a new report citing an internal letter to Amazon’s human resources department, it is alleged that women are being mistreated within Amazon’s Prime membership division, including but not limited to harassment and disproportionate growth opportunities for men versus women at the company.
Citing a letter to a former head of diversity and inclusion, as well as reports from 11 former and current employees within the Prime unit, Insider reported Monday that the Prime team had been anonymously accused in March of “being institutionally biased against women”. The author of the memo — whose identity Insider says he independently verified but did not name in its report — described a culture in which women were often overlooked for promotions, humiliated and condescending, and “more likely to be achievement-oriented.”
Insider pointed to several other instances of apparent corporate-level institutional inequality within the firm. Earlier this year, for example, five women who worked for the tech giant filed a lawsuit against discrimination over experiences of harassment and discrimination based on race and gender. The Insider report did not specify a specific time period for the allegations in the anonymous memo.
The March memo was reportedly sent to Kristen Puchek, Amazon’s head of equities, diversity and inclusion, who left the company in April. When reached for comment about gender inequality allegations and the letter in question, an Amazon spokesperson told The edge in an emailed statement that the “claims do not reflect the culture of Amazon or the Prime team,” adding that the Prime organization has worked to “promote a diverse, equitable and inclusive culture in which all employees are supported and feel successful.”
“Women’s representation on the team has increased in recent years and improving the representation of women in senior leadership roles remains a top priority,” the spokesperson said. “In addition to inspecting how we hire, develop and promote employees, the Prime leadership team has set aggressive goals to continue the advancement of our organization, such as doubling the number of women in leadership roles and focusing on retaining women. at the senior manager level. and higher in 2021.”
In a statement to Insider, the company appeared to be pushing back the claims. A spokesperson told the outlet that 18 women on the Prime membership team had been promoted in the past year, adding that promotions for women were equal to those for men within the company.
Amazon certainly sounds like it wants to support women, but there can often be a gap between what it says and what we’ve seen in the company’s past.