Leaders work every day to create a safer, more productive, higher-performing, more diverse, and more just work environment. They lead with empathy, have fun at work, and make it easy for others to have fun. Leaders ask themselves: "Are my fellow employees growing? Are they empowered? Are they ready for what’s next?" Leaders have a vision for and commitment to their employees’ personal success, whether that’s at Amazon or elsewhere.
We strive to be Earth’s best employer and use our Leadership Principles to guide and monitor our efforts to build inclusive teams. We also make our positions on certain issues publicly available to customers, investors, policymakers, employees, and others. As we continue to learn and iterate, we improve inclusion internally through educational programming, mentorship, and benefits for all of our employees.
As Amazon employees—and as global citizens—we recognize that our work with diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) is among the most important work we have ever done. By uniting as a global community, we have an unprecedented opportunity to build the future of DEI together.
“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 not only is diverse but also inspires a deep sense of belonging for every one of our employees,” said Candi Castleberry, vice president of Global Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Amazon.
Here are some of the ways we incorporate DEI into our work, our communities, and ourselves.
Investing in our communities
As a global company, Amazon has the scale, resources, infrastructure, and capacity to deliver valuable growth opportunities for diverse businesses. Through our programs, we remove barriers to equitable funding opportunities. As part of our work investing in communities, we:
- Committed $53 million via our Climate Pledge Fund to invest in innovations by female climate tech entrepreneurs, and we will use this unique opportunity to deepen our internal and external relationships to help anticipate and manage crisis situations, and improve community giving
- Support initiatives like Amazon Catalytic Capital, a $150 million program to fund historically marginalized entrepreneurs; the Black Business Accelerator, a $150 million commitment to back Black business owners; and the Impact Accelerator for Women Founders, which provide financial backing, networking, and other ongoing support to startup founders
- Invest $30 million in the AWS Impact Accelerator, a series of programs designed to help and support high-potential, pre-seed startups led by underrepresented founders
- Through Amazon’s Housing Equity Fund, provide more than $2 billion in below-market loans and grants to preserve and create more than 20,000 affordable homes for individuals and families earning moderate to low incomes in our hometown communities
- Endeavor to build long-term partnerships with vendors and sellers who share our vision of advancing toward a more equitable future that improves the lives of people everywhere
- Commit to skills training opportunities in a big way via our $1.2 billion Upskilling pledge, which will provide free education and skills training to more than 300,000 of our employees in the U.S. to help them secure new, high-growth jobs, in addition to free skills training in cloud computing to 29 million people around the world
- Focus on building and strengthening our supplier diversity and inclusion processes, technologies, and partnerships. In 2022, we spent $3.3 billion with 375 certified diverse suppliers, and in 2023 we joined the Billion Dollar Roundtable, a group of corporations who spend at least $1 billion annually with certified diverse-owned businesses.
Developing leaders and mentorship opportunities
Representation is critical to accomplishing our DEI goals, and diverse leaders attract and retain diverse talent. This is why we are investing in growing these leaders from within. To develop diverse leaders, we:
- Increase representation of employees from historically marginalized backgrounds at all company levels via targeted hiring, retention, and development practices
- Raise the performance bar with every hire and promotion, doubling down on this commitment with our yearly DEI goals
- Reach a diverse pool of talent by partnering with historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs), Hispanic-serving institutions (HSIs), women’s colleges, and tribal colleges
- Work alongside nonprofits, such as Management Leadership for Tomorrow, and organizations like the Executive Leadership Council, Diversity Woman Media, DeafNation and Afrotech to strengthen recruitment and retention of women, Black, Latino, Indigenous, and disabled talent
- Foster employee mentorship opportunities via company-sponsored mentoring programs like SHINE: “Bringing Greatness into Light” Summit and through affinity group-organized mentor pairings focused on specific communities
- Support new employees as they get to know Amazon and potentially a new city through Amazon’s mentoring platform, which allows Amazon employees to select a preference for mentors based on their intersections and preferences
Celebrating inclusivity through affinity groups
We aim to create a workplace where Amazon employees have a strong sense of belonging, value, and opportunity. To help foster our inclusive culture, we support 13 employee affinity groups that offer community-building, mentorship, and programs to build awareness around customer inclusion. Our affinity groups:
- Include more than 130,000 employees in over 2,000 chapters around the world in 58 countries
- Range from Amazon People with Disabilities (AmazonPwD) to Glamazon, and encourage Amazon employees to connect over shared experiences
- Lead seminars and activities around many cultural holidays, such as Asian Pacific-American Heritage Month, Black History Month, and Hispanic Heritage Month
- Cultivate remarkable camaraderie through leaders like Jasmine Fowler and four other Black Amazon employees making meaningful contributions to their communities, their culture, and Amazon, and Fawn Sanchez, a senior HR leader at Amazon Web Services (AWS) and president of the Indigenous at Amazon employee affinity group, encourages people “to bring their whole selves to work”
Advancing gender equity
