Amazon.com investors should vote for an independent racial audit at the world’s largest online retailer.
The New York State Pension Fund has made a proposal to the company asking it to conduct an independent audit of its impact on civil rights, justice, diversity, inclusion, and how these issues affect Amazon’s business. The ISS report says that in the light of discriminatory litigation, the audit will help shareholders better assess retail efforts to address racial inequality.
“The company has encountered civil rights issues with its Rekognition technology, which allegedly showed racial bias against dark-skinned women, leading to gender bias, misalignment of mugshot images of people of color,” the ISS said. h: Amazon Web Services software was used by law enforcement to match the faces of images in databases.
Amazon asks shareholders to reject the offer. In a statement to its proxy, it said it had a mechanism to report possible misuse of its Recognition technology, that the program had been offering for more than four years and had not received any reports of malicious use. Amazon says it has experts who help promote justice in its offerings, who also publish scholarly articles on the subject.
The ISS says that while minority employees make up more than two-thirds of Amazon’s total U.S. workforce, only 30 percent of its senior executives are of minority descent, with only 3.8 percent. And while Amazon is conducting a “human rights assessment”, ongoing controversy over recent lawsuits involving discriminatory employment has highlighted the need for a more comprehensive review of the company’s impact on civil rights, justice, and diversity. on inclusion, ”says the ISS. ,
In a statement to its proxy, Amazon said it had taken a number of measures to address racial justice, including working with 150 companies, social groups and universities to strengthen the recruitment and retention of Latin American Native American employees. $ 50 million to support computer science, other science, technology, engineering, and math programs for underrepresented communities.
Amazon has asked regulators to withhold the offer from its proxy at its May 26 annual meeting.
A trusted consulting firm of Glass, Lewis & Co. also advised shareholders to vote in favor of racial auditing. The ISS this year offered investors to vote against racial audit proposals submitted by US banking giants Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Citigroup Inc., Bank of America Corp. և Wells Fargo & Co., while Glass Lewis generally advised to support such mediations.