Investors urge Amazon to add more women to the C-suite to curb sexual misconduct
- Following sexual harassment allegations made against an ex-Amazon executive, CtW Investment Group, an investor advocacy firm, urged the retail giant to improve diversity among its senior executives, reports the Washington Post.
- In the letter, CtW pushed for Amazon's board members to “promptly commit” to improved diversity hiring among C-suite leaders. The letter sets targets for the number of senior women it should add and requests that Amazon create a “Stakeholder Advisory Council” to discuss sexual harassment and give more authority to the company's affinity groups, among other things.
- The New York Times ran a report on Amazon’s culture two years ago, describing it as hard-charging and “bruising.” The Post says Amazon pushed back with a memo from CEO Jeff Bezos, who said the report didn't describe the company as he knows it. He also invited employees to contact him directly or HR with concerns.
Investors are increasingly using their influence to put pressure on companies to address sexual harassment and other claims. One firm has asked Google to release pay data in light of pay discrimination claims, and another wants information from Starbucks on its paid leave program.
Ctw's request may be a good starting point for companies looking to implement a culture shift. Organizations with women in leadership send a number of messages to their workforce.
But it's also important to review all levels for harassment; adopt good policies, procedures and training; and take additional steps to create a culture of accountability.