Amazon advocates for gender diversity, equal opportunities, and inclusive spaces for women to thrive and feel comfortable at work and beyond. We celebrate women builders around the world and are committed to inspiring the next generation of women in tech. To support women within and outside Amazon, we:
- Recognize the professional accomplishments of women, from AWS to our fulfillment centers, and encourage women to amplify their voices and guide the improvement of our workspaces
- Raise awareness of the biases that women often face in the workplace and broader society, and provide information and inspiration to help Amazon employees overcome such obstacles via the Women at Amazon employee affinity group, as well as annual festivals and events
- Launched the #SheIsAmazon campaign to spotlight women employees and partners who are working to break down societal, cultural, disability, and economic barriers to achieve their goals and level the playing field for others
- Provide free Upskilling programs to empower mothers and other women who are pivoting into new careers, pursuing higher education, or taking on other challenges
- Support trailblazing women in entrepreneurship worldwide through small business accelerator programs, and highlight women in entertainment via Prime Video and Amazon Freevee initiatives
Closing disparity gaps among Indigenous communities
Amazon is committed to supporting Indigenous leaders and creating solutions to help close educational and professional gaps among members of Indigenous communities. Amazon’s significant investment in reaching Indigenous students will play a pivotal role in increasing equitable access and participation in computer science and related fields. To help close the disparity gap, we:
- For several years, Amazon has been a primary corporate sponsor for the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) organization—dedicated to increasing the representation of Indigenous peoples of North America and the Pacific Islands in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) studies and careers
- Through the Amazon Future Engineer program, Amazon has announced a commitment of $2.25 million to support Indigitize Computer Science, a new initiative created in partnership with The One Gen Fund to support Indigenous schools and school districts in accessing culturally responsive CS curriculums
- Amazon and its Indigenous Program Management Office has been named the Corporate Advocate of the Year by The National Center For American Indian Enterprise Development for commitment to supporting economic development in Native American communities and creating positive change in Indian country
Fostering inclusion within the LGBTQIA+ community
Whether honoring Pride in celebrations around the world, creating new opportunities for LGBTQIA+ entrepreneurs, or providing health care benefits, Amazon is committed to expanding representation and engagement among our LGBTQIA+ employees and customers. We proudly seek ways to become better allies, expand hiring and upskilling opportunities, and create inclusive experiences everywhere. To help foster inclusion, we:
- Earned a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index for the fifth year in row, ranking it among the “Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Equality”
- Help to educate, inform, and connect employees about LGBTQIA+ issues through Glamazon, Amazon’s LGBTQIA+ affinity group that provides support and a network for people in the community and their allies; with over 100 chapters in countries around the world, Glamazon is helping educate and inform employees about LGBTQIA+ issues
- Encourage all Amazon employees to push past barriers and “speak their truth” by providing workplace protections and benefits for all employees, including full support of all sexual orientations and gender identities and expressions
“It is my mission at Amazon and in my life to help bring forward a world where all trans people, and all human beings, are able to show up at work, at home, and in their lives as their most full, authentic and joyful selves,” said Ashe McGovern, Amazon’s head of LGBTQ+ strategies and initiatives.
Elevating Black, Hispanic, Asian, and other underrepresented voices
We all have a role to play in addressing the systemic barriers that underrepresented groups face. At Amazon, we understand the importance of providing passionate employees with the opportunity to confront these barriers, proudly lifting unique and gifted voices each step of the way. To elevate underrepresented voices, we:
- Expanded the reach of Amazon Future Engineer, our childhood-to-career computer science education program that provides underserved and underrepresented communities access to STEM education
- Allocated $750,000 for employees to champion change in underrepresented communities via the AWS Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity Innovation Fund
- Drive sustainable growth for Black-owned businesses in Amazon’s store via programs such as Amazon's Black Business Accelerator and Black Girl Magic Digital Summit
- Provide “Your Future Is Now” and other scholarship opportunities for students at historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs)
- Celebrate Hispanic and Latino culture by recognizing artists, storytellers, musicians, and tech leaders, and support small business owners by hosting a dedicated storefront showcasing goods from Hispanic and Latino makers
- Partner with leading Latino actors to create Prime Video watchlists that uplift the voices, diverse experiences, and stories of the Hispanic and Latino communities
- Celebrate and raise visibility for the Asian and Pacific Islander (API) creative community via partnerships with Amazon Music, Prime Video, Amazon Books, and Alexa
Improving accessibility and inclusion for the disability community
Around the world, approximately 1 billion people live with disabilities, which is why we strive to develop technology that works well for everyone. We start by building with and for people with disabilities, and our goal is for all customers to know how they can use their Amazon devices in their preferred way—to be connected, entertained, and independent. To improve accessibility, we:
- Support innovative and inclusive technology programs that span from early childhood education to employment
