Amazon employees are outraged by their company’s opposition to a plan to add more diversity to its board

In 2018, Amazon is a model for business excellence in many ways.

But when it comes to a track record for diversity of race and gender in its highest ranks, Amazon has been a laggard — and some of its own employees have had enough.

Tensions surfaced last week on an employee email thread, viewed by Recode, following Amazon’s opposition to a shareholder proposal that would require its board to formally consider women and minority candidates when selecting new board members.

The proposal — from CtW Investment Group — asks Amazon to “implement a ‘Rooney Rule’ requiring that the initial list of candidates from which new management-supported director nominees are chosen should include (but need not be limited to) qualified women and minority candidates.”

The Rooney Rule requires NFL teams to interview at least one minority candidate for head coaching and general manager openings. Currently, all 10 directors of Amazon’s board are white. Seven are men and three are women.

“Shareholders have long believed that embracing diversity will benefit companies by providing greater access to talent, harnessing existing talent more effectively, and improving decision making by reducing groupthink and similar psychological biases,” the CtW proposal read.

“There is now ample evidence in support of this belief,” it continued, pointing to a 2017 McKinsey study.

But in advance of the shareholder vote deadline of May 25, Amazon’s board recommended a vote against the proposal — setting off the internal debate.

Follow the link to continue reading. Source: Jason Del Rey, Recode

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