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Apple CEO Tim Cook shows support for pending U.S. nondiscrimination act

post #1 of 74
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In a Wall Street Journal opinion piece on Sunday, Apple chief Tim Cook expounded on the merits of equality in the workplace and urged U.S. senators to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) which is once again up for vote on Monday.

Tim Cook


Cook was short and to the point in his commentary, describing how Apple, one of the largest and arguably most creative tech forces in the world, deals with nondiscrimination in the workplace.

As we see it, embracing people's individuality is a matter of basic human dignity and civil rights. It also turns out to be great for the creativity that drives our business. We've found that when people feel valued for who they are, they have the comfort and confidence to do the best work of their lives.


Pointedly, he noted that Apple's own corporate policy offers more protection than that of the U.S. government, as the company does not discriminate against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender employees. Proponents of ENDA are looking to make the same protections available nationwide.

ENDA, which has close ties to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, targets discrimination in hiring and employment based on gender identity or sexual orientation. President Barack Obama has made clear that he supports the bill and in a Sunday Huffington Post entry, promised to sign the act into law once Congress passes it.

The Senate is scheduled to hold a cloture vote on ENDA this Monday night. Passage of the bill could come down to one senator as the number of sitting Democrats and those Republicans who pledged support currently stands at 59, just one vote shy of the 60 needed to defeat a likely Republican filibuster. The last time ENDA was up for Senate vote in 1996, it was defeated 49-50.

If ENDA does make it past the Senate, it will land in the House of Representatives. At that point, there is even less of a guarantee of success, as House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) may not bring the legislation up for vote in the Republican-controlled chambers.
post #2 of 74
And if this 'bill' doesn't get passed, we'll have a Bill-gate on our hands ¡
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post #3 of 74
Lol such a giveaway
post #4 of 74
Article fails to mention cook is gay
post #5 of 74
That's because it is completely irrelevant. So what if he is. Doesn't make any difference.
post #6 of 74

Who cares if he is gay or not.His thoughts are positive at least.

post #7 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by jobsonmyface View Post

Article fails to mention cook is gay


I guess it could have mentioned this point. Besides, the fact that a gay person can lead a corporation like Apple illustrates the merit of ENDA.

post #8 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by jobsonmyface View Post

Article fails to mention cook is gay
And you're basing this on what exactly?
post #9 of 74

he is only sticking up for his own inner circle, meanwhile the people who do the hiring continue to discriminate against people who are overweight. overweight guy= bad, guy wearing women's clothes with penis removed = good

post #10 of 74
Not sure why Cook needs to inject himself into this (just as I was puzzled by his unnecessary 'tax' appearance at the Senate).

If he wants to talk big-picture stuff, I'd rather hear him talk about the industry or some such thing.
post #11 of 74
> In a Wall Street Journal opinion piece <<br />
As CEO of a major USA employer, it is entirely appropriate that Tim Cook expresses an opinion on the Bill and to compare his company's enacted policies on equal opportunity employment.

In contrast, the puerile undercurrent of homophobia on Apple forums like this one, and much more so on MDN and MacRumors, is inappropriate and deeply disappointing. You'd think Mac/Apple users might have a bit more class than "overweight guy= bad, guy wearing women's clothes with penis removed = good". (Forgot the /s tag, moron)
post #12 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Not sure why Cook needs to inject himself into this (just as I was puzzled by his unnecessary 'tax' appearance at the Senate).

If he wants to talk big-picture stuff, I'd rather hear him talk about the industry or some such thing.

 

Why shouldn't he talk about social change? It's obviously an issue that he cares deeply about. 

 

If you'd rather hear him talk about Apple or the wider technology industry then there's plenty of interviews out there for you to read.

post #13 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by enzos View Post

> In a Wall Street Journal opinion piece <<br />
As CEO of a major USA employer, it is entirely appropriate that Tim Cook expresses an opinion on the Bill and to compare his company's enacted policies on equal opportunity employment.

In contrast, the puerile undercurrent of homophobia on Apple forums like this one, and much more so on MDN and MacRumors, is inappropriate and deeply disappointing. You'd think Mac/Apple users might have a bit more class than "overweight guy= bad, guy wearing women's clothes with penis removed = good". (Forgot the /s tag, moron)

I agree that there's an undercurrent of homophobia (I believe it was T-phobia in his case), although it is by no means universal. There are always a couple of people like that anywhere, and it's best to not pay them much attention.

That said, I am quite surprised that you so casually diss the issue of someone being overweight. Substantial amount of empirical research shows that there is discrimination against overweight, short, and not-so-nice-looking people that rivals the discrimination on grounds of race, gender, and sexual orientation.

And, calling someone a 'moron' doesn't elevate the quality of discourse either.

