Amazon wants to double the number Black leaders in 2021, increasing their representation to about 8% of senior directors

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Amazon wants to double the number Black leaders in 2021, increasing their representation to about 8% of senior directors
Amazon wants to double the number of Black senior leaders in 2021.Elaine Thompson/AP
  • Amazon said Wednesday it will double the number of Black directors and vice presidents in 2021.
  • Black senior leaders made up 3.8% of the workforce in 2020. White employees accounted for 70.7%.
  • Insider reported employees called on Amazon to improve diversity and inclusion last year.
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Amazon this year intends to double the number of Black directors and vice presidents at the company and increase the number of Black employees in corporate roles by 30%.

In 2020, Black employees made up 31% of the lowest-level roles at Amazon, but only 3.8% of senior leaders and 7.2% of corporate staff were Black.

The company said it doubled representation of Black directors and vice presidents in 2020. Amazon also launched inclusion training for employees and removed racially insensitive language in "tech documentation" last year, per a release.

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"We are committed to fostering a culture in which inclusion is the norm for all Amazonians," Amazon Senior Vice President Beth Galetti said in a release. The company did not provide Insider with additional statement.

Read more: Leaked documents show Amazon's new wireless headsets target low-income shoppers who are aware of AirPods but not tech-savvy

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Galetti said the company will increase the number of women in senior tech and science roles by 30% year-over-year, and increase the number of Black software development engineer interns by at least 40%.

White people accounted for 70.7% of senior leadership roles at Amazon in 2020, and men accounted for 77.9% globally. Asians and Asian-Americans have the highest representation of all minority groups, making up 20% of senior leadership roles.

Latinx people accounted for 3.9% of senior management roles, and Native Americans 0.2%.

Amazon was recently hit with two lawsuits that alleged racial discrimination: one from a former Black business development head who claimed Amazon promotes Black employees slower than white ones, and another that claimed Amazon discriminated against warehouse workers of color and immigrants by not providing PPE during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last year, Insider's Eugene Kim reported Amazon employees circulated a list of the racial and gender harassment they faced at the company and called on leaders to improve inclusion efforts.

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Amazon's incoming chief executive officer Andy Jassy - who has been more open about supporting social justice movements than founder Jeff Bezos - will likely contend with growing calls to diversify the company once he takes office.

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