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Progress, Challenges, and Opportunities for Improving Human Resources Practices


Amazon is one of the world’s largest and most influential technology companies, with over 1.3 million employees worldwide. It is such an established firm that, based on prior experience working with it, anyone would wish to be associated with it, especially for growth. As such, the company significantly impacts the workforce and the broader society, and its practices and policies have implications for the overall diversity and inclusion (D&I) discourse (Amazon, 2023). Diversity and inclusion discourse is one among the many human resource-related issues that have attracted researchers to the efforts to establish potential solutions for better and more motivating workplaces. Based on the analysis of Amazon’s diversity and inclusion practices, this paper argues that while the company has made progress in some areas, there is still room for improvement, particularly in the areas of increasing representation at leadership levels, improving the handling of discrimination and harassment claims, and addressing bias in AI technology.

Diversity and Inclusion in Amazon’s Workplace

Looking at the company’s structure, Amazon has committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace culture, promoting equity and belonging among its employees. To achieve this, the company has set several goals to increase the representation of underrepresented groups in its workforce, such as women, people of colour, and individuals with disabilities. For example, Amazon has pledged to hire 30% more women in leadership roles by 2025 and increase the representation of Black, Latinx, and Native American employees by 30% by 2025 (Amazon, 2023). Such milestones portray the company as one that significantly appreciates diversity and commits to improving inclusivity in the workforce to exploit the good linked to inclusion.

As it may be ascertained from the company records and human resources strategies, its approach to D&I is multi-faceted. It includes a range of initiatives and programs, such as diversity recruiting and hiring. Observably, Amazon has established partnerships with several organizations that aim to increase the representation of underrepresented groups in the tech industry, such as Code2040 and the National Society of Black Engineers. The company also offers various programs, such as Amazon Future Engineer, to help students from underrepresented communities develop skills in computer science and technology (Amazon, 2023). Such initiatives have proven to be effective in enhancing the inclusion of underrepresented individuals in the company, which would have far-reaching implications on the company’s performance and its reputation.

The company also embraces diversity training and education as a way of working to improve inclusivity in its workforce. In line with this, Amazon offers various training programs, such as Allyship in Action, to help employees understand and combat bias and discrimination in the workplace. Enlightening the employees on the necessity of remaining allied to each other and constructively using each member’s strengths for the success of the whole organization is unmerited. For the same reason, the company also provides resources, such as the Diverse Leaders Program, to help employees from underrepresented groups develop leadership skills and advance their careers. In doing that, the company has gained an unmerited reputation for embracing diversity and inclusion for the good of its operations.

On the same note, the company also worked to improve its commitment to D&I through diversity and inclusion networks. In line with this initiative, Amazon has several affinity groups, such as Amazon Women in Engineering and Amazon People with Disabilities, that provide support and resources to employees from underrepresented groups. The said groups also help promote a sense of community and belonging among employees since anyone who joins the company through such networks feels valued and recognized as his equals.

Challenges Facing Amazon’s Diversity and Inclusion Efforts

While Amazon’s efforts to promote D&I, as evidenced in the previously discussed initiatives, are commendable, the company faces several challenges that hinder its progress. Some challenges include a need for more diversity at the leadership level. Besides the company’s commitment to increase its commitment to diversity and inclusion in its company’s workforce, its leadership remains predominantly white and male (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, n.d.). As of 2021, only 4 of the 20 members of Amazon’s senior leadership team were women, and none were Black. Such an observation gives a different perception of the company regarding its commitment to work towards enhancing inclusivity, and it could negatively impact its reputation if not addressed.

There have also been several reports of discrimination and harassment from the company, which indicates a negative inclination towards the issue. Resulting of such adverse reports, the company has faced criticism for handling discrimination and harassment claims, with some employees alleging that the company has failed to address their complaints adequately. With such developments, the company needs to gain due to the inability to retain top-talent employees and attract similar employees (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, n.d.). In due time, if the company doesn’t address the matter, it will lose touch with its employees and society terribly, who may never visualize the company’s sincerity in cultivating diversity and inclusion in its workforce.

Another challenge observed in the company’s efforts to propagate diversity and inclusivity within its workforce is biased in AI technology. In line with this, Amazon’s AI algorithms are biased against women and people of colour, leading to concerns about the impact of such technology on hiring and promotion decisions. Since it is their asset, there is a need for the company to consider addressing the observed inefficiency so that it may bring everyone on board for its good.

Opportunities for Improvement in Amazon’s Diversity and Inclusion Efforts

The challenges identified above as the ones ailing the company’s corporate health can be addressed through several initiatives. Some of these ways include increasing its diversity in leadership. Amazon can set specific targets and goals for increasing the representation of underrepresented groups in leadership positions. Such a move would grant all the other people in that bracket a chance to be considered for inclusion, citing the empathy their representation in the leadership could have on them. The company can also prioritize hiring and promoting individuals from underrepresented groups for these roles.

On the same note, the company can consider improving its handling of discrimination and harassment claims. In doing so, it can establish a more robust system for investigating and addressing complaints of discrimination and harassment. Such a system should be transparent and accessible to all employees, with clear procedures and consequences for perpetrators. There is the unmatched possibility of an improved reputation of the company and consequently, improved motivation if it successfully works to include this proposed solution dispute resolution.

Lastly, there is a need to consider addressing bias in AI technology as it has proven to be part of the factors contributing to the company’s inadequacies. Amazon must also address any potential bias in its AI technology (Manyika et al., 2019). This is particularly important as Amazon is one of the world’s largest technology companies and significantly impacts the use and development of AI. The company has faced criticism for developing AI systems that exhibit gender and racial bias while it proclaims its commitment to promoting diversity and inclusion.

To address this much-pronounced issue, Amazon can establish a team of experts dedicated to identifying and addressing bias in its AI systems. Such a team should include individuals from diverse backgrounds and experiences, including data science, social science, and ethics experts. Such a team would constructively address the matter and help the company benefit more from the technology and the goodness associated with the technology. Similarly, the team should work to identify potential sources of bias in Amazon’s AI technology, such as partial data sets or flawed algorithms (Manyika et al., 2019). There is also the need to develop strategies for mitigating this bias, such as retraining algorithms or adjusting data sets.

Moreover, Amazon should also prioritize transparency in its AI technology. Such means clarifying how its AI systems work, what data they use, and how decisions are made. By being transparent about its AI technology, Amazon can build trust with its employees and customers and demonstrate a commitment to diversity and inclusion.


Arguably, Amazon has made some efforts to promote diversity and inclusion in its workplace, including its diversity and inclusion programs and partnerships with organizations promoting equality. Though, there is still work to be done to ensure that the company is fully inclusive and welcoming to all employees, regardless of their background or identity. To improve its diversity and inclusion efforts, Amazon can take several steps, including increasing the diversity of its leadership team, improving its handling of discrimination and harassment claims, and addressing bias in its AI technology. Such efforts will benefit Amazon’s employees and the company as a whole by promoting innovation, creativity, and a more positive corporate culture. By prioritizing diversity and inclusion, Amazon can continue to be a leader in the technology industry while creating a more equitable and just workplace.


Amazon. (2023). Diversity and Inclusion. About Amazon;

Manyika, J., Silberg, J., & Presten, B. (2019, October 25). What Do We Do About the Biases in AI? Harvard Business Review.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. (n.d.). Sustainability (US).


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