On a deeper point, I believe that CEOs and corporations should stay as far away from public policy and social policy issues as possible (unless, of course, they're dragged into it and have no choice but to take a position).
Edited by anantksundaram - 11/4/13 at 6:27am
post #14 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichL View Post


Why shouldn't he talk about social change? It's obviously an issue that he cares deeply about. 

If you'd rather hear him talk about Apple or the wider technology industry then there's plenty of interviews out there for you to read.

I've read his interviews. Thanks. Pretty vacuous on industry insights there. (Perhaps you can tell me if I've missed something?).

Regarding CEOs commenting on social issues, would you be so sanguine if the issue he was commenting on was about, say, the greatness of the Tea Party or he was for the government shutdown?
post #15 of 74

It's appropriate to distrust the "top tier companies" because being on top often is helped by being unscrupulous. But it's good to see a company not ripping people off and being a good citizen without doing it for the PR. Few people are even aware that they've been at the forefront for pushing higher wages and better working conditions in places like China. Few people know that they cancelled their membership at the US Chamber of Commerce when it works against their own "selfish" self-interests. Nor do people even know why that's a GOOD THING to get out of that den of thieves.

 

I don't see them lining up with some major corporations and bribing or pushing hidden agendas like ALEC.

 

In short; while no company may be perfect, Apple is decidedly on the "not evil" list I keep. Tim Cook is clearly in the "visionary" camp and not the "steal and lawyer up" camp.

post #16 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by oneoldwonder View Post

he is only sticking up for his own inner circle, meanwhile the people who do the hiring continue to discriminate against people who are overweight. overweight guy= bad, guy wearing women's clothes with penis removed = good

your comment is ignorant and myopic, even for a first try.

my edit: (did someone edit my comment? my original comment said "dear troll ... your comment is ignorant and myopic, even for a first try." the "dear troll ..." has since been removed, and not by me. what gives?)
Edited by Pooch - 11/4/13 at 7:45am
post #17 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by jobsonmyface View Post

Article fails to mention cook is gay

The relevance of which is ...?

I support equal rights as would anyone with a non brainwashed mind.
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post #18 of 74
Yeah sure, Apple is behind this 100%. You can see that in just how zealous they are about long-established laws and policies about non-discrimination based on mere male/female distinctions, laws dating back over 40 years. Next time you watch one of Apple's staged events, notice the number of upper Apple executives coming on stage who're women. Almost exactly 50% isn't?

Errrrr! Maybe I should correct that. I can't recall even one woman in an on-stage role at Apple. Here's what Business Insider (2012) says: "There are no women in Apple's elite executive team and only one woman currently sits on the company's board of directors."

Given that the Apple's board includes people as flaky as Al Gore, it can't be that no woman has come up to the high standards required. Politics got Gore there. Politics can make the board 50/50 male/female.

Come on Apple, walk the talk or stop telling the Senate or anyone else what to do. Why support new laws when the company is not even following laws that are decades old?
post #19 of 74
Originally Posted by Inkling View Post
Next time you watch one of Apple's staged events, notice the number of upper Apple executives coming on stage who're women. Almost exactly 50% isn't?

 

Come off it. No, really.

 
I can't recall even one woman in an on-stage role at Apple.

 

MacWorld 2005.

 
…it can’t be that no woman has come up to the high standards required.

 

No, of course not¡

 
Politics can make the board 50/50 male/female.

 

Yeah, let’s let politics run Apple!¡

 
Why support new laws when the company is not even following laws that are decades old? 

 

Prove Apple is not following any law. What is wrong with you? If someone can do the job, Apple would promote her. If not, they wouldn’t. It’s just that simple. It’s a company, not a love-in.

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post #20 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inkling View Post

Yeah sure, Apple is behind this 100%. You can see that in just how zealous they are about long-established laws and policies about non-discrimination based on mere male/female distinctions, laws dating back over 40 years. Next time you watch one of Apple's staged events, notice the number of upper Apple executives coming on stage who're women. Almost exactly 50% isn't?

Errrrr! Maybe I should correct that. I can't recall even one woman in an on-stage role at Apple. Here's what Business Insider (2012) says: "There are no women in Apple's elite executive team and only one woman currently sits on the company's board of directors."

Given that the Apple's board includes people as flaky as Al Gore, it can't be that no woman has come up to the high standards required. Politics got Gore there. Politics can make the board 50/50 male/female.

Come on Apple, walk the talk or stop telling the Senate or anyone else what to do. Why support new laws when the company is not even following laws that are decades old?
Whoops. Excellent little story there but you left out a *slightly* important factor
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post #21 of 74
I'm still shocked by the fact that prospective employers in the US ask your race as a "voluntary identification". You can choose not to disclose the information, but I've always wondered how that would affect the screening process. Just a thought.
post #22 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

I've read his interviews. Thanks. Pretty vacuous on industry insights there. (Perhaps you can tell me if I've missed something?).

