After employees circulated a petition alleging “systemic discrimination, harassment, bullying, and bias against women and under-represented groups,” Amazon (AMZN) hired outside investigators to look into the internal culture of part of its cloud computing operations.
The petition, which CNN Business has seen, specifically addresses concerns among employees of Amazon Web Services’ (AWS) ProServe unit, which assists enterprise customers in adopting its cloud computing products.
It claims that “many staffers have expressed concerns that the internal processes relied upon to investigate and defend AWS’s handling of these matters are not fair, objective, or transparent,” and that “many staffers have expressed concerns that the internal processes relied upon to investigate and defend AWS’s handling of these matters are not fair, objective, or transparent.” “The system is set up to protect the company and the status quo, rather than the employees filing the complaints,” the petition claims.
The petition was signed by more than 550 employees, according to the Washington Post, which broke the story on Friday.
It’s just the latest example of a Big Tech company facing backlash over workplace culture from its own employees. Employees at Google, Facebook, and Apple have banded together in recent years to voice their concerns about internal issues in an effort to improve the company’s culture.
On July 16, AWS CEO Adam Selipsky sent an email to the petition’s authors, expressing his “passion for ensuring that our workplace is inclusive and free of bias and unfair treatment,” and confirming that the company has “retained an outside firm to investigate and understand any inappropriate conduct that you or others may have experienced or witnessed.”
“This firm is experienced and objective, and I personally will review their independent findings, which will help guide any further actions,” Selipsky wrote in an email to Amazon’s newly appointed CEO Andy Jassy, a 24-year Amazon veteran who previously helped build and lead AWS.