Amazon has several programmes designed to empower and support women and girls in the UK and Ireland.
From the Amazon employees who serve our customers each day, to women and girls in the communities we operate in, Amazon has a longstanding commitment to gender equity. Along with our commitments, we have launched several initiatives designed to support, connect and empower women from all backgrounds and create a more equitable future for women and girls.
Find out more about these below:
1Amazon Future Engineer
Amazon Future Engineer is a comprehensive childhood-to-career programme that inspires, educates and enables young people from lower-income backgrounds to realise their potential in computer science.
Since its launch in 2019, Amazon Future Engineer has forged relationships with organisations such as STEMLearn, Teach First and the Royal Academy of Engineering to address issues identified as barriers for entry in STEM fields for children and young adults from underserved backgrounds. Amazon Future Engineer is estimated to have reached over 190,000 students from lower-income backgrounds through its wider engagement and initiatives by the close of 2021, and worked with over 280,000 young people in 2022 alone.
Women are still significantly underrepresented in engineering and technology. At the current rate of progress, parity of women in engineering degrees will not be achieved until 2085. In 2021, Amazon, the Royal Academy of Engineering and BecomingX launched a film series called ‘Engineering Heroes’ which profiled pioneering women engineers Dame Stephanie Shirley CH DBE FREng, Ursula Burns FREng, and Professor Sue Black OBE to challenge public perception of engineering as well as inspire the next generation of young people, from all genders, ethnicity and parts of society.
One of Amazon Future Engineer’s key goals is to provide career exploration opportunities, including Class Chats where an Amazon employee speaks live to classes across the country about their career and education path, highlighting jobs of the future.
Find out more about Amazon Future Engineer.
2Amazon Future Engineer bursaries
The Amazon Future Engineer bursary is a national bursary programme aimed at supporting women A-level and BTEC/OCR(or Scottish equivalent) students from low-income households who wish to study computer science or related engineering courses at UK universities.
Women are still significantly underrepresented in engineering and technology in higher education. UCAS data on university application and acceptance figures for the 2022 cycle highlighted that women represent just 19% of accepted applications to computing and engineering degrees.
These bursaries aim to help address underrepresentation and accelerate the rate of progress. They will provide successful women applicants with a financial support package worth up to £20,000 to cover expenses related to attending university, including tuition fees or accommodation and living costs.
Find out more about Amazon Future Engineer Bursaries.
3Amazon Women of the World (WoW)
Amazon Women of the World (WoW), launched in 2022, is targeted at all women studying in EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa), particularly those who are interested in a career in technology. The objective is to help university students and recently graduated students build a long-term career in Amazon by offering skills building sessions, advice from Amazon recruiters and an introduction to Amazon culture.
Amazon WoW is open to all students across EMEA who are currently studying at university or have graduated within the last 12 months.
Find out more at Amazon Women of the World EMEA.
AWS GetIT is an initiative designed by Amazon Web Services (AWS) to encourage girls aged 12-14 to consider a career in tech – challenging long standing gender stereotypes.
Running throughout the academic year, AWS GetIT includes programme curriculum and an optional competition. Schools are paired with a dedicated AWS GetIT Ambassador. Ambassadors are professional women and non-binary individuals working in tech at Amazon or AWS who support the school and educator and act as a role model for students.
After completing the curriculum, schools have the option to submit up to two student app ideas for consideration in a country-wide AWS GetIT competition. Teams in the semi-finals and finals present to a judging panel of experts in the tech industry.
As of August 2022, AWS GetIT has trained over 19,000 students across 8 countries.
Find out more about AWS GetIT.
AWS re/Start is a cohort-based workforce development training programme that prepares individuals for careers in the cloud and connects them to potential employers. A technology background is not required to apply. It is free to the learner and focused on helping unemployed or underemployed individuals launching a new career. AWS re/Start’s collaborating organisations support underrepresented groups, minorities, displaced individuals, young people, and more.
Through coursework and hands-on labs, using real world scenarios, learners can gain the technical skills they need for entry to mid-level cloud roles. AWS re/Start also provides learners with professional skills training like CV and interview coaching to prepare them for employer meetings and job interviews.
Find out more about AWS re/Start.
There are 13 global affinity groups within Amazon and among these are networks dedicated to supporting, connecting and empowering women such as Women at Amazon, Women in Finance & Global Business Services, and Families@. Women at Amazon is a global affinity group for women, non-binary employees and allies at Amazon with over 80 chapters worldwide. Women at Amazon is committed to attracting, developing and retaining women in both tech and non-tech roles across all of Amazon's businesses.
The Women in Finance & Global Business Services (FGBS) Initiative (WiFi) is a group for Amazon women in FGBS and their advocates to network, partner, and be part of a larger community. WiFi focuses on recruitment, retention, advancement, and allyship.
