Amazon Amplify is a programme that aims to increase the number of women in STEM jobs to encourage innovation and an economic boost

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Amazon believes a diverse workforce will boost UK economy

Amazon believes a diverse workforce will boost UK economy

 March 14, 2019

Amazon aims to encourage diversity in technology roles across its UK business with Amazon Amplify, a programme designed to increase the number of women in tech and innovation jobs around the UK business and help inspire the next generation of women innovators. This decision comes after research with The Wise Campaign that discovered that a 10% increase in the number of women in innovation-related jobs could boost UK businesses by £3bn.

Diversity fosters greater innovation and helps raise the bar for customers, and having a diverse workforce is 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," says Fiona McDonnell, Director of consumer retail at Amazon and Chair of the cross-industry Women in Innovation Advisory Committee.

Attracting and retaining more women into STEM

Amazon has recognised that there is a major STEM skills shortage even though science and technology are vital to the UK economy. This is alongside the fact that UK businesses are in competition with international companies.

Amazon’s solution to the shortage? Attract and retain more women and girls into STEM education and technical qualifications to boost the UK economy.

Amazon believes that a diverse workforce will crease better ideas and are better equipped to notice opportunities. A diverse workforce can also collaborate to mix together old ideas into something completely new – which creates innovation, something that is crucial for Amazon’s success.

It’s not just a boost for the UK economy, but for the individual financial situations of these women. According to Amazon, women working in innovation earn £11,000 a year more compared to other careers. For a company like Amazon, innovation is crucial to its success.

Introducing Amazon's Amplify programme

Amazon’s Amplify includes an interactive training programme to help employees build confidence and self-awareness and being an effective contributor; an Amazon Web Services Return to Work programme, which gives people who have not been in work with a chance to come back to full-time employment with training and coaching on new cloud technology skills; and the creation of inclusive interview questions.

Amazon are also giving public tours and STEM workshops to children to help them gain a better idea of what it’s like to work in places such as Amazon.

These forms of initiatives are particularly vital when you consider WISE’s research which discovered nine in 10 women working in STEM across the UK and in a variety of sectors are met with some barriers to career progression.

“To ensure the UK retains its competitive edge, we must place diversity at the heart of innovation and ensure that every industry continues to be powered by a pipeline of diverse talent,” says Doug Gurr, Amazon UK Country Manager

“The words ‘diversity’ and ‘innovation’ are sometimes overused, but we must not allow their true meanings to become diluted - because for businesses, and the competitiveness of our economy in the UK, they are more relevant than ever before.”

“We hope that other companies will continue to join us on this journey creating world-class businesses, powered by unique talent, diversity and inclusion. As a nation with a proud tradition of innovation, greater diversity is vital for the future of British industry,” adds Doug.

“With opportunities to shape the modern world and enjoy a varied, hands-on career, attracting more women into science and technology is a win-win.”

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Disclosure: Where Women Work researches and publishes insightful evidence about how its paid member organizations support women's equality.

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