- Install sign language video stations in operations centers across North America and Europe to ensure our products and services work for as many people as possible, making the workplace more accessible and inclusive for employees who are deaf and hard of hearing
- Work backwards from customers with disabilities by giving people with disabilities a seat at the table when designing technology
- Focus on skilling and livelihood-oriented empowerment for people with disabilities in India and other locations around the world, providing individuals with support, training, and intervention by creating an environment of acceptance and inclusion, and a sensitized skilling experience
- Continue to develop and embed helpful, often unexpected accessibility considerations on Alexa, including Alexa Shopping and Amazon Pharmacy on Alexa; bridge the digital divide through innovative new features, such as Fire TV’s audio streaming for hearing aids and Cochlear implants, and Dialogue Boost, which lets users self-select dialogue volume levels to suit their specific needs on any device with Prime Video
- Work to increase accessibility to digital tools beyond our own products, so everyone can benefit, through programs like Project Kuiper, Amazon’s network of low Earth orbit (LEO) satellites that will bring faster, more affordable broadband to communities unserved or underserved by traditional communications technologies
- Earned a “Best Places to Work for Disability Inclusion” designation for the fifth year in a row after getting a perfect score on the Disability Equality Index
Supporting veterans and military families
We recognize the diverse backgrounds and experiences that veterans and military spouses bring to Amazon and how they strengthen the workforce. We proudly employ more than 40,000 veterans and military spouses across multiple businesses, including Operations, Sustainability, Alexa, and AWS. To support veterans and military families, we:
- Train military members, veterans, and their spouses for in-demand technical roles at Amazon through company-funded programs like the Amazon Technical Apprenticeship and Career Choice, and pledge to hire 100,000 U.S. Veterans and Military Spouses by 2024
- Partner with Gary Sinise Foundation to announce a new multi-year partnership to amplify support of our nations veterans, heroes, first responders and defenders
- Donate over 521,000 lbs. of food through the Urgent Need Program in locations in Washington, Texas, and Washington D.C., and assist in reducing veteran suicide by coordinating the VA Suicide Prevention $20MM Grand Challenge, providing 41 hours of support to all 30 finalists through an accelerator course and technical mentorship
- Support the Gold Star initiative, connecting with children from military families to help them remember and celebrate parents lost in service—because military service impacts both those who serve and their families
- Leverage Amazon’s resources to support Veteran Service Organizations globally by growing our partnership with the Royal British Legion and advancing initiatives like Program Honor, established by Amazon Global Military Affairs
“Amazon is focused on recruiting and developing military talent with training programs specifically designed to help veterans transition into roles in the private sector. We value the unique skills and experience that the military community brings—and our new hiring commitment will expand the impact that military members currently have on every single business across the company,” said John Quintas, director of Global Military Affairs at Amazon.
Read more about our military hiring programs and jobs for the military spouse community.
Embracing artificial intelligence (AI) to accelerate progress
Transforming the DEI landscape of our business and wider society requires big thinking and bold, deliberate action. We will continue to integrate DEI across our businesses by using algorithms to make and augment human decisions, developing Amazon as an inclusive thought leader, and embedding DEI into customer mechanisms and internal business practices. To help accelerate progress through AI, we:
- Understand the importance of how generative AI, as it continues to evolve, can impact underrepresented groups and work toward making the technology work for everyone, in turn surfacing the importance of greater diversity
- Work to find solutions to the digital divide and ensure that everyone, everywhere, has access to the web; it’s equally important to ensure that underrepresented groups have opportunities to build AI and have a seat at the table so they can help mitigate risks and bias against marginalized groups
- Maintain a people-centric approach to building responsible AI products and services, and take a holistic approach to build our AI services by integrating responsible AI into the end-to-end AI/machine learning lifecycle for our engineering and development teams
- Innovate and iterate constantly to improve, refine, and expand our approach to responsible AI, and advance the science behind it to help us deliver better and more equitable solutions for our customers
Reflecting on progress via awards and recognition
We strive to be the Earth’s most customer-centric company, and we are honored and humbled to be recognized for the work we do on behalf of our customers, employees, and communities around the world. Here are some recent awards we’ve received, thanks in part to our ongoing efforts to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout Amazon and our global community.
- LinkedIn names Amazon the top U.S. company where people want to work in 2023
- LinkedIn recognizes Amazon as a Top Company in its global rankings in Japan (No. 1), Spain (No. 1), India (No. 2), the UK (No. 2), Italy (No. 2), Australia (No. 4), and Germany (No. 4)
- Amazon named among Fortune magazine’s most admired companies in the world for the seventh year in a row
- Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index recognizes Amazon for its inclusive culture
- Amazon receives Disability Smart Technology Award by Business Disability Forum in the UK
“Our vision for DEI is to create inclusive experiences everywhere. We’re committing to DEI being part of everything we do,” Castleberry said.