Families@Amazon’s mission is to share knowledge, foster career growth, and cultivate community connections among families, while advocating for policies that help make Amazon a great place to work.
Amazon has a series of programmes aimed to help educate and excite veterans, transitioning service members and military spouses about the wide range of job opportunities open to them at Amazon. In the words of Jeff Bezos – “We actively seek leaders who can invent, think big, have a bias for action and deliver results on behalf of our customers. These principles look very familiar to men and women who have served their country in the armed forces, and we find that their experience leading people is invaluable in our fast-paced work environment.”
In addition to several support initiatives for the Royal British Legion and other services charities, Amazon offers employment support for members of the services community called the Amazon Military Programme. It offers members of the military community the opportunity to pursue a wide range of exciting new career paths at Amazon.
For those wanting to get into STEM roles, Amazon Technical Apprenticeships help members of the military community—veterans and their spouses—transition to careers in cloud computing. Even without previous technical experience, our apprentices will gain valuable skills through a paid training course coupled with on-the-job training to best prepare them for careers at Amazon.
Find out more about Amazon Technical Apprenticeships.
The reverse mentoring programme pairs a junior employee mentor with a senior employee mentee.
Where a typical mentoring programme may focus on a senior employee offering career guidance, reverse mentoring empowers junior employees to act as mentors; explaining their lived experiences with relation to factors including gender, race, disability, caring responsibilities, sexual orientation and others, and considering how their personal journeys have impacted their professional careers.
Senior leaders, as mentees, are able to consider experiences that may differ from their own, and are given opportunities to learn about DEI topics in a real, tangible manner, ultimately becoming more inclusive leaders.
9Career coaching and mentorships
Employees are encouraged to participate in the many mentorship opportunities and career events available. Many of our employees are mentored by more senior colleagues to help them specifically with career development.
We also offer a peer-to-peer mentoring programme that gives employees the opportunity to learn from their peers and a senior Amazon leader. Throughout the year employee complete compulsory unconscious bias training and attend events and training from different business teams on areas like challenging bias and managing stress.
Feedback in a 2019 research study conducted by Amazon and WISE listed ‘lack of confidence’ as the top blocker for women contribution in the workplace. In March 2019 Amazon Amplify was launched, designed to help participants from all backgrounds with actionable tips that enable them to speak up, become a better ally and lead inclusively.
Amazon Amplify is broken up into two sessions, one for all employees and one for senior leadership and has been delivered to thousands of employees.
11Amazon Music Scheme
Women in CTRL, AIM and Amazon Music have partnered to launch new apprenticeship scheme Amplify. Aimed at improving access to music industry careers for women and non-binary people, Amplify will allow businesses to attract high quality talent and diversify their workforce.
The scheme will benefit from a contribution from Amazon's £2.5m apprenticeship fund to enable six independent labels to hire a label assistant apprentice for 15 months from Spring 2023. AIM Rightsholder member businesses that actively release music, have at least three UK-based full-time members of staff and have the capacity to support an apprentice full time can apply.
Nadia Khan, AIM chair and the founder of Women in CRTL, said, “I’m honoured that Women in CTRL, Amazon Music and AIM are uniting to break down barriers to entry in the music industry. It’s something I’m very passionate about and thanks to the generosity of Amazon Music, this scheme will provide paid roles to future talent, taking a step towards equitable access to music industry careers.”
Read more about AIM, Women in CTRL and Amazon Music apprenticeship schemes.
Bias Busters, launched at Amazon in 2020, is an initiative which our leaders adopt to help identify and counteract bias in the talent review process. This lets us have frank, honest discussions about biases that may be impacting employees and take action where necessary to ensure employees are assessed fairly and equitably.
We are members of EveryWoman, who connect organisations across the world with inspiring, informative and educational content. Amazon’s partnership with EveryWoman provides access for Amazon employees to training courses, public speaking masterclasses, online networks and events to help them progress their careers and overcome common challenges that women face in the workplace.
Find out more about EveryWoman.
14AWS Returners Programme
AWS Returners Programme helps to support those that have been out of the workforce for longer than two years. This is a permanent full-time initiative with enhanced onboarding and support for people that have taken time away from their career to focus on other priorities.
Through tailored launch plans and goal setting we provide a successful re-entry development opportunity. Returners are given a mentor who will coach assimilation challenges along with a hiring manager that will give the training support necessary for a seamless transition.
Read more about the AWS Returners Programme.
15WISE Ten Steps
We are members of Women In Science and Engineering (WISE) who aim to achieve gender equality in STEM by driving diversity across the UK. In 2019 we also became a signatory to the WISE Ten Steps Commitments to help us improve gender diversity by retaining and attracting women talent.
Amazon’s partnership with WISE provides access for Amazon employees to training courses, public speaking masterclasses, online networks and greater access to events.
Find out more about the WISE Ten Steps programme.