This month we were pleased to see the launch of a new UK-based employee affinity group AmazonPwD (People with Disabilities).

Our Affinity Groups bring employees together across businesses and geographies. With executive and company sponsorship, these groups play an important role in building internal networks for career development, advising Amazon business units, leading in service projects, participating in policy discussions, and reaching out to communities where Amazonians live and work. Since 2016, enrollment in Amazon’s affinity groups has more than doubled in more than 90 chapters worldwide with groups including Women@, glamazon for LGBT+ employees and allies, and BEN for black and ethnic minority employees.

Affinity groups and diversity at Amazon

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PwD was established by employees to help make Amazon a more diverse and inclusive place to work, while also reflecting the diversity of our customers. It’s open to employees with disabilities and allies. The group plans to support employees through raising awareness, supporting career development, participating in community outreach and improving access for Amazonians and customers.

To launch PwD, the group held a pizza and beer night at our UK head office with Ruby Steel, Senior Design Strategist at Smart Design, who shared her insights from working on BBC Two’s Big Life Fix, a programme focused on delivering technology solutions for a number of societal needs. In the new season, due to be aired later this year, Ruby worked with the Alexa team to develop a solution for a woman living with long-term MS, to see whether cloud based voice services could help give her greater independence.

“We’re really excited about our plans for the coming year and already we’ve received great feedback from new members,” said Suzie Miller, Solutions Architect at Amazon Web Services who chairs the newly formed PwD affinity group. “We’re keen for employees to get involved with mentoring, increasing awareness and helping develop new features, products and services that also support customers with disabilities.”