Amazon UK rolls out new programme to support women in tech
Amazon has announced the launch of Amazon Amplify, a series of initiatives designed to help more women move into tech and innovation roles across its UK business.
Described as a gender diversity and inclusion programme, Amazon Amplify will also support the recruitment of more LGBT+, BAME and disabled employees, the online giant said in a statement on Thursday.
“Diversity fosters greater innovation and helps raise the bar for customers, and having a diverse workforce is also just the right thing to do,” Fiona McDonnell, director of consumer retail at Amazon, said about the project.
“Our new Amazon Amplify plan aims to attract and retain the best and brightest talent in Britain, ensuring a positive environment in which they can thrive.”
Some of the initiatives included in the programme will be a bursary providing funding of over £130,000 a year for up to 24 female students to support their career in tech and innovation. Fulfilment centre tours and STEM workshops will be offered for children and a new UK-wide interactive training programme will be introduced to help women innovators develop soft skills such as building confidence and self awareness and being an effective contributor.
The programme is designed to achieve three goals: recruit and retain more female employees, encourage more women to consider careers in tech and innovation, and help women tackle some of the biggest barriers to career progression.
Amazon Amplify is a response to recent findings that 90% women innovators have experienced some barriers to their innovation careers, and that 66% of women working in the UK’s innovation economy have had to overcome challenges on their own to succeed in their careers.
Last year, Amazon partnered with WISE, a campaign for gender balance in science, technology and engineering, to understand the barriers to increasing diversity across industries. A research carried out by WISE and The Lord Ashcroft International Business School at Anglia Ruskin University found that improving the ratio of women to men in STEM innovation by just 10% has the potential to increase company revenues in that sector by over £3bn per year.
“The report recommends specific actions for employers and universities to boost the contribution of women to innovation. If they follow Amazon’s lead by taking a proactive approach to build an inclusive culture where women and men from all backgrounds are confident being themselves, it will pay dividends,” said Helen Wollaston, chief executive of WISE.
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