Congressional Black Caucus asks Apple to release diversity report after meeting with Tim Cook

Posted:
in General Discussion edited August 2015
California state representative Barbara Lee said Apple seems to be on the right track when it comes hiring black employees, but is nonetheless calling on it and other tech companies to release federal data regarding workplace diversity.




Lee visited Silicon Valley this week to meet with tech industry leaders in a Congressional Black Caucus initiative meant to stimulate more diverse hiring practices in the sector, USA Today reports.

As part of her tour, Lee met with Apple CEO Tim Cook on Monday.

"Apple seems to be moving in the right direction. Tim Cook wants his company to look like the country and I think they are very committed to doing everything they can do," Lee said.

In its first diversity report last August, Apple revealed that 55 percent of its U.S. workforce is white, 15 percent Asian, 11 percent Hispanic and 7 percent black. The company also said at the time that 70 percent of its 98,000 employees worldwide were male.

Apple is expected to divulge a more current report this summer that, according to human relations chief Denise Young Smith, will show improved hiring rates of Hispanic, black and women employees. Lee is calling for the release of a federal government compliance form called EEO-1, also known as "The Employer Information Report," which collects data about gender and race/ethnicity by job type. Most companies with over 100 workers are required to file an annual EEO-1 with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

"We have asked them all to release the data," Lee said on Tuesday of the tech companies visited this week. "If they believe in inclusion, they have to release the data so the public knows that they are being transparent and that they are committed to doing the right thing."

Following last year's diversity findings, Apple marketed a more appealing public image with its "Inclusion Inspires Innovation" campaign. The catchphrase has since been used to prop up Apple's quest for equality in the workplace, finding mention in numerous interviews and a special section on Apple's website.

Aside from internal hiring, Apple has invested more than $50 million in various nonprofit organizations dedicated to increasing the representation of women, minorities and veterans in tech.

Lee, who was joined by caucus chairman G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.) and Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), also sat down with executives from Intel, Google, Pandora and SAP to discuss similar hiring issues.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 58
    I have an idea!
    How about we get the NBA and similar types of organisations and get them to employ, whites, asians and hispanics in similar percentages according to population.

    Can we spell meritocracy?
  • Reply 2 of 58
    atlappleatlapple Posts: 496member
    Well those numbers seem to fall in line perfectly. Asians are the leading minority followed closely by hispanics and then blacks. Of course the congressional black caucus won't be happy with any numbers.
  • Reply 3 of 58
    If the 'diversity' (which, for some reason, does not include Indians and Chinese) candidates actually have the education and skills to have tech jobs and yet were not being employed, I can certainly understand their concerns.

    So, could we please have that data too, folks at the CBC? Or would it be inconvenient to ask for it?
  • Reply 4 of 58
    As an APPL stock holder I think it best that Apple release this data as it will undoubtedly boost profitability...hell, it may even sell a few more units of Apple Watch
  • Reply 5 of 58
    My response would be for this group to pound sand.
  • Reply 6 of 58
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 5,992member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post



    "Apple seems to be moving in the right direction.... " Lee said.

     



    F**k you Lee.  I'm a minority (latino) and I couldn't care any less about a company - or any company - having to have some sort of "diversity goal" to appease people like Lee.  All they care about is making themselves look good, period.



    Apple is only required to hire the best and most qualified people be they white, asian, black, latino, alien... whatever.  Lee is "whispering" Apple to hire people based on race and that really irks me.  



    If engineers are predominantly white or asian, why is it Apple's problem?  Look in the mirror Lee and look to your policies, economic, educational, etc.. and realize that is where the problem is.  It's like affirmative action on the employer level.

