Amazon creates new £130,000 grant to get more women into technology roles

Amazon has unveiled a plan to increase the number of women in technology and innovation by improving diversity on interview panels and encouraging women to apply.

The scheme, which comes in time for International Women’s Day tomorrow, will try to overcome some of the biggest barriers in the workplace for women.

The initiative includes a bursary of over £130,000 a year for 24 female students to reach their ambitions, an apprenticeship programme, and opening the Amazon offices for public tours for children.

“Diversity fosters greater innovation and helps raise the bar for customers, and having a diverse workforce is also just the right thing to do,” said consumer retail director Fiona McDonnell, who also serves as chair of the cross-industry Women in Innovation Advisory Committee.

“Our new Amazon Amplify plan aims to attract and retain the best and brightest talent in Britain, ensuring a positive environment in which they can thrive.”

It comes on the back of research from action group Wise which shows that nine in ten women found some barriers during their careers in innovation.

For women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics careers, these included a lack of confidence, adapting to male-dominated environments and lack of recognition from senior management.

“It’s concerning that lack of confidence came out as the biggest barrier faced by women working in innovation, but of course confidence develops as a result of support and encouragement,” said Wise chief executive Helen Wollaston.