Apple responds to Silicon Valley gender gap, sends recruiters to 'Women in Computing' conference

Posted:
in General Discussion edited October 2014
In a bid to even the Silicon Valley gender gap, Apple, along with other big-name tech companies, sent "hundreds" of employees to recruit students attending this year's Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing conference.



As part of what is becoming an industry wide push toward workplace diversity, recruiters and other personnel from Apple, Facebook, Google and Microsoft are in Phoenix, Ariz. to attend the three-day event, reports Bloomberg.

The conference, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary, is named in honor of Grace Hopper, a pioneering computer scientist credited with developing COBOL, one of the world's first modern computer programming languages. According to the publication, a gender gap at many Silicon Valley companies has driven attendance to a record 8,000 people, including academics, corporate players and students.

Starting in May, tech giants like Google, Facebook and Apple released corporate transparency reports, offering detailed employee breakdowns for the first time ever. Among ten tech companies that issued reports, women held between 10 percent and 27 percent of technology-centric jobs, Bloomberg said.

In August, after receiving criticism from human rights groups for having a lack of diversity among top executives, Apple revealed that 70 percent of its 98,000 global employees are male. At the time, CEO Tim Cook said he was not satisfied with the numbers, but pointed out that Apple is working to improve conditions.

"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," Cook said in an open letter on diversity. "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."

Cook went on to name new female executives like SVP of Retail Angela Ahrendts, environmental chief Lisa Jackson and head of global HR Denise Young-Smith. Apple also posted Susan Wagner to its board of directors in July.

As for new female hires, Apple in June announced it was working with the National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT) on the non-profit's Pacesetters program, which looks to fast track 3,500 women into the U.S. tech industry by 2016.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 51

    Just for the sake of having women, will you recruit them?

    Now a days, these women, feminism topics are becoming too much!  

    I see it as conspiracy. :)

  • Reply 2 of 51
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,866moderator

    And there was much rejoicing.

  • Reply 3 of 51
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    I think a better solution would be to anonymize resumes and the interviewing process so that sex (not sure why gender is misappropriated), "race," ethnicity, and every other superficial trait can be removed from the hiring process. Of course, that's not exactly easy to do when interviews include how one works with a team as part of their interviewing process.
  • Reply 4 of 51
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,866moderator
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post



    I think a better solution would be to anonymize resumes and the interviewing process so that sex (not sure why gender is misappropriated), "race," ethnicity, and every other superficial trait can be removed from the hiring process. Of course, that's not exactly easy to do when interviews include how one works with a team as part of their interviewing process.



    Like the way they sometimes conduct orchestra auditions with the player positioned behind a screen so the judges cannot know their race or gender.  Excellent idea.

  • Reply 5 of 51
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,388member

    Just let it be. Who cares if fewer women join a tech company? Maybe they don’t want to be there. Don’t force them.

  • Reply 6 of 51
    Just let it be. Who cares if fewer women join a tech company? Maybe they don’t want to be there. Don’t force them.

    But..but..but...DIVERSITY! And JESSE JACKSON! And WARM FUZZIES!

    Yeah, this whole crusade Cook appears to be embarking on is not one of his high points. Perhaps he's never heard of Jacques Nasser...Ford did so well under his reign, especially when Nasser said he didn't like the "sea of white male faces" and started firing people to replace them with "more desirable" minorities.
  • Reply 7 of 51
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    Good! There's a huge problem, one we're so close in the middle of it can be hard to see just how big it is. And there are people who want the problem to continue so they don't have to think about it, or because someone told them that it's "feminism" and evil, despite not knowing what the word actually means. Luckily, there are other people actually working to reduce the problem! Good for Apple.
  • Reply 8 of 51
    inklinginkling Posts: 773member
    We all know what's going on here. These are extremely good paying jobs and feminists want less-qualified women to get those jobs rather than men. Diversity is simply a code word for ignoring competence and setting up sex-based quotas.
  • Reply 9 of 51

    Apple is going to need some hefty binders for all of these women!

