Apple's diversity goals for the workplace don't aim high enough

Posted:
in General Discussion
Despite Apple's push for more diversity and inclusion in its workspace, a new report from the Communications Workers of America indicates the company may still be falling short.

Apple Towson Town Center, Maryland
Apple Towson Town Center, Maryland


The Communications Workers of America (CWA) is an organization that's helping Apple retail workers unionize. This push has been happening all over the United States, and to help with that specific goal the CWA is using Apple's own data.

Apple's metrics indicate the company is doing better regarding inclusive hiring, but diversity appears to taper off the higher up the corporate ladder you go. The data shows that roles within Apple's management still veer towards white candidates.

The data collected between 2014 and 2021 shows that people of color are more likely to be working low-level jobs, even as the number of Black and Hispanic workers hired by the company increased by 70.1% and 93.1% respectively. The data indicates that, overall, white employees see a far greater representation in leadership roles.

An anonymous former retail manager at an Apple Store said that getting promoted at Apple is a bit of a puzzle box. They even compare it unfavorably to the popular word game, Wordle:

"It's [career advancement] a bit of a puzzle. It's like playing wordle, you just have to guess the right letter and if you don't then you don't get through and then you try again but then the word changes it can feel very arbitrary to an employee when they don't see the inner workings and they're just applying based on the job description and their experience and they get turned down five different times and each time [for] a different reason."

This mysterious path to getting a promotion is hinted at as being one of the reasons why the numbers may be skewed, with former employees saying that unless Apple "opens the gates" for the employee, getting the promotion is difficult. Even the guidelines that Apple may use for promotions appear to change, and don't rely solely on weekly or monthly metrics.

Speaking to TechCrunch, Sidney Lo is a former employee at an Apple Store in New York City, opens up about Apple's diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts:

"There's always two sides of Apple: Apple as a corporate entity and Apple as a retail entity. I think from a decision perspective, some of these [DEI] decisions get lost in transition from corporate down to retail, and retail down to employees."

Moving towards a more inclusive workforce has been Apple's goal for quite some time, and the company publishes stats to help support that effort. However, the CWA's report shows that the company can still do more, especially when it comes to promoting people of color, and women, to leadership roles.

As it stands, Apple is pushing back against retail store employees unionizing. The first store to achieve unionization for its employees is located in Maryland, with more moving in that direction.

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 14
    The goal should not be “diversity and inclusion — the goal should be excellence.  Excellence is not predicated on skin color, gender, or anything superficial — it is based on the quality of one’s work.
    Calvin_Hobbeselijahgurahara
  • Reply 2 of 14
    I've had enough of being scolded by the woke. If you feel the same, start questioning these pronouncements, even with a simple "says who?" I never have and never will live my life according to somebody else's delusional thinking.
    Kierkegaardenelijahggrandact73
  • Reply 3 of 14
    beowulfschmidtbeowulfschmidt Posts: 2,170member
    The goal should not be “diversity and inclusion — the goal should be excellence.  Excellence is not predicated on skin color, gender, or anything superficial — it is based on the quality of one’s work.

    Completely agreed.  How do you suggest that we ensure that everyone, including racists, misogynists, and other bigots, adhere to that principle?  Many have demonstrated time and time again that they won't do so on a voluntary basis.
  • Reply 4 of 14
    The goal should not be “diversity and inclusion — the goal should be excellence.  Excellence is not predicated on skin color, gender, or anything superficial — it is based on the quality of one’s work.
    they aren't mutually exclusive. 
  • Reply 5 of 14
    I've had enough of being scolded by the woke. If you feel the same, start questioning these pronouncements, even with a simple "says who?" I never have and never will live my life according to somebody else's delusional thinking.
    Says who?
  • Reply 6 of 14
    thrangthrang Posts: 1,012member
    This thinking, repeated in countless stories all over, so miss the point. Don't you think nearly any legitimate company out there isn't looking to hire the best candidates available regardless of the demographic identification du jour?

    If there is a paucity of candidates who do not fit the bill for a position, is it right to say the hiring company should lower its standards to hire someone just to tick off a demographic box. Or be expected to invest much more time and money to train them? If they wish to, they may, but they will likely start at a lower position to see how they progress. But if the fundamentals are not there, they will not progress far.

