress towards achieving Black equity internally while supporting Black equity in society.
Building on last year’s work, in 2021, we set company-wide goals for diversity, equity and inclusion.
We set goals for our vice president team to inspect any statistically significant demographic differences in 2021 first-quarter performance ratings and, on a monthly basis, any statistically significant demographic differences in attrition and low performance actions to identify root causes and, as necessary, implement action plans. We also set a goal to retain employees at statistically similar rates across all demographics. We will build a scalable mechanism in Connections, an employee feedback mechanism, to inspect inclusion sentiment by demographic for all employees and we will ensure that 100 % of Amazonians take company-wide, required inclusion training. We will build scalable mechanisms that address new instances of non-inclusive terms in our code.
For the second year in a row, we set a goal to double the number of US Black employees in Level 8 (director) and Level 10 (vice president) positions year-on-year from 2020 numbers. We also set a goal to increase the recruitment of US Black employees in Level 4 through Level 7 positions by at least 30 % year-on-year from 2020 recruiting. Our goal is to increase the number of women at Level 8 and Level 10 positions – including senior principals, directors, vice presidents and distinguished engineers – in tech and science roles by 30% year-on-year. We also set a goal to increase the number of US Black software development engineer interns by at least 40 %.
These goals represent the next step in Amazon’s diversity, equity and inclusion journey, not the final destination. It is going to take time and consistent focus to get where we want to be. Additionally, these goals represent only a slice of Amazon’s ongoing work in this area. Owners from across the company are focused on diversity, equity and inclusion, from the way we select vendors and financial partners, to the way we use our online store to support our selling partners, to the way we roll out products and media to the world. We are using the same mechanisms that we use for our most important business initiatives to build a truly inclusive and equitable workplace, setting goals and holding regular reviews to ensure our progress. Since June 2020, the majority of the S-Team, Amazon’s top executives, has met bi-weekly to scrutinise our progress towards reaching these goals and removing barriers to delivery. At Amazon, we are working to shape a more equitable and inclusive future.
- Obsessing Over Customer InclusionAmazon’s focus on accessibility has made shopping and other daily experiences simpler for people with disabilities. We believe technology should be inclusive, accessible and useful to everyone. By inventing new experiences that support all of our customers, we help create a more accessible world. While there’s much more to do, we continue to build accessibility features across our devices and services around the world and have been recognised for our efforts with the 2019 American Foundation for the Blind Helen Keller Achievement Award.
- Racial Justice and EquityThe inequitable and brutal treatment of Black people is unacceptable. We stand in solidarity with our Black employees, customers and partners. We are committed to helping build a country and a world where everyone can live with dignity and free from fear. We will continue to support regulation that eliminates the unjust targeting of people based on race, including the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, policies that protect and expand voting rights, and provide better health and educational outcomes for Black and Brown communities around the world.
Amazon donated 10 million to USD organisations working to bring about social justice and improve the lives of Black and African Americans. Recipients – selected with the help of Amazon’s Black Employee Network (BEN) – include groups focused on combating systemic racism through the legal system as well as those dedicated to expanding educational and economic opportunity for Black communities. This initial donation was followed by a successful employee donation matching programme that resulted in an additional 17 million USD going to these organisations in 2020. While it will take years of thoughtful focus and partnership to make the progress needed, Amazon is committed to being part of the solution.
Amazon is proud to sign on to the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Giving Challenge, joining leaders in business as a corporate partner for the launch of The Asian American Foundation (TAAF), a new non-profit organisation committed to accelerating opportunity and prosperity for Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. TAAF focuses on anti-hate efforts, data and research, and education. Amazon proudly supports the foundation’s stated mission of serving the community in the pursuit of belonging and prosperity, free from discrimination, slander and violence.
- LGBTQIA+ RightsThe rights of LGBTQIA+ people must be protected. We were early and strong supporters of marriage equality, and will continue to advocate for protections and equal rights for transgender people. We stand together with the LGBTQIA+ community and are working at the US federal and state levels on legislation, including supporting passage of the Equality Act. Amazon provides gender transition benefits based on the Standards of Care published by the World Professional Association for Transgender Health. Amazon holds a gender identity conference to build community, educate those outside of the LGBTQIA+ community and provide professional development opportunities for those at Amazon while transitioning openly in the workplace. We have a Transgender Toolkit for transgender and non-binary identifying employees, and we provide transgender-inclusive health benefits for Amazon employees. We are proud to have our efforts recognised, scoring 100 % on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index for LGBTQ rights for the last three years.
