Apple reveals most employees are white men, says diversity needs to be improved

Posted:
in General Discussion edited August 2014
Apple on Tuesday delivered on a promise to give more details on the diversity of its workforce, revealing that its U.S.-based employees are overwhelmingly male and white --?a breakdown that Chief Executive Tim Cook said must be improved.




With 98,000 total employees, 70 percent of Apple's global workforce is male, the company's new report reveals. And in the U.S., 55 percent of its workers are white, followed by 15 percent Asian, 11 percent Hispanic, and 7 percent black. A breakdown of race among international employees was not given.

"Let me say up front: As CEO, I'm not satisfied with the numbers on this page," Cook wrote in a note that accompanied the report. "They're not new to us and we've been working hard for quite some time to improve them. We are making progress, and we're committed to being as innovative in advancing diversity as we are in developing our products."

Among non-tech employees, 56 percent in the U.S. are white and 14 percent are Hispanic, followed by 9 percent Asian and 9 percent black. Tech-specific American employees are 54 percent white, 23 percent Asian, 7 percent Hispanic, and 6 percent black.




Among leadership in the U.S., the disparity is even greater, as 64 percent of Apple's top brass in America are white. Another 21 percent are Asian, 6 percent are Hispanic, and 3 percent are black.

"All around the world, our team at Apple is united in the belief that being different makes us better," Cook wrote. "We know that each generation has a responsibility to build upon the gains of the past, expanding the rights and freedoms we enjoy to the many who are still striving for justice."




Cook first promised last month that his company would release data on corporate diversity, but cautioned that he is "more focused on actions" than simply revealing information. Previously, the company had caught flack from human rights groups for the lack of diversity among its senior leadership.

Apple has responded to the criticism by publicly committing to increase diversity, including a tweak to the company's corporate charter that commits the board to "actively [seek] out highly qualified women and individuals from minority groups to include in the pool from which board nominees are chosen." The company also added Susan Wagner to its board of directors in July, replacing longtime member Bill Campbell and bringing another woman into the fold.

Cook's letter on diversity is included below in full:
A Message from Tim Cook.

At Apple, our 98,000 employees share a passion for products that change people's lives, and from the very earliest days we have known that diversity is critical to our success. We believe deeply that inclusion inspires innovation.

Our definition of diversity goes far beyond the traditional categories of race, gender, and ethnicity. It includes personal qualities that usually go unmeasured, like sexual orientation, veteran status, and disabilities. Who we are, where we come from, and what we've experienced influence the way we perceive issues and solve problems. We believe in celebrating that diversity and investing in it.

Apple is committed to transparency, which is why we are publishing statistics about the race and gender makeup of our company. Let me say up front: As CEO, I'm not satisfied with the numbers on this page. They're not new to us, and we've been working hard for quite some time to improve them. We are making progress, and we're committed to being as innovative in advancing diversity as we are in developing our products.

Inclusion and diversity have been a focus for me throughout my time at Apple, and they're among my top priorities as CEO. I'm proud to work alongside the many senior executives we've hired and promoted in the past few years, including Eddy Cue and Angela Ahrendts, Lisa Jackson and Denise Young-Smith. The talented leaders on my staff come from around the world, and they each bring a unique point of view based on their experience and heritage. And our board of directors is stronger than ever with the addition of Sue Wagner, who was elected in July.

I receive emails from customers around the world, and a name that comes up often is Kim Paulk. She's a Specialist at the Apple Store on West 14th Street in Manhattan. Kim has a medical condition that has impaired her vision and hearing since she was a child. Our customers rave about Kim's service, and they say she embodies the best characteristics of Apple. Her guide dog, Gemma, is affectionately known around the store as the "seeing iDog."

When we think of diversity, we think of individuals like Kim. She inspires her coworkers and her customers as well.

We also think of Walter Freeman, who leads a procurement team here in Cupertino and was recently recognized by the National Minority Supplier Development Council. Last year, Walter's team provided over $3 billion in business opportunities with Apple to more than 7,000 small businesses in the western United States.

Both Walter and Kim exemplify what we value in diversity. Not only do they enrich the experience of their coworkers and make our business stronger, but they extend the benefits of Apple's diversity to our customers, into our supply chain and the broader economy. And there are many more people at Apple doing the same.

Above all, when we think of the diversity of our team, we think of the values and ideas they bring with them as individuals. Ideas drive the innovation that makes Apple unique, and they deliver the level of excellence our customers have come to expect.

Beyond the work we do creating innovative tools for our customers, improving education is one of the best ways in which Apple can have a meaningful impact on society. We recently pledged $100 million to President Obama's ConnectED initiative to bring cutting-edge technologies to economically disadvantaged schools. Eighty percent of the student population in the schools we will equip and support are from groups currently underrepresented in our industry.

