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 survey is a response to a petition filed by a group of employees in the professional services group of Amazon Web Services, known as ProServ, which is helping businesses adopt cloud computing. In the petition, the employees alleged gender bias and bullying in the department. The Washington Post, which first reported the investigation, indicated that more than 550 employees had signed the petition.

Adam Selipsky, the new chief executive of AWS, responded with the email, which was addressed to the leaders of the petition.

“We have retained the services of an outside company to investigate and understand any inappropriate conduct that you or others may have experienced or witnessed,” he wrote. “This company is experienced and objective, and I will personally review their independent findings, which will help guide any future action.”

Amazon has hired a lot at AWS, which is the largest cloud computing provider. The industry has been largely dominated by men. About 23% of Amazon’s top executives are women, corporate data show.

In May, five women, including one who worked at ProServ, for follow-up the company, accusing it of various forms of racial and gender discrimination, says the company denied.


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