1. Corporate Strategy

Amazon’s Increased Diversity Depends On Its Definition Of ‘Executive’

The Seattle Times reports that while it may not exactly be cooking the books, Amazon has been able to make its management diversity numbers look better by broadening the number of people it counts as management.

Here’s how the Times frames the story:

“In 2016, Amazon didn’t employ a single Black, Native American or multiracial executive and just one Hispanic or Latino executive among its 105 senior leaders in the United States, 78 of whom were white men.

“One year later, it was a different picture. In federal government reporting, Amazon said it employed 22 Black executives, 51 Hispanic and Latino executives, 22 multiracial executives and 380 female executives, out of a total of 1,767 executives.

“Amid a hiring spree that boosted Amazon’s total employee head count by 71%, the company in 2017 loosened its definition of executive to include every employee at the vice president and director level, which Amazon had formerly reported as midlevel managers. The change expanded Amazon’s executive ranks by 1,600% in one year.”

According to the story, “Amazon spokesperson Jaci Anderson said the company’s decision to reclassify executives was ‘consistent with the EEOC’s job classifications and reporting by other large companies’.”

The Times also points out that the “data reported by some other large tech companies does show similar patterns, though the scale of Amazon’s one-year executive increase makes it an outlier.”

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