    So why is there nearly no focus in these conversations about the gestational causes for these conditions (family/educational institutions/urban environments/excessive, work-disincentivizing welfare, etc.) You know, the areas we have provided trillions in social/educational/urban reform over the decades that been spent so judiciously invested and monitored (ahem). And then add elements such as the cost (economically, socially, opportunistically) of the uncontrolled borders, and you have quite a full buffet table of things to chew on before you say any company "should do more." Ha! Yes, of course are still people that have racists thoughts/tendencies, and that's very unfortunate. It's also wrong to those tendencies only apply to hand selected demographics. People of all races, ethnicities, religions, etc, can be quite horrible to others. And you will always have this, so forget about "eradicating" it. That's the wrong focus. 

    If there is a problem, do the hard work and focus on the sources, which include the corruption of how taxpayer money has really been invested and the lack of (expected) results.


    edited May 2023 elijahg
  • Reply 7 of 14
    thrang said:

    If there is a paucity of candidates who do not fit the bill for a position, is it right to say the hiring company should lower its standards to hire someone just to tick off a demographic box. Or be expected to invest much more time and money to train them? If they wish to, they may, but they will likely start at a lower position to see how they progress. But if the fundamentals are not there, they will not progress far.

    Who is suggesting this? Please cite an actual source. 
  • Reply 8 of 14
    thrangthrang Posts: 1,012member
    thrang said:

    If there is a paucity of candidates who do not fit the bill for a position, is it right to say the hiring company should lower its standards to hire someone just to tick off a demographic box. Or be expected to invest much more time and money to train them? If they wish to, they may, but they will likely start at a lower position to see how they progress. But if the fundamentals are not there, they will not progress far.

    Who is suggesting this? Please cite an actual source. 
    Hiring the best candidate for a position should be the criteria. That’s it. Meaning skill level, experience, references, clean background, compensation requirements, written and oral skills, teamwork capabilities, etc.

    The absence to being naturally inclusive when evaluating such candidates is where companies should be brought to task, publicly or legally (ie, you don’t hire the best candidate because you may be biased against their race or ethnicity). But I have a tough time thinking that over the past decades, that’s the predominate issue any longer. There are large issues with our workforce, especially amongst many younger people who think they are worth/deserve more, and have questionable work ethic. That is self evident if you work in the world. So when you find a good candidate that ticks all the boxes, you hire

    Meaning, look at the other issues I raised.


    elijahgurahara
  • Reply 9 of 14
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 15,359moderator
    The data collected between 2014 and 2021 shows that people of color are more likely to be working low-level jobs, even as the number of Black and Hispanic workers hired by the company increased by 70.1% and 93.1% respectively. The data indicates that, overall, white employees see a far greater representation in leadership roles.
    Apple's data doesn't show this, these claims always falsely portray representation as an absolute when it's actually relative to population demographics:







    Apple is heavily skewed in leadership roles towards Asian employees, a minority that is rarely described as a minority.

    In retail leadership, the representation difference from the population is 2-5%.

    Leadership roles are also very few compared to the overall workforce so not a good measure of equity. Apple has under 300 US retail stores, the number of leadership roles required to change to match the population demographics exactly would be in the low hundreds out of over 100k employees, which is a rounding error.

    This is just propaganda being used to boost union support by playing on identity politics.
    williamhelijahgurahara
  • Reply 10 of 14
    thrang said:
    thrang said:

    If there is a paucity of candidates who do not fit the bill for a position, is it right to say the hiring company should lower its standards to hire someone just to tick off a demographic box. Or be expected to invest much more time and money to train them? If they wish to, they may, but they will likely start at a lower position to see how they progress. But if the fundamentals are not there, they will not progress far.

    Who is suggesting this? Please cite an actual source. 
    Hiring the best candidate for a position should be the criteria. That’s it. Meaning skill level, experience, references, clean background, compensation requirements, written and oral skills, teamwork capabilities, etc.

    The absence to being naturally inclusive when evaluating such candidates is where companies should be brought to task, publicly or legally (ie, you don’t hire the best candidate because you may be biased against their race or ethnicity). But I have a tough time thinking that over the past decades, that’s the predominate issue any longer. There are large issues with our workforce, especially amongst many younger people who think they are worth/deserve more, and have questionable work ethic. That is self evident if you work in the world. So when you find a good candidate that ticks all the boxes, you hire

    Meaning, look at the other issues I raised.


