The message below was shared with Amazon employees today.
Since joining Amazon a little over a year and a half ago, I’ve been inspired by the collaboration I’ve seen across employees at all levels and in all businesses to integrate diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) into everything we do. Your commitment and actions show that we’re all in this together. From talent development and community engagement to product development and supplier partnerships, we’re creating inclusive experiences everywhere.
As part of our mission to strive to be Earth's most customer-centric company, we’re committed to reflecting the diverse perspectives and experiences of our global customer base in order to provide products and services that make life easier for everyone. It’s exciting to see employees making a difference for all our stakeholders around the world. We’ve captured some of those efforts on our DEI website, so I invite you to read stories from some of your peers and learn about how so many of you have contributed to our shared mission.
Last year, I posted about our progress and outlined the priorities we established for DEI. Since then, we’ve continued to make gains while also knowing there’s still work ahead of us that we will tackle together. With that, I’d like to share how we performed across our 2022 priorities:
- Increased the number of women in L8+ positions in STEM-focused roles by 66%.
- Reached 1.9 million students in the U.S. and 3.2 million globally through Amazon Future Engineer. The program aims to increase access to STEM education for students from underrepresented communities and is currently available in the U.S., UK, France, Canada, India, and Germany.
- Increased L8+ Black and Latino/a/x leaders across the U.S. by 39% and 32%, respectively.
- Increased L4-L7 Black and Latino/a/x talent across the U.S. by 25% and 27%, respectively.
- While we saw a lower number of veterans and military spouses across the U.S., down 12% and 5% respectively, we remain on track to meet our pledge of hiring 100,000 veterans and military spouses by 2024.
- Began work on a racial equity audit to evaluate the impacts of our policies, programs, and practices on hourly operations employees in the U.S.
Our priorities still start with inclusive experiences and technology for employees, customers, and communities across the world. We continue our focus on women, underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, the LGBTQIA+ community, people with disabilities, and military populations. You can find more details on our progress and programs at the bottom of this letter.
As I look across our various businesses, I’m excited about our continued growth of inclusion initiatives. Our devices and entertainment businesses continue to build and expand accessibility features—from Alexa and Fire TV to Audible and Prime Video—to better support our customers with disabilities. Amazon Studios implemented an industry-first Inclusion Policy & Playbook, an open-source guide that provides clear directives, guidelines, and resources to create an equitable experience for our casts, crews, and audience members. Worldwide Stores and Amazon Fashion are bringing more Black, Latino/a/x, and other underrepresented designers and sellers to our customers through collaborations with partners like Harlem’s Fashion Row. AWS is building responsible artificial intelligence and machine learning to help our customers harness its power for good and mitigate potential risks and bias against underrepresented groups. This is only a highlight of the work we’ve accomplished in 2022 and will continue to advance this year and beyond.
To wrap up this update, I’d like to share a bit on how we’re thinking about the headwinds of the macroeconomic environment affecting Amazon and the rest of the world. Considering factors that affect our efforts to achieve our representation goals, it became clear that we should double down on our work to develop and promote our existing workforce. We’ve identified new ways to continue advancing our DEI priorities.
Accelerate inclusive experiences outside of the U.S.
We are expanding DEI programs and initiatives outside of the U.S., along with delivering global initiatives for Indigenous, LGBTQIA+, military, and people with disability communities. We are making self-identification available in the 57 countries where Amazon currently operates. Where legally allowed, employees can voluntarily share their demographic characteristics, which will help us better understand their needs and drive more impactful programming.
Advance DEI through technology
We see an opportunity to address the needs of the future by taking an approach that blends human judgment and artificial intelligence. While it’s still early, we’re already seeing that technology helps us inspect and remove potential bias from our talent processes and improve human decision-making. This will help us accelerate our progress at scale across every aspect of the workplace.
Take a more holistic approach on our talent strategy
Each business will dive even more deeply to inspect its talent strategy across measurable demographics in its workforce. While hiring has slowed, we are taking the opportunity to optimize our processes related to professional development, promotion, and retention. This will include continued investment in our existing upskilling programs, such as our global mentorship program, which creates more than 6,000 mentorship opportunities every year, and Amazon Technical Academy, which trains non-technical employees to transition into software engineering careers.
None of this work can be done without you. While we have made significant strides, our continued determination to keep getting better every day is what matters—for our customers, communities, and each of our 1.4 million Amazonians. I look forward to what the future holds.