     

    Jokes aside, people who don't see the point in this aren't in touch with the nature of this issue and why this is a very good thing. There are serious issues of gender bias in the workplace, particularly in Silicon Valley which tends to exclude, isolate and underpay women. Good on Apple and hopefully other tech companies (and companies in general) follow suit.

  • Reply 10 of 51

    Name: Chris Normal

    Birthdate:  1969/06/9

    Sex: Yes Please

  • Reply 11 of 51
    hentaiboyhentaiboy Posts: 1,252member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Inkling View Post



    We all know what's going on here. These are extremely good paying jobs and feminists want less-qualified women to get those jobs rather than men. Diversity is simply a code word for ignoring competence and setting up sex-based quotas.



    That's what we did in the 2008 presidential election and what did we get? A president even worse than Jimmy Carter, our previous low, along with a coerced health care scheme that almost two-thirds of Americans hate, and a foreign policy that's such a disaster, other major leaders openly mock our clueless president.

    Better be careful what you say. Your next president could be a woman ;-)

  • Reply 12 of 51
    seankillseankill Posts: 566member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post



    I think a better solution would be to anonymize resumes and the interviewing process so that sex (not sure why gender is misappropriated), "race," ethnicity, and every other superficial trait can be removed from the hiring process. Of course, that's not exactly easy to do when interviews include how one works with a team as part of their interviewing process.

    I agree, 100%, be hired for your skills and experience. (qualifications) 

     

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

     

    Just let it be. Who cares if fewer women join a tech company? Maybe they don’t want to be there. Don’t force them.


    I agree. As long as people aren't taking less qualified men to avoid women.....who cares?

     

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by nagromme View Post



    Good! There's a huge problem, one we're so close in the middle of it can be hard to see just how big it is. And there are people who want the problem to continue so they don't have to think about it, or because someone told them that it's "feminism" and evil, despite not knowing what the word actually means. Luckily, there are other people actually working to reduce the problem! Good for Apple.

    This is so stupid. As a former engineering student (graduated in May), I know what engineering classes look like. So many people join up freshman year (a surprising amount of young ladies) but men still make up more than 2/3 of the class. In my area, most women choose either industrial or chemical. I have met an incredible amount of skilled women, way smarter than me. However, as the sophomore, junior, senior year classes rolled around, more than 60% of people drop out. By graduation, men seem to make up more than 80% of the engineers. This is just my experience, however, talking to my coworkers just echos the point. They come from a dozen different schools. Their experience is the same.

     

    Not everyone can be a college QB, fewer can be an NFL QB. I know I can't. The point, we all have our strengths. These companies need to be hiring the best (most skilled and experienced) not what the government or a group of people say. It isn't correct for Apple to hire a less qualified woman (compared to a man) just to say they are "fair" or "diverse." Utterly, absurd to push for diversity if it means compromising your company.

     

    Hired the most qualified and be proud of it. Find a woman more qualified than me? Good, hire her.

     


    Just my two bits. If Apple is 90% male, that is fine as long sex didn't play a role in it.
  • Reply 13 of 51
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post



    I think a better solution would be to anonymize resumes and the interviewing process so that sex (not sure why gender is misappropriated), "race," ethnicity, and every other superficial trait can be removed from the hiring process. Of course, that's not exactly easy to do when interviews include how one works with a team as part of their interviewing process.

    Superficial?

     

    So, should we hide their names too? E.g., John v. Joan v. Jamal v. Jorge v. Jaganwala? What about their education -- e.g., Ivy League school v. community college? Or where they went to college, e.g., Broward County, FL v. New Haven, CT v. Warangal, India? And, while we're at it, why not hide the fact that they may be a member of an LGBT club or co-majored in African-American Studies or Women's and Gender (yeah, 'gender,' not 'sex' since the latter could also mean copulation) Studies along with the CS or Marketing or Econ or whatever else major?

     

    So, what exactly would you leave in and leave out?

  • Reply 14 of 51
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 10,557member

    I don’t want Apple hiring engineers because of their race or gender or any other politically correct reason. I want Apple to hire engineers who are the very best at their craft. I don’t care if they are women, little green men, or Al Sharpton himself. If they’re the best then hire them.

