This summer, I’ve witnessed exceptional innovation and entrepreneurship across business teams as we continue to work toward our 2021 diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) goals. Today, I would like to share a few updates with you specific to our hiring efforts.
In August, Amazon hosted Represent the Future for the second year in a row. This two-day career enrichment summit is designed to bring together and uplift Black, Latino, and Native American professionals, job seekers, and entrepreneurs to learn about working and building their careers at Amazon. Thousands of participants—both external and Amazonian—had the opportunity to dive deep into Amazon’s global businesses and learn about some of our newest and most exciting innovations, like the Black Business Accelerator and the Amazon Studios Inclusion Playbook. Attendees also participated in sessions designed to provide tools and skill-building for navigating the interview process, building a personal brand, and expanding professional networks.
Represent the Future is a unique way for us to invest in and build the next generation of technical and non-technical talent for the industry, whether participants decide to build a career at Amazon or elsewhere. If you have a moment, I encourage you to check out some of the sessions, which are still available to watch on demand.
Another way we’re investing in the next generation is through our annual summer internship program. This year, we welcomed our largest and most diverse intern class yet. More than 10,000 interns spent the summer working on projects across the company as software development engineers, financial analysts, product managers, and more. As the summer program winds down, I’ve loved hearing how many of our interns are exploring careers at Amazon after graduation.
Finally, I have a very exciting update to share with all of you. As you know, earlier this year, we kicked off a search for the head of our Global Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (GDEI) organization. Given the importance of the role and work, we took the necessary time to identify a candidate with the right balance of experience, knowledge, and leadership skills—a bold thinker and a persistent change agent who can deliver results. I’m thrilled to share that Candi Castleberry Singleton will join us next month as our new vice president of Global Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.
Candi has more than two decades of experience aligning diversity and inclusion strategy with key business drivers, customer requirements, and organizational capability. Her DEI career arc runs the gamut from consumer-facing companies like Twitter and Motorola, to healthcare and business-to-business organizations, to academia, as she’s spent time at both the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and Carnegie Mellon. She has created a number of workshops and authored several articles on leadership, employee and community engagement, diversity, and inclusion.
In my conversations with Candi over the past few months, I’ve been struck by her tenacity and business-led approach to taking on big challenges. I look forward to our partnership and to the energy she will bring to this role.
In her own words:
“When I think about Amazon and the potential for impact, I’m energized by the possibilities. This work will require us to engage all communities, think globally, and cultivate a workplace that is not only diverse, but also inspires a deep sense of belonging for every one of our employees. If we get this right, together we can create a greater sense of inclusion not only within Amazon, but for Amazon customers around the world. I can’t wait to get started.”
Candi will join my leadership team and be the driver of our bi-weekly DEI updates with the S-team. She will also be taking over these Diversity Matters updates.
Our DEI work is among the most important work we have ever done, and we are committed to building a more inclusive and diverse Amazon for the long term. We have more work to do to achieve our goals, and I am excited to partner with Candi on this journey. I look forward to welcoming Candi to the team when she joins us this October.