Amazon Amplify contains a series of initiatives aimed at increasing the number of women working in the technology sector.
Under the new initiatives by the Seattle-based technology giant, female students will be able to apply for a bursary of over £130,000 a year to help them move forward with a career in technology and innovation. Amazon has said that up to 24 female students will be awarded the Bursary.
Fiona McDonnell Director of Consumer Retail at Amazon commented in a release that: “Diversity fosters greater innovation and helps raise the bar for customers, and having a diverse workforce is also just the right thing to do. 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.”
A key part of the Amplify platform is educational support, this comes in a few forms first they are running the Amazon degree apprenticeship programme which aims to help people from all types of backgrounds and ethnicities train to be engineers and managers.
As mention above they are running a bursary for college aged students, but they are also running public tours and STEM workshops for children, aimed at inspiring the next generation of women to take a more active role in the technology sector.
Amazon Amplify is an addition to Amazon polices that see the enterprise try to include more people from the LGBT+, BAME communities, while also providing supportive guidelines for managers and employees so they can help integrate the diverse staff they wish to attract.
Amazon Amplify WISE Study
In research from WISE and The Lord Ashcroft International Business School at Anglia Ruskin University, that was commissioned by Amazon, they found that 90 percent of female innovators experienced significant barriers in the career due to their gender.
Worryingly over 25 percent of female respondents told the study that they encountered more barriers in place than support structures. When asked what they thought was a barrier for women in tech 84 percent cited a lack of confidence.
Helen Wollaston, Chief Executive, WISE commented that: “It’s concerning that lack of confidence came out as the biggest barrier faced by women working in innovation, but of course confidence develops as a result of support and encouragement.”
“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.”