    So that is a "no" on backing your claims. Got it. Thanks for your conjecture. 
  • Reply 11 of 14
    Marvin said:
    The data collected between 2014 and 2021 shows that people of color are more likely to be working low-level jobs, even as the number of Black and Hispanic workers hired by the company increased by 70.1% and 93.1% respectively. The data indicates that, overall, white employees see a far greater representation in leadership roles.
    Apple's data doesn't show this, these claims always falsely portray representation as an absolute when it's actually relative to population demographics:







    Apple is heavily skewed in leadership roles towards Asian employees, a minority that is rarely described as a minority.

    In retail leadership, the representation difference from the population is 2-5%.

    Leadership roles are also very few compared to the overall workforce so not a good measure of equity. Apple has under 300 US retail stores, the number of leadership roles required to change to match the population demographics exactly would be in the low hundreds out of over 100k employees, which is a rounding error.

    This is just propaganda being used to boost union support by playing on identity politics.
    You are cherry picking your data by only showing the Leadership data and not showing it compared to the Overall data.

    In the Overall 43% of the company is White but in leadership it jumps to 56%. Asians stay about the same across both groups and the rest drop significantly when you go from  Overall to Leadership. So the claim that white people have far greater representation in leadership is absolutely backed up by Apple's data. And you you say leadership is heavily skewed to Asian employees with a straight face when almost 60% of the leadership is white is beyond me. 
  • Reply 12 of 14
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 15,359moderator
    Marvin said:
    The data collected between 2014 and 2021 shows that people of color are more likely to be working low-level jobs, even as the number of Black and Hispanic workers hired by the company increased by 70.1% and 93.1% respectively. The data indicates that, overall, white employees see a far greater representation in leadership roles.
    And you you say leadership is heavily skewed to Asian employees with a straight face when almost 60% of the leadership is white is beyond me. 
    This demonstrates the point about people falsely claiming that representation is absolute. Asian population is 6%, Apple leadership is 29%, white population is 59%, Apple leadership is 57%. It's beyond you because you don't understand how demographics work.

    If a given population has x times more of one race than another then, all things being equal, that ratio would appear everywhere. Any disproportionality is not between groups in a company but the difference relative to the population.

    Same applies to the earlier point. Overall the company representation of white employees is 43%, which significantly below the population.

    What this shows is that Apple has been pressured to adjust the numbers quickly, which is easier at entry-level than senior level. You can't just fire senior employees, it takes years for them to retire and for entry employees to work into management positions. Then people just complain that all the diversity growth is at the entry-level.
    williamhelijahgurahara
  • Reply 13 of 14
    Marvin said:
    Marvin said:
    The data collected between 2014 and 2021 shows that people of color are more likely to be working low-level jobs, even as the number of Black and Hispanic workers hired by the company increased by 70.1% and 93.1% respectively. The data indicates that, overall, white employees see a far greater representation in leadership roles.
    And you you say leadership is heavily skewed to Asian employees with a straight face when almost 60% of the leadership is white is beyond me. 
    This demonstrates the point about people falsely claiming that representation is absolute. Asian population is 6%, Apple leadership is 29%, white population is 59%, Apple leadership is 57%. It's beyond you because you don't understand how demographics work.

    If a given population has x times more of one race than another then, all things being equal, that ratio would appear everywhere. Any disproportionality is not between groups in a company but the difference relative to the population.

    Same applies to the earlier point. Overall the company representation of white employees is 43%, which significantly below the population.

    What this shows is that Apple has been pressured to adjust the numbers quickly, which is easier at entry-level than senior level. You can't just fire senior employees, it takes years for them to retire and for entry employees to work into management positions. Then people just complain that all the diversity growth is at the entry-level.
    The tell here is you just ignored the majority of my post and focused on one sentence in hoping that being pedantic about the word "skews" will some how prove something. 

    I fully understand how demographics work. What the data shows is other than Asian folks people of color are not  are well represented in leadership which was the claim being made. 

    You also paragraph is conjecture and I have no desire to argue your opinion. 

    Good luck with the partial data. 


    edited May 2023
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