Apple is also a sponsor of the Human Rights Campaign, the country's largest LGBT rights organization, as well as the National Center for Women & Information Technology, which is encouraging young women to get involved in technology and the sciences. The work we do with these groups is meaningful and inspiring. We know we can do more, and we will.

This summer marks the anniversary of the U.S. Civil Rights Act of 1964 -- an opportunity to reflect on the progress of the past half-century and acknowledge the work that remains to be done. When he introduced the bill in June 1963, President Kennedy urged Congress to pass it "for the one plain, proud and priceless quality that unites us all as Americans: a sense of justice."

All around the world, our team at Apple is united in the belief that being different makes us better. We know that each generation has a responsibility to build upon the gains of the past, expanding the rights and freedoms we enjoy to the many who are still striving for justice.

Together, we are committed to diversity within our company and the advancement of equality and human rights everywhere.

Tim</blockquote
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 758

    Diversity for Diversity's sake is bad. Diversity as a result of "best available talent" is natural. Business decisions need to be made on logic, not emotion.

  • Reply 2 of 758
     

    Apple reveals most employees are white men, says diversity needs to be improved


     

    COME OFF IT. NO. Either hire the best person for the job or screw you all. This isn’t how to run a business.

     

    As CEO, I’m not satisfied with the numbers on this page,” Cook wrote


     

    This is what should tank the stock, not record sales numbers.

     

    Not just Apple now: Instead of spending money getting a magical “complete” subsection of people into every industry for no reason whatsoever, why not spend that money improving the experience/education of the people who already WANT TO BE THERE IN THE FIRST PLACE. Don’t force people to take occupations they don’t want.

  • Reply 3 of 758
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,142member
    Fine and dandy as long as they continue to hire the best people for the job, and not compromise that based on some idiotic quota.
  • Reply 4 of 758
    emig647emig647 Posts: 2,408member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by maloderous View Post

     

    Diversity for Diversity's sake is bad. Diversity as a result of "best available talent" is natural. Business decisions need to be made on logic, not emotion.




    100% agree. Been a software engineer over 10 years, it's just how it is. White males are generally more interested in the tech industry. Not saying because they are white / male they are better, just as a higher percentage, more interested. Worked with some amazing women, other ethnicities, but at the end of the day, the amount that apply to the jobs are generally white males. 

  • Reply 5 of 758
    I guess all the new products must done if this is Cooks biggest worry.
  • Reply 6 of 758
    mpantonempantone Posts: 1,378member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by maloderous View Post

     

    Diversity for Diversity's sake is bad. Diversity as a result of "best available talent" is natural. Business decisions need to be made on logic, not emotion.


    Yeah, but most Apple employees are retail where sex and race shouldn't matter.

     

    For engineering and other highly specialized positions, indeed they should pick the best candidate for the job.

  • Reply 7 of 758

    preaching to the choir is awesome sometimes :D

  • Reply 8 of 758
    gustavgustav Posts: 824member
    Wow, tallest skil and maloderous completely miss the point. Labelling it as "Diversity for Diversity's sake" is lazy and harmful. You are turning a blind eye the fact that are circumstances in society preventing smart and qualified people from being seen or applying to Apple. This is what Cook is talking about. Believing it means Apple will hire someone not qualified for the job just to increase the diversity numbers is a lazy and ignorant take on it.
  • Reply 9 of 758
    asdasdasdasd Posts: 5,293member

    The white population is still 70%, but amongst adults higher of course. So those stats are skewed towards asians, at the expense of Whites, Hispanics, and Blacks. At least in terms of the adult population ( maybe not in terms of education levels, which Apple can's solve).

  • Reply 10 of 758
    asdasdasdasd Posts: 5,293member

    I love the way " Angela Ahrendts" is oppressed because female. This is the equality of fools. 

    from wiki. 

     

    "The couple have three children, and presently live in a 12,000 square feet (1,100 m2) home on an 8 acres (3.2 ha) plot west of London.[1]"

  • Reply 11 of 758
    Those in retail also have to have knowledge of the products... so, what is the percentage of races who use Apple products, from there you can ascertain the possibility that they may be underutilized in the stores...
  • Reply 12 of 758

    You're right, "Diversity for Diversity's sake" is lazy and harmful, that's why I wrote it.

     

    (this is about to get awesome.)

  • Reply 13 of 758
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post



    "Let me say up front: As CEO, I'm not satisfied with the numbers on this page," Cook wrote in a note that accompanied the report. "

    I don't think anything is necessarily wrong with the numbers. As long as the disproportionate white male figures are the result of skills and not preferential treatment, the numbers are fine. Just make sure that other ethnicities and females are given equal opportunity without any bias and let the numbers fall where they may.

