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Posted under: News

Rosalind Brewer Becomes The Second Black Person Appointed To Amazon's Board Of Directors

The tech industry is notoriously lacking in diversity. Brewer represents only the second Black person in her position.

Amazon has added Rosalind Brewer to its all-white board, USA Today reports. She is only the second Black person to serve on the company's board of directors.

Brewer is currently Starbucks' first Black chief operating officer. She was previously the president and CEO of Sam’s Club, becoming, in 2012, the first African-American woman to be named a CEO at one of Walmart’s divisions.

Now, the Spelman alumna is once again helping to make some necessary strides in diversity.

Amazon, like most tech companies, is mostly white, Asian and male. As Blavity previously reported, at least one study has suggested diversity in tech is getting worse. Data collected from eight of Silicon Valley's largest tech companies between 2014 and 2017 revealed the percentage of Black people in technical roles rose by only 0.6 percent. Black women, as well as Latina women, are at the bottom of the totem pole, comprising only about 1 percent of workers in the industry despite representing much higher percentages in other sectors.

According to research from BlackRock, diverse corporate boards get better long-term results and are better able to spot greater opportunities as well as potential threats.

Still, this talent is often excluded from prominent tech companies, and it continues to be a mostly-white, mostly-male industry. Rosalind Brewer’s appointment to the board is a step in the right direction.

“Roz is a perfect example of the extraordinary minority and female talent that exists in corporate America, that is all too often excluded from the boardroom and the C-Suite," Robin Kelly, co-chair of the House Tech Accountability Caucus, said in a statement. “It is my hope that this barrier-breaking appointment serves as an example to other industry leaders regarding the positive economic, business, innovation and inclusion benefits offered by increasing board diversity, especially to companies leading the way in our modern innovation economy."


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