Diversity | Tech giant Amazon has female leadership problem

Tech giant Amazon has female leadership problem

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has just promoted company veteran and early-employee Peter DeSantis to his ‘S-team’, the elite group of top executives he meets with. This has been met with mixed reviews, as it seems the Bezos is doing nothing to tackle the male-dominated executive body at Amazon.

DeSantis was promoted to the S-team, short for senior team, earlier this year. The team is very secretive but what we do know is out of the 18 members, only one is female.

Bezos did address this issue in 2017 during an internal meeting, where he claimed that the ratio was due to a very low turnover rate within the team and he expects “any transition there to happen very incrementally over a long period of time.” This being said, with the addition of yet another man to the team, it doesn’t seem like there’s much attempt to change the patriarchal system.

What’s worse is that this isn’t confined to the very upper tier. CNBC reported in January this year that almost all executives in Amazon’s core businesses of retail, cloud and hardware are white men. There are a shocking four women out of the 48 executives in place.

An Amazon spokesperson has said: “Amazon has always been, and always will be, committed to diversity and inclusion.” This hasn’t seemed to ring through in the recent decisions by Bezos, nor does there seem to be any plans to change the set up of the executive level in Amazon.

It also isn’t a recent issue, with the Guardian reporting in 2014 that the online retail giant employs just 18 women out of the 120 senior managers, none of which at the time reported to Bezos personally. Five years on and the number of females who report to Bezos through S-team has increased by one.

Will the recent addition to the S-team provoke more changes in the company? What do you think about the lack of diversity in Amazon’s senior team? 

Have you enjoyed this piece?

Subscribe now to myGrapevine+ and get access to exclusive new content, and the full content archive.

Be the first to comment.

You are currently previewing this article.

This is the last preview available to you for 30 days.

To access more news, features, columns and opinions every day, create a free myGrapevine account.