  • Reply 15 of 51
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Inkling View Post



    We all know what's going on here. These are extremely good paying jobs and feminists want less-qualified women to get those jobs rather than men. Diversity is simply a code word for ignoring competence and setting up sex-based quotas.



    That's what we did in the 2008 presidential election and what did we get? A president even worse than Jimmy Carter, our previous low, along with a coerced health care scheme that almost two-thirds of Americans hate, and a foreign policy that's such a disaster, other major leaders openly mock our clueless president.

    Welcome to 1950 Georgia, Inkling!

  • Reply 16 of 51
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 9,233member

    What a horrible idea.

  • Reply 17 of 51
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

     

    I don’t want Apple hiring engineers because of their race or gender or any other politically correct reason. I want Apple to hire engineers who are the very best at their craft. I don’t care if they are women, little green men, or Al Sharpton himself. If they’re the best then hire them.


    Of course Apple should. I have no doubt that Apple will. After all, it's in the company's self-interest to do so.

     

    But the point is, are there things they can do to tap into the broader talent pool by casting a wider net across gender and ethnicities? It sometimes requires pro-active effort. Are there things they can do to make their corporate cultures or work habits a little more welcoming? (Silicon Valley culture is quite famous, rightly or wrongly, for its frat-nerd-boy culture). Again, this requires sending a message from the top. Many businesses have done that (e.g., financial services, consumer products), and successfully adapted.

     

    As an aside, some of the finest, most hardworking people who have coded for me are women.

  • Reply 18 of 51
    jmc54jmc54 Posts: 207member
    It would be interesting to see what the current pool of applicants looks like once broken down. Pick a sampling of, say 3 years.
  • Reply 19 of 51
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,388member
    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

    Welcome to 1950 Georgia, Inkling!

     

    Yeah, see, there’s not a thing racist about what he said. What he’s saying is that pro-racism drove the election of someone unqualified for said task, and which resulted in policies both detrimental and detested.

     

    Read the words above. Just the words above. Read no meaning into them beyond that which they say. Don’t look at my name–for it has no meaning nor weight to the words above–as that would make you guilty of that which you claim to be against. The words would come from any mouth–from any pen–take them as such and read only what they say, not any implications of what else could be meant in saying them. I’m not throwing my personal beliefs into this argument. Just read what’s there alone.

     

    As another example, say a college turns away higher-qualified whites in favor of lower-qualified blacks (this happens, by the way). Is this not racism? It is, by the modern definition of a word–turned toward skin color–invented by a communist to simply describe any and all who would reject his economic teachings. The decision to accept lower qualifications results in a lower quality outcome. That’s what he’s saying here.

  • Reply 20 of 51
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

     
    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

    Welcome to 1950 Georgia, Inkling!

     

    Yeah, see, there’s not a thing racist about what he said. What he’s saying is that pro-racism drove the election of someone unqualified for said task, and which resulted in policies both detrimental and detested.

     

    Read the words above. Just the words above. Read no meaning into them beyond that which they say. Don’t look at my name–for it has no meaning nor weight to the words above–as that would make you guilty of that which you claim to be against. The words would come from any mouth–from any pen–take them as such and read only what they say, not any implications of what else could be meant in saying them. I’m not throwing my personal beliefs into this argument. Just read what’s there alone.

     

    As another example, say a college turns away higher-qualified whites in favor of lower-qualified blacks (this happens, by the way). Is this not racism? It is, by the modern definition of a word–turned toward skin color–invented by a communist to simply describe any and all who would reject his economic teachings. The decision to accept lower qualifications results in a lower quality outcome. That’s what he’s saying here.


    You're rambling. And sound confused.

     

    The comparison of college admissions (where 'diversity' is used as a policy tool in admissions) to the election of a President in a freely-functioning democracy where no one, by policy or practice or proscription or prescription is required to vote for anyone (or even vote, for that matter) is thoroughly stupid.

     

    Let me put it simply: the election of Obama had nothing do with 'diversity.'

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