- Enhancing OpportunityWe are invested in expanding the next generation of diverse leaders. As part of our 50 million USD investment in computer science and STEM education, our Amazon Future Engineer programme inspires, educates and prepares children and young adults from underrepresented and underserved communities to pursue computer science. In 2021, we set a goal to reach 1.6 million underrepresented students globally through Amazon Future Engineer with real world-inspired virtual and hands-on computer science project learning. We actively partner with organisations and academic institutions that reach underrepresented communities like Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs), women’s colleges and tribal colleges. This includes hosting recruitment fairs in underrepresented communities around the world and committing to the HBCU Partnership Challenge to support greater engagement between private companies and HBCUs.
We are also empowering women to lead in the technology industry. AWS has partnered with Girls in Tech, a global non-profit committed to eliminating the gender gap in an industry where only 26 % of computer scientists are women. Girls in Tech is among the organisations pushing hardest to provide women with access to jobs in technology through education, professional development and community-building experiences. To enhance these efforts, AWS supports the Girls in Tech annual conference, its Digital Career Fair, a virtual hackathon focused on creating real-world technical solutions powered by women, and AMPLIFY, a startup pitch competition that helps entrepreneurs with funding and mentorship.
- Empowering Diverse EntrepreneursThrough the Amazon business credentialing programme, minority-owned, women-owned, veteran-owned and LGBTQIA+-owned small businesses can promote their products. Customers can shop at storefronts that support women-owned businesses and Black-owned businesses, as well as at the Amazon Saheli store, which displays products from women entrepreneurs in India.
Amazon has 13 employee-led affinity groups, comprised of more than 90,000 employees in hundreds of chapters globally who passionately and positively impact our company. Each affinity group has executive sponsors who support them in engaging at every level of the company.
Spotlight: Indigenous@AmazonIndigenous@Amazon is an inclusive employee affinity group dedicated to making an impact that celebrates and elevates diverse Indigenous cultures. The group fosters a community of Indigenous employees and allies through networking and shared experiences with the goal to make Amazon the premier employer for Indigenous people by increasing recruitment, representation and retention of Indigenous people at Amazon.
Spotlight: Asians@AmazonAsians@Amazon provides a support structure and network for Pan-Asian communities. The group helps recruit, onboard and connect employees of Asian descent across geographies by sharing experiences and providing access to career development, networking and community building opportunities. They also host local community and recruiting events.
Building on our Leadership Principle of Learn and Be Curious, we organise conferences every year where employees can learn and exchange their ideas and experiences. Several of these conferences focused specifically on diversity issues.
AmazeWIT Conversations on Race and Ethnicity Global Accessibility Awareness Month Global Diversity Summit Represent the Future
AmazeWIT is a conference we host in India, bringing together women technologists, including Amazon’s technical leaders and external guests. The day-long event focuses on technology deep dives (including voice technology, machine learning, Fire OS and others) and leadership discussions with senior Amazonians and peer companies.
Conversations on Race and Ethnicity (CORE+) is a global brand of internal experiences that focuses on deepening Amazon employees’ understanding of systemic barriers through conversations on topics related to intersectional identities, including race, ethnicity and gender, with additional focus on nationality, ability, sexual orientation, military status, religion, age and language.
Global Accessibility Awareness Month is recognised each May at Amazon. Around the world, the month is full of events, technical talks, experiential trainings, podcasts and workshops that showcase accessibility best practices. Employees take time throughout the month to learn about accessibility, even if it is not a part of their day-to-day work.
Amazon Global Diversity Summit is a professional development experience for Amazon’s diversity, equity and inclusion global practitioners. This event focuses on industry-leading research, ideas and mechanisms related to race, ethnicity and social justice, and highlights best practices pioneered by various business units.
Represent the Future is a career enrichment summit centred on uplifting Black, Latinx and Native American communities. This event is open to participants from any organisation around the world to learn more about Amazon’s customer-obsessed culture of diversity and inclusion that inspires everything we do. Recruiters and hiring managers from across Amazon share insights about Amazon’s 16 Leadership Principles, current job opportunities, and our application and interview process.
Amazon prioritises pay equity. A review of the compensation awarded in 2020 at Amazon, including base pay, cash bonuses and stock, shows that women employees in the US were on par in pay equity with men, earning a dollar for every dollar that men earnt performing the same jobs, and minorities earnt 99.2 cents for every dollar that white employees earnt performing these same jobs.
100Cents per DollarIn 2020, women earnt a dollar for every dollar that men earnt performing the same jobs.
99.2Cents per DollarIn 2020, minorities earnt 99.2 cents for every dollar that white employees earnt performing these same jobs.
Representation matters. We track the representation of women and underrepresented communities because we know that diversity helps us build better teams that obsess over and better represent our global customer base. We have made year-on-year progress, and we will continue to strive for better representation across our company.