Regarding CEOs commenting on social issues, would you be so sanguine if the issue he was commenting on was about, say, the greatness of the Tea Party or he was for the government shutdown?

But this seems to be a business issue having to do with hiring and non-discrimination at work, not as a larger social issue. Apple has to lead, or at least not be backward, on this and other issues that have to do with the way it runs its business.

Same with their labor policy and environmental issues, just part of the way they've chosen to carry out their mission.
post #23 of 74
This is a total waste of time and energy. First, the religious exemption is so wide that it actually allows any company to legally discriminate as long as they invoke their faith, second assuming it makes it past the senate filibuster it doesn't stand a chance in this jerrymandered congress full of teabaggers.
post #24 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flaneur View Post
 
Apple has to lead, or at least not be backward, on this and other issues that have to do with the way it runs its business.

Couldn't agree more. But they should lead quietly, and not in front of the Senate or on the op-ed pages of the WSJ.

 

Lead by example, and let the actions speak for themselves. (As a poster points out above, if Cook is so passionate about non-discrimination, Apple has a ways to go on the gender front, don't you think?).

post #25 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

(As a poster points out above, if Cook is so passionate about non-discrimination, Apple has a ways to go on the gender front, don't you think?).
No, I don't think. What a ludicrous comment.
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post #26 of 74
Brands, including celebrities, should stay out of politics. Think Church and State.

Mr. Cook, vote, donate and advocate (lobby) as you wish on on your own time, quietly. Your public position as head of a public company requires personal discretion.

Regardless of ones views, the issue at hand (the Bill), is 100% politics. With the country (Apple's customer base) divided 50/50 on politics, it's not only distasteful to involve the company, it's irresponsible.
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post #27 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rmb0037 View Post
No, I don't think. What a ludicrous comment.

Why is it 'ludicrous'? Care to explain instead of just asserting?

 

The fact is, there is currently no non-white non-male in Apple's c-suite, and one woman on the board (who may be on the way out).

 

Cook is the one arguing for inclusion, diversity, and non-discrimination. Since he's the one to bring it up, it's surely a fair question to ask?


Edited by anantksundaram - 11/4/13 at 8:36am
post #28 of 74

I don't agree with this. Businesses should be allowed to hire whomever they please and discrimination should be allowed.

 

If I'm hiring somebody, I should be allowed to discriminate based on whatever factors I deem to be important. It's my money after all.

 

If somebody is a nutjob, then I don't want them working for me.

 

If somebody is a religious wacko, then I don't want them working for me.

 

If I'm looking for a female secretary, then only females will be allowed to apply.

 

If somebody is a political extremist (like a liberal), then I don't want them working for me.

 

If somebody is extremely obese, then I don't want them working for me.

 

People looking to hire potential employees should be able to weed out people who are not fit for the job.

post #29 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Why is it 'ludicrous'? Care to explain instead of just asserting?

The fact is, there is currently no non-white non-male in Apple's c-suite, and one woman on the board (who may be on the way out).

Cook is the one arguing for inclusion, diversity, and non-discrimination. Since he's the one to bring it up, it's surely a fair question to ask?
Anyone care to assert the fact that maybe...just maybe...apple hires people because they can get a JOB DONE INSTEAD OF WHAT THEY LOOK LIKE? It's absolutely stupid to assume that Tim cook and others sit behind closed doors and go "well this guy sure did a good job...but he's black." It's absolutely stupid we are even discussing this. The company hires because work gets done, therefore revenue is created. Anything else is just eye-candy. The victim is not minorities or females or whatever. The victim is our indulgence in assuming the worst of people.
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post #30 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by lloydte View Post

That's because it is completely irrelevant. So what if he is. Doesn't make any difference.

 

Gay people are fine in the workplace, as long as they are professional and don't wear their gayness on their sleeves.

post #31 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Regarding CEOs commenting on social issues, would you be so sanguine if the issue he was commenting on was about, say, the greatness of the Tea Party or he was for the government shutdown? ....  (bold emphasis mine)

Really ? anantksundaram?         Do you really equate your comment to what is found in your country's Declaration of Independence? i.e. "We hold these truths to be self-evident: That all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness"...

 

You might want to rethink your post.

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post #32 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rmb0037 View Post

Anyone care to assert the fact that maybe...just maybe...apple hires people because they can get a JOB DONE INSTEAD OF WHAT THEY LOOK LIKE? It's absolutely stupid to assume that Tim cook and others sit behind closed doors and go "well this guy sure did a good job...but he's black." It's absolutely stupid we are even discussing this. The company hires because work gets done, therefore revenue is created. Anything else is just eye-candy. The victim is not minorities or females or whatever. The victim is our indulgence in assuming the worst of people.

