Amazon says it plans to increase the number of black leaders in the company, according to FOX Business. The company said the effort includes working to double the representation of Black Vice Presidents and Directors in 2020 and again in 2021.
In addition, the move will also see the e-commerce giant making “increased investments and programming designed to grow Black leaders from within.” Through the Black Employee Network Executive Leadership Development Program, Amazon plans to build Black leaders at the vice president and director-level roles.
“At Amazon, we’re constantly learning and innovating – and our long-term efforts in diversity and inclusion are no different. As part of this work, we are setting aggressive goals in our ongoing effort to be a top employer for Black employees,” an Amazon spokesperson told FOX Business.
Black employees make up around 26.5% of Amazon’s workforce as of 2019. Also, 80 percent of Amazon’s top leadership worldwide was either held by white or Asian people, while Black people accounted for just 8.3% of those positions.
According to Amazon, it intends to increase the company’s black leadership through robust programs such as its $700 million commitment to “upskilling” — the process of teaching employees new skills that will aid them in their work.
“There will also be smaller pilots such as the Black Employee Network Executive Leadership Development Program, which includes targeted and specialized training to build Black leaders at the Director and above level,” According to Fox Business.
Amazon recently donated $10 million to organizations focused on combating systemic racism and improving the lives of blacks. It also launched an employee $17 million to the 12 organizations and their local affiliates, which the Black Employee Network (BEN) helped select.
This is in addition to Amazon’s initial donation of $10M in early June. In all, these organizations have now received more than $27M from the Amazon community.
Amazon recently appointed its first Black executive to join the firm’s senior leadership team popularly called “S-Team”. Alicia Boler Davis was appointed as the e-commerce’s Senior Vice President of Global Customer Fulfillment.
The prestigious S-Team meets regularly with Bezos to take strategic and critical business decisions. With the addition of Boler Davis along with John Felton and Dave Treadwell, the expanded leadership will now have 26 executives.
In her new role, Boler Davis will be responsible for the worldwide network of over 175 Amazon fulfilment centres across 16 countries. Also, she will lead the worldwide network of Customer Service operations and technology, as well as the Sustainability, Product Safety, Security and Product Compliance teams.