New demographics show a persistent divide on Amazon

Sept. 23 (Reuters) – The ranks of Amazon.com Inc’s (AMZN.O) executives remained largely white, although the percentage of non-white executives rose modestly while minorities continued to make up most of the workforce when the online Merchants grew rapidly during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to new company data.

The disclosure made Amazon the largest company to date by market cap, responding to a call by New York auditor Scott Stringer for companies to publicly release a confidential federal form, its office said Thursday.

A total of 67 companies have published or plan to publish their EEO-1 forms in the S&P 100, which contain detailed employee information as a result of the campaign, the Stringer office said.

A lack of racial or gender diversity in the leadership of many U.S. corporations has drawn focus since last year’s Black Lives Matter demonstrations.

Demographics at Amazon are being closely monitored compared to other tech companies because of the large workforce in its warehouses and delivery trucks, among other things, which makes it one of the largest private US employers.

Amazon’s data on U.S. workers showed that at the end of October last year, 71% of top executives were white, up from 74% at the same time in 2019.

The numbers were in a similar range to other big tech companies, some of which haven’t released 2020 reports yet. An Amazon spokeswoman said via email that the data showed it is making progress on diversity and noted the recruitment goals it has set to improve diversity, including hiring more blacks and women. In 2020, People of Color made up 42% of newly hired executives, she said.

Total Amazon employment is now around 950,000, and the company has outlined other hiring goals.

In the documents that Amazon published on its website on Wednesday, the single largest category of workers was “workers and helpers,” who made up about two-thirds of the workforce last October.

The form showed that those workers who were Black, Hispanic, or other non-white categories made up 74% of those workers last year, compared with 72% the previous year.

Reporting by Ross Kerber; Editing by Aurora Ellis

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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