Report: Amazon board’s diversity stance draws fire from Amazon employees

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This story has been updated.

Amazon employees are not pleased with one of its latest decisions. The company’s board has been lobbying to vote down a proposal from CtW Investment Group, which would require that Amazon specifically consider women and non-white people for new board member selections. According to emails leaked to Recode, employees are voicing their displeasure with their company’s attempt to sweep this issue under the rug.

In a proxy statement, Amazon’s board said that the way it vets new board members is good enough. The process, the board says, involves “complex considerations that are designed to advance the long-term interests of shareholders.” One employee email responded to this by asking, “What exactly is the complex process that we currently use to find and vet talent that we are so proud of?”

Others chimed in, according to Recode, including one who asked why the current selection process was considered successful when “we aren’t diverse at all, and notably last amongst top tech companies?”

You can read the full Recode post here.

Update: Amazon has provided Fast Company with this statement:

Amazon has always been, and always will be, committed to diversity and inclusion. These are enduring values for us, and we are focused on continuing to diversify our workplace through pipeline, recruiting and retention activities. Our Board of Directors is also strongly committed to increasing Board diversity, and is actively seeking racially diverse and female candidates, in addition to the three women directors already on our Board. This commitment is already stated in our annual filings and we expect our Board’s diversity representation to continue improving in the future. The Board discussed this proposal and determined that race and gender are important to the Board recruitment process however the Rooney Rule is not the right approach at this time.

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