Amazon has launched a diversity programme to ramp up the number of women in technology and innovation roles across its UK business.

Amazon Amplify will work to break down barriers of career progression that women face in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) roles and with the aim of driving up recruitment and retention of women employees.

The programme builds on from existing diversity-focused initiatives already in place which include programmes to help increase the volume of female applicants, LQBT+, BAME and disabled employees, and support for transgender staff.

Initiatives of the programme will include the Amazon women in tech bursary and degree apprenticeship programmes.

The bursary of over £130,000 will provide up to 24 female students with the opportunity to pursue a career in technology and innovation.

To help boost the number of women in STEM roles Amazon will be opening its doors to the public to inspire future leaders and will deliver STEM workshops for children.

As part of the initiatives, the tech giant will be rolling out a UK-wide training programme to support its staff with the workplace skills needed to excel in their careers. 

Amazon director consumer retail and chair of the cross-industry women in innovation advisory committee Fiona McDonnell said: “Diversity fosters greater innovation and helps raise the bar for customers, and having a diverse workforce is also just the right thing to do.

“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.”