First, you're the one assuming the worst of people. Second, I completely agree with you that hiring should be based of quality, period, and not quotas, diversity metrics or 'eye candy.' Third, do you suppose that's consistent with what Cook's op-ed says and more importantly, what the bill proposes? Fourth, do you now see why a CEO wading into these sorts of social and public policy issues is problematic?
post #33 of 74

Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender employees shouldn't be discriminated in the workplace.

That being said, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender employees discriminate against others as much as anybody else.

post #34 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by blogorant View Post

Brands, including celebrities, should stay out of politics. Think Church and State.

Mr. Cook, vote, donate and advocate (lobby) as you wish on on your own time, quietly. Your public position as head of a public company requires personal discretion.

Regardless of ones views, the issue at hand (the Bill), is 100% politics. With the country (Apple's customer base) divided 50/50 on politics, it's not only distasteful to involve the company, it's irresponsible.

 

First off, only someone completely unfamiliar with the political landscape in the U.S. would suggest that the country is "divided 50/50 on politics."  That could not be farther from the truth.

 

Secondly, I love how when people claim that CEOs/actors/whoever should "stay out of politics" that they don't even realize the irony in a statement like that.  What gives YOU the right to tell people what to do, or what certain people should do?  Here's one for you:

 

I think YOU should stay out of commenting on politics.  How is that?

 

Tim Cook, you, I, and everyone else has as much right (and often responsibility) to comment on whatever situation is at hand.  This concept that keyboard warriors get to decide who should shut up and who shouldn't is so absurdly narcissistic that it is practically bewildering (it would be, but I'm so used to it that it's gone from angering to bewildering to amusing for the most part these days).

 

Finally, Tim Cook is an important voice on this issue because he is the CEO of one of the most important and most valuable companies in the world.  If the CEO of Apple, of all people, shouldn't be commenting on a bill that has to do with EMPLOYMENT, then who the frack should be?!

post #35 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post
 

 

Gay people are fine in the workplace, as long as they are professional and don't wear their gayness on their sleeves.

 

Straight people are fine in the workplace, as long as they are professional and don't wear their straightness not their sleeves.

post #36 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post
 

 

Gay people are fine in the workplace, as long as they are professional and don't wear their gayness on their sleeves.

So gay people are fine in the workplace as long as they aren't noticeably gay?

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post #37 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by blogorant View Post

Brands, including celebrities, should stay out of politics. Think Church and State.

Mr. Cook, vote, donate and advocate (lobby) as you wish on on your own time, quietly. Your public position as head of a public company requires personal discretion.

Regardless of ones views, the issue at hand (the Bill), is 100% politics. With the country (Apple's customer base) divided 50/50 on politics, it's not only distasteful to involve the company, it's irresponsible.

 

Agreed. I'm sure Apple has done their research and the majority of the board is okay with Cook taking a very public stance on this because they figured that the younger customer base are indifferent to LGBT issues so it won't hurt the company.

post #38 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Regarding CEOs commenting on social issues, would you be so sanguine if the issue he was commenting on was about, say, the greatness of the Tea Party or he was for the government shutdown?

 

I'd think him an idiot, but that's no reason for him to censor himself.  I prefer it when idiots out themselves for the world to see.

 

Fortunately, Tim Cook is no idiot,.

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post #39 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

First, you're the one assuming the worst of people. Second, I completely agree with you that hiring should be based of quality, period, and not quotas, diversity metrics or 'eye candy.' Third, do you suppose that's consistent with what Cook's op-ed says and more importantly, what the bill proposes? Fourth, do you now see why a CEO wading into these sorts of social and public policy issues is problematic?
First, we'll go ahead and drop that statement due to the previous comments on this particular story.
Second, sweet!
Third, employee equality and individualism is very much in line with the subject of the OP-ED.
Fourth, no, because people look up to a man with such corporate power. Sure, he can walk all he wants to by just doing what he has been doing for the almost 2(?) years he's been CEO. But him coming out and openly supporting what is being laid on the table is very crucial. Not so much for apple but for companies all over the place. Small and large. I am fully behind him doing this.
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post #40 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by newbee View Post
 

Really ? anantksundaram?         Do you really equate your comment to what is found in your country's Declaration of Independence? i.e. "We hold these truths to be self-evident: That all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness"...

 

You might want to rethink your post.

Really.

 

There's nothing to rethink.

 

Given that it's already there in the constitution, why do we need a new bill, let alone an op-ed from a CEO? (The points about TP and shutdown were made purely as an argumentative device).

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