Amazon has hired a law firm to investigate allegations of widespread gender discrimination in part of its cloud computing division, the company said in an email to employees late last week.
The investigation is in response to a petition filed by a group of employees in the Professional Services Group of Amazon Web Services, known as ProServ, helping companies adopt cloud computing. In the petition, employees alleged gender bias and bullying in the department. The Washington Post, which first reported the investigation, said more than 550 employees signed the petition.
Adam Selipsky, the new CEO of AWS, responded in the email addressed to the leaders of the petition.
“We hired an outside company to investigate and understand inappropriate behavior that you or others may have witnessed or witnessed,” he wrote. “This firm is experienced and objective and I will personally review their independent findings which will be helpful in any further action.”
Amazon has hired heavily at AWS, the largest provider of cloud computing. The industry is predominantly male dominated. According to company data, about 23 percent of Amazon executives are female.
In May, five women, including one who worked at ProServ, sued the company on charges of various forms of racial and gender discrimination.