Calls For a Racial Equity Audit at Amazon

When companies act in ways that put their reputation and long-term value at risk, investors often step up and seek out improvements that will help them get back on track.

Amazon is a company facing significant pitfalls when it comes to issues of racial diversity, equity and inclusion. Despite its public statements supporting the fight against systemic racism, there have been numerous complaints and lawsuits suggesting Amazon’s actions are inconsistent with its pledges, alleging that it has paid discriminatory wages, sold products that foster racial biases, and failed to create an inclusive workplace.

At the company’s annual meeting on May 26, fellow investors will vote on the New York state pension fund’s request that Amazon conduct an independent review of the company’s impacts on civil rights, equity, diversity and inclusion, and the impacts of those issues on its business, so it can begin to root out the biases and discrimination plaguing its business.

In the long run, companies that develop a corporate culture that embraces equity and inclusion throughout the workplace outperform those that do not. The pension fund is a long-term investor in Amazon and wants the company to succeed. If Amazon can ensure it is doing what it can to promote racial diversity, equity, and inclusion, it will help secure its continued success.

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