We are delighted to announce that Amazon’s commitment to helping women succeed in the technology industry has been recognised with a Tech Employer of the Year 2019 Award by Women in Tech.
Why Amazon supports women in tech
As a customer-centric and innovation-focused business, we have always believed that supporting and celebrating female tech talent within our diverse workforce has been key to success.
Amazon is a proud partner of the WISE Campaign, which encourages women and girls to value and pursue science, technology, engineering and maths-related courses in school, college or later on in their careers. Research we commissioned with WISE, found that a 10% increase of women in STEM careers would boost UK businesses by £3bn per year, illustrating the powerful social and economic impact of a more gender diverse workforce.
Diversity initiatives that make a difference
Building on our existing diversity initiatives, earlier this year, we launched Amazon Amplify, a new series of initiatives designed to both further increase the number of women in tech and innovation roles across the UK business and help inspire the next generation of female innovators.
This included our Women in Innovation Bursary, which helps support the next generation of high-tech superstars - offering support and funding of over £130,000 a year for up to 24 female students who are planning to attend one of the three universities in Edinburgh, London and Cambridge. All bursary students are carrying out courses that focus on high-tech innovation, including Electronic Engineering, Robotics and Intelligent Systems.
In addition to providing financial support, students have access to mentoring by a female Amazon employee with relevant experience, providing a unique support network for budding women in tech.
I studied science and mathematics all the way through school and I always wanted to go to the University of Cambridge. I’m the first in my family to pursue a career in science and technology.
Empowering female leaders
Amazon’s senior female leaders regularly speak at events across the country, telling the story of their career journeys to attract the best talent and inspiring the next generation of women. Experts from our UK development centres also visit local schools to discuss careers in STEM, while members of the public are also offered free tours of our Fulfilment Centres.
Junior female inventors were also given a look behind the scenes of the Cambridge Development Centre in partnership with Robogals, an international student-run organisation that is on a mission to inspire and empower young women to take on a career in engineering.
Internal networks supporting women at Amazon
Amazon’s Women@ network launched in 2015 to provide female employees with the resources and activities to expand their network, further develop skills and to progress their career. This network is committed to attracting, developing and retaining the most talented women in both tech and non-tech roles across all areas of our business.
The Amazon Circles programme, launched by Women@, offers peer-to-peer mentoring for women, pairing female employees with senior leaders based on their development interests. Participation in Amazon Circles and 1:1 Mentoring through Women@ now stands at over 400 across Europe.
In 2017, Amazon’s Women in Engineering (AWE) also worked closely with Women@ to launch the Amazon Early Insights Scheme, a community outreach programme that helps young women develop new technology skills.
AWE invited twelve female students in their early years of study to visit Amazon’s Development Centre in Scotland and learn how to build and develop Alexa skills. During the week, students completed a range of workshops, talks, social events and a ‘hackathon’ run by Amazon volunteers. The programme helped to build confidence in the technical skills of the participants and encouraged a career in the field of technology.
Encouraging female empowerment in schools
The Amazon Web Service (AWS) team launched the initiative AWS Get IT in 2019 to encourage more young women from diverse backgrounds to gain practical digital skills, while inspiring them to consider a career in technology.
AWS Get IT, developed together with youth training organisation Future Foundations, invited Year 8 pupils (age 12 to 13) to participate in an inter-school app-building competition to solve a real issue faced by their school or community. The most innovative and winning ideas were then built and maintained by AWS.
As you can see, we are always looking at ways we can support women in the workplace and we would like to thank Women in Tech for this valuable recognition. Amazon will continue to drive initiatives that support and empower female leaders to succeed.
If you are interested in exploring a career in technology with Amazon, take a look at our current positions.