Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) says it will address claims of racial disparity when it comes to Prime-same day deliveries. When a news group found its same-day delivery service favored white customers in some regions, the firm pledged to tackle this issue.
Is Amazon.com, Inc.’s Same-Day Delivery Service Racist?
Last month, Bloomberg took a close look at Amazon’s same-day delivery service. The news outlet found that the firm’s same-day service was biased as it favored white customers in certain regions. An example used is that black residents in Chicago and Atlanta were half as likely to be able to get same-day service as white residents.
After the report was made public, the website promised to expand its same-day delivery service to underserved people in 27 cities in which it presently operates it. Moreover, the online retailer said it wouldn’t launch the service in places without covering each zip code.
With Amazon attempting to expand its delivery footprint, it’s very likely that there would be disparity in specific cities that aren’t completely covered.
The website sent a statement to the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), which then gave it to Bloomberg. Here is the statement:
“Very shortly, we will be expanding Prime Same Day service to every zip code of the 27 cities where Prime Same Day delivery is currently launched. We will further not launch the service in any new regions, until we are able to secure a carrier for every zip code.”
Amazon also said that it is sorting out the details and that coverage should come shortly.
Despite its tackling of the matter, the CBC has asked for the FTC to launch an investigation.
This begs the question, though: how does Amazon know if your black or white? It doesn’t. The tech firm is delivering in areas that have high numbers of Prime subscribers. Amazon is only following an algorithm. In other words, it may just be that whites are more likely to be Prime subscribers than blacks.
Race Playing Big Role in Amazon.com, Inc. & Other Firms
With the heat up on race relations in the U.S., businesses are all trying to be as sensitive as possible. By doing so, they can avoid any trouple down the line.
Tech firms have been unable to avoid claims of racism in its workforce. Each year, the likes of Amazon, Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) and Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) publish diversity reports to show the makeup of its staff. Most tech firms have staffs made up of whites and Asians. For example, Google’s workforce is made up of just two percent of blacks, while Facebook has just two percent black.
This fact has bothered many black and Hispanic groups. The likes of Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton have urged tech firms to take on more minorities. Due to harsh criticisms, tech firms have pledged to hire more minorities and women.
Critics of this move say that hiring based on race is racism in itself and breaks labor laws. Also, opponents of hiring strictly based on race say you should only hire based on merit, otherwise it will erode the quality of the products and services offered by these firms. Proponents present the case that it creates racial equity in the workplace and will improve race relations.
Moving forward, all types of businesses are trying to minimize any perception of racial and gender biases. This could include who it hires, how it markets its products or, as Amazon has proved, even where it serves.