CREDIT: AP – Reed Saxon
None of the 12 senior staff members who report directly to Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos are women, according to leaked phone directory information provided to The Guardian.
The most senior female employee is Principal Accounting Officer and Vice President Shelley Reynolds, who is named as one of the 10 company officers in the company’s annual report, but is listed as reporting directly to the CFO. On top of that, the company has 119 senior managers, but just 15 percent, or 18 of them, are women. “At Amazon there is a strong feeling that there is a glass ceiling for women who want to progress above senior manager or director level,” The Guardian’s anonymous source said.
The company told the paper, “We have many women in leadership across our global organisation, including two members of the board” out of a total of 18. One board member is Reynolds, while the other is Patricia Q. Stonesifer, CEO of Martha’s Table, and both are non-executive directors.
Amazon is in no way unique for its lack of gender diversity at the top. Women hold less than 15 percent of the executive roles at Fortune 500 companies and less than 17 percent of board seats. Beyond their lack of numbers, female executives also tend to lack the organizational power of their male peers. Just 16 percent of the executives who report directly to the CEO at Fortune 100 companies are women. They are much more likely to be in staff or support positions like human resources or communications, with just a third in operational roles.
The numbers get worse in the tech sector. Women make up just 6 percent of the chief executives at top technology companies. Half of the tech companies on the Russell 3,000 index have no women on their boards and 48 percent have just one or two. Some of the biggest names do worse than Amazon: Google has no women as executives and just one on its senior leadership team, while those who report to Apple’s CEO are all men, although a woman is about to be added to that group. Microsoft fares a bit better, with two women who report to the CEO.