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Amazon pushes for gender diversity

Amazon India does have women leaders among senior positions, but Amit Agarwal acknowledged the need of further diversity across different levels of seniority in the organisation in India.

Jun 19, 2019, 11.25 AM IST
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Amazon too has more men than women in India across e-commerce, cloud and other businesses.
BENGALURU: Diversity of talent, from a gender perspective, would be a top priority area for Amazon India, said its chief Amit Agarwal, as he addressed his staff in an ‘All-Hands’ meeting on Tuesday, two people present there said.

Agarwal’s comments come as the local arm of the Seattle-based technology giant completes six years in India, continuing its fight against Flipkart, where its US-based rival Walmart now owns a 77% stake. Amazon has at least 60,000 employees in the country, which accounts for about 10% of its global workforce of 6.1 lakh. Agarwal’s comments are thus of significance, indicating the company’s intent to improve its talent diversity in India, which had the highest job openings in the overall Asia-Pacific market.

The development also comes at a time when the debate on diversity and wage parity has picked up pace among technology companies in the US as well. All-Hands is an annual internal event for Amazon with the company staff.

To be sure, much like other major companies, Amazon too has more men than women in India across e-commerce, cloud and other businesses.

“There was a lot of discussion on diversity of talent after one particular question to Agarwal, even though he stayed away from direct answers on competition from Walmart or Reliance,” one of the people mentioned earlier said.

Amazon India does have women leaders among senior positions, but Agarwal acknowledged the need of further diversity across different levels of seniority in the organisation in India. For instance, Amazon’s HR head is Deepti Varma who also heads the same role for Middle East and North Africa.

“Workforce for the future would be diverse from every perspective — gender, age, background, experience, thought process/perspectives, etc. To be able to truly innovate and provide creative solutions to our broad customer base, we need a diverse workforce. We have women leaders who run categories, businesses, technology teams and hold leadership positions at Amazon,” said Varma in response to a query from TOI.
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