  • Reply 14 of 758
    Political correctness represents the end of honesty. Pandering to anyone using race-based metrics is codified racism.

    This garbage burns me up. Tim is insulting his existing workforce by saying he's unhappy with the people he currently has working at Apple. Goddammit, Tim. You're sucking up to politicians and corporate meddlers.
  • Reply 15 of 758
    crowleycrowley Posts: 5,822member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by maloderous View Post

     

    Diversity for Diversity's sake is bad.


     

    How?  All other things being equal, how is diversity bad?

     

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by maloderous View Post

     

    Diversity as a result of "best available talent" is natural.


     

    What?  How does the word "natural" apply to tech recruitment employment patterns in any way?  Diversity is not necessarily natural, sometimes diversity can only happen because of people's efforts at all levels.

     

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by maloderous View Post

     

    Business decisions need to be made on logic, not emotion.


    Referring back to statement 1, diversity for it's own sake, when all other things are equal, is beneficial. Diversity introduces wider opinions, more world experience, broader appeal.

     

    Apple don't want to only appeal to old white men.

  • Reply 16 of 758
    crowleycrowley Posts: 5,822member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

     

    Don’t force people to take occupations they don’t want.


    OMG APPLE ARE EVIL I CAN'T BELIEVE THEY'RE GOING TO DO THIS I...

     

    Oh, wait.  No one said anything like that.

  • Reply 17 of 758
    crowley wrote: »
    How?  All other things being equal, how is diversity bad?


    What?  How does the word "natural" apply to tech recruitment employment patterns in any way?  Diversity is not necessarily natural, sometimes diversity can only happen because of people's efforts at all levels.

    Referring back to statement 1, diversity for it's own sake, when all other things are equal, is beneficial. Diversity introduces wider opinions, more world experience, broader appeal.

    Apple don't want to only appeal to old white men.

    It's becoming more and more clear to me now that the Beats deal was in fact a racial quota thing. Ugh. Disturbing and disgusting collectivist nonsense. Is this really what Apple is becoming? Hiring people without taking race or background into consideration is the right thing to do.

    Apple products ALREADY appeal to people everywhere because of their simplicity and well-thought out function. Dragging race and political matters into Apple's public image is a huge misstep. Silicon Valley is going through yet another self-made crisis created by middle-managers who live by appeasement.

    Just focus on the products!
  • Reply 18 of 758

    As a black male I have to say that I hate this kind of crap, I don't ever want to feel like somebody's charity case just because i'm black. I used to work at an Apple Store in Seattle (on the outskirts actually), and while I do agree that most of the workforce was white I don't believe it had anything whatsoever to do with some kind of effort to hire only whites. The store manager was black and hispanic, the Redzone manager was Asian, and so was another manager. If there was a real case of discrimination that could be proven that would be a different story, but I never felt discriminated against. AFTER 7 INTERVIEWS I feel that they knew I was the best person to get the job done and so I was hired. I was the best person by the way....I rocked the sh!t out of all my interviews.

  • Reply 19 of 758
    The issue regarding diversity in the work place usually stems from 2 huge causes. One is that many jobs are attained through networking. Not saying its the goal of white employees to hire friends or peers of color, but rather that most people of color that meet the qualifications may not know someone who works there since most people they know are most likely of the same racial background.

    The next factor has more to do with the socioeconomic status that correlates to race. Most engineering students from Black and Hispanic backgrounds tend to attend college on need based scholarships and to maintain those scholarships they must maintain a certain GPA usually 3.0-3.5. The average GPA for the majority of Engineering graduates is 2.9. Because these scholarships require a certain GPA, many minorities are forced to change majors, to something a bit easier in order to stay in school. I have a cousin who received a full scholarship to MIT. She was a computer engineering major, and had a 2.5 GPA after her freshman year. After her first semester she changed her major to human resources, in order to keep her scholarship. While financial aid offered some relief,the financial burden was still too great. She has a great career now, but she's not a computer engineer. If she were to graduate with a 2.5 GPA she would surely find employment, but her scholarship became a double edged sword.
  • Reply 20 of 758
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    maloderous wrote: »
    Diversity for Diversity's sake is bad. Diversity as a result of "best available talent" is natural. Business decisions need to be made on logic, not emotion.

    I would say there is an issue with the numbers being so heavily slanted towards white males but it's not because of an issue with Apple or other companies, but social and economic issues that keep "minorities" and women out of certain fields. If we want a more even distribution we need to correct the core reasons for the imbalance otherwise it's like trying to ebola by giving an aphaeresis (platelet) transfusion.

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