We all have a role to play in addressing the systemic challenges that underrepresented groups have historically faced. Amazon Web Services (AWS) understands the importance of providing passionate employees with the opportunity to do just that. That’s why last year, we launched the inaugural Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity (ID&E) Innovation Fund to unlock new opportunities to support underrepresented groups around the world.
The AWS ID&E Innovation Fund is a micro-grant program that awards funding to employees seeking to make a positive impact on racial and ethnic groups, people with physical and cognitive disabilities, the LGBTQIA+ community, veterans, women, and any intersection thereof by partnering with social impact organizations. This year’s ID&E Innovation Fund more than doubled, providing a total of $750,000 for employees to champion change in underrepresented communities.
“The ID&E Innovation Fund reflects the culture at AWS—our employees are leaders and builders who are always ready to roll up their sleeves and take action to leave things better than they found them,” said LaDavia Drane, head of Global Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity at AWS.
The ID&E Innovation Fund empowers employees to support projects they are already involved in or new ones they are trying to get off the ground. Projects must be related to eliminating barriers to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) programs for underserved populations, addressing systemic root causes that create equity gaps, or both.
“We’re inspired by our employees’ passion to give back, and this year’s number of submissions more than doubled compared to last year’s. As they work closely with social impact organizations across the globe, they’ll uncover valuable learnings and bring diverse perspectives that help our organization become more inclusive and equitable,” Drane added.
This year’s cohort is expected to impact over 25,000 people from underrepresented groups, up from 15,000 people reached last year. Each of the grant recipients across different parts of AWS will receive up to $30,000 to fund their projects.
Meet this year’s recipients and learn about the causes they're supporting around the world
Projects based in Asia-Pacific
Projects based in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa
Projects based in Latin America
Projects based in North America
More ways employees are giving back
The AWS ID&E Innovation Fund is one of many programs through which AWS employees can dedicate time to causes they care about. Earlier this year, AWS launched the Disaster Response Action Team volunteer program, which supports organizations responding to natural disasters. It was originally designed to serve as an extension to the core AWS Disaster Response team—a full-time team of experts within AWS dedicated to helping customers, partners, and communities prepare for and recover from disasters, and the model has grown considerably as more employees have become involved.
AWS also has the AWS Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Scholarship, AWS re/Start, AWS Girls' Tech Day, AWS GetIT, and the AWS InCommunities Scholarship Program to support a more inclusive, diverse, and equitable workforce.