Amazon's Demographic Data: More of the Same

By Albert Lin

Amazon became the latest technology giant to release its workforce demographic data, and the results, unsurprisingly, are not impressive.

Overall, the company’s global workforce of nearly 150,000 is 37 percent women, with women making up just 25 percent of managers.

In the United States, Amazon’s workforce is 60 percent white, 15 percent Black, 13 percent Asian and 9 percent Latino, while its managers are 71 percent white, 18 percent Asian, 4 percent Latino and 4 percent Black.

It’s skewed toward white-male supremacy,” Reverend Jesse Jackson told The Seattle Times. “They do not look like America. The numbers are embarrassing to them. Their marketplace is very American. But their workplace is not.”

Amazon’s numbers are similar to those of Apple, Twitter, Yahoo! and Google, whose U.S. workforces range from 50 percent to 61 percent white, and whose totals of Black and Latino employees range from 5 percent to 18 percent. In terms of women, the global workforces of these four range from 21 percent to 37 percent.

(As a point of comparison, here is theworkforce-representation data for the2014 DiversityInc Top 50: 11.9 percent Black, 9.8 percent Latino, 9.8 percent Asian and 46.2 percent women.)

Likewise, the breakdown of managers is remarkably similar: Apple, Twitter, Yahoo! and Google have anywhere from 64 percent to 78 percent white managers, with Blacks and Latinos making up less than 10 percent of managers at Apple and less than 5 percent at the other three.

Unlike the other tech giants, Amazon did not reveal its demographics for tech positions, leading many to conclude that the apparent diversity in its U.S. workforce is largely a result of low-paid warehouse workers.

In a statement, Jackson’s Rainbow PUSH Coalition said, “Their general workforce data released by Amazon seems intentionally deceptive, as the company did not include the race or gender breakout of their technical workforce. The broad assumption is that a high percentage of their Black and Latino employees work in their warehouses.”

Moreover, the company’s senior leaders and its board of directors are all white. Only one of Amazon’s eight corporate officers is a woman, while just three of 10 directors are women.

Jackson has been working to provide more opportunities for underrepresented groups at technology companies, but Amazon has not yet agreed to meet with him.

Fellow Seattle-based tech company Microsoft’s demographic data also fall in line with Amazon’s. After a recent misstep by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, DiversityInc CEO Luke Visconti reminds Nadella that Karma Is Not a Career Strategy.

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