Amazon to investigate discrimination and harassment at AWS

Amazon Offices

Fin is a former junior editor at TechForge.

Amazon’s cloud division, Amazon Web Services (AWS), is to be investigated regarding allegations of harassment and discrimination after 550 employees signed a petition.

The petition criticised Amazon’s current system for investigating discrimination as not fair, objective, or transparent.

Specifically, it blamed AWS for its “underlying culture of systemic discrimination, harassment, bullying, and bias against women and under-represented groups,” reports the Washington Post.

It went on to accuse this system of being “set up to protect the company and the status quo, rather than the employees filing the complaints.”

The petition refers to a lawsuit filed in May by Cindy Warner, a gay executive at AWS who accused a manager of making homophobic comments and alleged she was fired in response.

It also cited a “LinkedIn post last summer by Laudon Williams, a former employee of the group, who wrote that he left the company over concerns about gender and sexual-orientation discrimination.”

Whilst AWS chief executive Adam Selipsky told the petition’s authors he “shares [their] passion for ensuring that our workplace is inclusive and free of bias and unfair treatment”, Amazon spokeswoman Jaci Anderson declined to comment.

Four other current and former female Amazon employees also sued the company the same day as Warner back in May, to which Anderson rebutted the claims, describing the charges as “unsubstantiated.”

The petition has been sent to new Amazon CEO Andy Jassy, the former head of AWS, and current AWS chief executive Adam Selipsky.

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