The Seattle Times reports that Amazon has posted what is called the "most detailed look yet at its workforce demographic data, showing what many critics of the company have long suspected: Black, Latino and female employees are underrepresented in the best-paid jobs at Amazon.
"The only segment where the number of women reflects countrywide demographics is among the company’s nearly 850,000 U.S. employees working lower-paid jobs, including in warehouses. Black and Latino workers are overrepresented in that slice of Amazon employees."
“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,” Amazon’s head of human resources, Beth Galetti, said in a blog post. “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.”
Some excerpts from the story:
• "Diversity figures are most skewed among Amazon executives. Just 22% of Amazon executives globally are women. Seventy-one percent of Amazon executives in the U.S. are white, 20% are Asian, and a combined 8% identify as Black or Latino."
• "The recent union campaign at Amazon’s Bessemer, Alabama, fulfillment center, where nearly 80% of workers are Black, also highlighted issues of racial equity in Amazon’s workforce. Though the union drive was unsuccessful, its call for higher pay and less repetitive work for Amazon’s warehouse employees struck a chord with politicians and seems likely to continue at Amazon facilities beyond Bessemer."
• Last year, Black workers made up 31% of Amazon’s lowest-paid U.S. employees, which include warehouse and call-center workers, while Latino workers comprised 26.4%, the data shows. About half of Amazon’s lowest-paid workers are women — a higher percentage than in any other segment of the company.
• "Black employees in Amazon’s corporate offices have said they’re paid less and promoted less rapidly than their white peers, a recent Vox investigation found. Charlotte Newman, a Black Amazon Web Services (AWS) employee, last month sued Amazon over alleged racial and gender discrimination, saying the tech giant gave her a job title and a salary out of step with the higher-level work she actually performed."
• "The pay gap between Amazon warehouse workers and employees in its corporate offices can be stark. Warehouse wages start at $15 an hour, and in 2019, the typical worker earned $36,640 a year, the company said. Corporate employees’ average base pay is $150,000."
- KC's View:
It's probably not fair to say that Amazon has a blind spot about this stuff, since it does seem to be acknowledging the issues (albeit under pressure from activists and investors). But the company clearly has a lot of work to do.
I've said it before and I'll say it again - if you want to be perceived as being the very paradigm of a 21st century company, then you have to behave like a 21st century company.