Today, Amazon Senior Vice President of People eXperience and Technology, Beth Galetti, shared the following with Amazon employees around the world:
I’ve been with Amazon for nearly eight years, and one of the things that drew me to Amazon, and keeps me here, is that we are inspired by and relentlessly focused on issues that affect our customers and our employees. Our Positions, a site I’d encourage every Amazonian go read, outlines some of Amazon’s most fundamental beliefs, including: Diversity, equity, and inclusion are good for business—and more fundamentally—simply right; The inequitable treatment of Black people is unacceptable; The rights of LGBTQ+ people must be protected; and We strongly support the rights of immigrants and immigration reform, to name just a few. We are committed to fostering a culture in which inclusion is the norm for all Amazonians. I am grateful to the many employees who continue to share their experiences with me and other senior leaders. Tough feedback is always uncomfortable to hear, but their stories remind us that we have more work to do to achieve our goals. This is some of the most important work we have ever done, and we are committed to building a more inclusive and diverse Amazon for the long term.
Many of you are aware that we set, and met, goals in 2020 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. While we are pleased with those results, the most important work we did in 2020 was less visible. We spent several months diving deep into the mechanisms we use to hire, develop, and promote employees, so that we can better identify opportunities to ensure equitable access for all. In addition, while much of the conversation in 2020 was about the Black community, the work yielded learnings that apply to all historically underrepresented communities.
Building on last year’s work, we are setting our 2021 company-wide goals for diversity, equity, and inclusion. We are continuing goals to increase representation of Black employees in the U.S., as this is where we have the furthest to go. However, nearly all of the new goals affect all communities specifically by addressing situations in which employees from a diverse set of backgrounds have different experiences than peers in areas like development, retention, and talent assessment. Here are the company-wide goals for 2021:
- Inspect any statistically significant demographic differences in Q1 2021 performance ratings by VP team to identify root causes and, as necessary, implement action plans.
- Inspect any statistically significant demographic differences in attrition and low performance actions by VP team on a monthly basis to identify root causes and, as necessary, implement action plans.
- Retain employees at statistically similar rates across all demographics.
- Build a scalable mechanism in Connections to inspect inclusion sentiment by demographic for all employees.
- Ensure that 100% of Amazonians take company-wide required inclusion training.
- Build scalable mechanisms that address new instances of non-inclusive terms in our code and document repositories or development tools.
- For the second year in a row, double the number of U.S. Black employees at L8-L10 (Directors and VPs) year-over-year from 2020 numbers.
- Increase hiring of U.S. Black employees at L4-L7 by at least 30% year-over-year from 2020 hiring.
- Increase the number of women at L8-L10 (Senior Principals, Directors, VPs, and Distinguished Engineers) in tech and science roles by 30% year-over-year.
- Increase the number of U.S. Black software development engineer interns by at least 40%.
- Reach 1.6 million underrepresented students globally through Amazon Future Engineer with real world-inspired virtual and hands-on computer science project learning.
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 DEI work, and they are complemented by goals in various businesses and geographies around the world. Owners from across the company are focused on DEI in the way we select vendors and financial partners, to the way we use the website to support our Sellers, to the way we roll out products and media to the world, we are working to shape a more equitable and inclusive future.
We know that good intentions don’t work, but mechanisms do. That’s why 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 using regular reviews to ensure our progress. Since June 2020, the majority of Steam has been meeting biweekly to scrutinize our progress toward reaching these goals and to remove all barriers to delivery. In addition, to help us evaluate our progress over time, we are increasing the amount and specificity of data we share publicly on amazon.com/diversity. The expanded dataset includes representation by job type, such as front-line associates and corporate employees, and expands our historical data to the past three years.
I will continue to update you on our diversity, equity, and inclusion work until a new VP of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is hired, and then the new leader will continue the updates. I also invite you to share your ideas and feedback to our central diversity, equity, and inclusion team during their regular office hours. This work belongs to all of us, and I look forward to partnering with you so all of our colleagues feel included at Amazon.