  • Reply 7 of 58
    entropysentropys Posts: 3,610member
    Wait, there is a "black caucus"?
    Politicians align and campaign on the varying amount of pigment in their skin? and people vote for them on this basis? Like they were a bunch of tribes and the people in that tribe vote for the big man who gives them stuff? This will all end well.
  • Reply 8 of 58
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 2,246member
    sflocal wrote: »

    F**k you Lee.  I'm a minority (latino) and I couldn't care any less about a company - or any company - having to have some sort of "diversity goal" to appease people like Lee.  All they care about is making themselves look good, period.


    Apple is only required to hire the best and most qualified people be they white, asian, black, latino, alien... whatever.  Lee is "whispering" Apple to hire people based on race and that really irks me.  


    If engineers are predominantly white or asian, why is it Apple's problem?  Look in the mirror Lee and look to your policies, economic, educational, etc.. and realize that is where the problem is.  It's like affirmative action on the employer level.

    I'll say first I'm white, not that it should even matter. You hire the person that's qualified for the job. That color a person's skin is shouldn't even cine into the picture. He'll, white is a minority now in California. Shouldn't we get special benefits now?. Of course not because it's just dumb. This crap is what keeps the whole race thing alive. Where I work, I'm also a minority. My boss is Chinese. Most of his family work there. There's a lot of Filipinos there. Our one black person just got fired, he had a good job as the QA person, but There was a number of issues. He was a nice guy and left with class. Cutting in front of some line or lowering standards to get in front of others that are fully qualified for some race thing is beyond dumb. 3 white people out of around 30 non-white makes me clearly the minority where I work. I have zero problem with that. I go to work and do my job. It should be that simple. Need to stop playing the race card and calling yourself a victim. Get a education and work hard and life will be good. Sit around and bitch and complain and say it's someone else's fault gets you nothing. So many have come to this country with nothing, worked hard and done well for themselves. The American dream.
  • Reply 9 of 58
    jdwjdw Posts: 1,085member
    Native Americans account for 1.7% of the US Population, yet they are not mentioned. Is that because 1.7 is a statistically insignificant figure, or is it because they are a minority group who simply don't complain so loudly about such things?

    Furthermore, if Steve Jobs were picking people, he'd pick the A-players regardless of Melanin content and ethnicity. And to be an A-player, you would need to be rather well educated and somewhat gifted too, which tends to exclude (statistically speaking) certain segments of the population which tend to lack in such credentials. In other words, if you seek to put all A-players on a team, you may not achieve your diversity goals, but if you put diversity first, you may not be able to ensure all players are A-players.

    This is not a discussion about Right and Wrong in my opinion. It is just about a matter of priorities.
  • Reply 10 of 58
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

     



    F**k you Lee.  I'm a minority (latino) and I couldn't care any less about a company - or any company - having to have some sort of "diversity goal" to appease people like Lee.  All they care about is making themselves look good, period.



    Apple is only required to hire the best and most qualified people be they white, asian, black, latino, alien... whatever.  Lee is "whispering" Apple to hire people based on race and that really irks me.  



    If engineers are predominantly white or asian, why is it Apple's problem?  Look in the mirror Lee and look to your policies, economic, educational, etc.. and realize that is where the problem is.  It's like affirmative action on the employer level.




    And it's language like this which always tends to make talking about race so difficult in this country.

     

    I'm an African-American technology professional with over 25 years of experience.  I'm lucky enough to count Apple as my first job out of college.  For over 15 years I've been working at another large very well known technology company.  And I can tell you and others who have posted similar comments that race and hiring isn't that simple.

     

    First, we in the black community are looking for access in hiring first and foremost.  If a recruiter for a tech company is not even looking at your school, then your chances of landing at job at said company go down sharply.  I'm a founding member of my company's African-American business professional organization.  We speak a lot amongst ourselves and the broader community in general about our company's hiring and how we can give up and coming black professionals a better opportunity for employment.  To that end, we are also helping to facilitate programs in colleges and even high schools to guide future graduates to the proper coursework and skills training they will need in order to make it in the world of technology.  It's really facile to state that "well, the company should just hire the best people they find".  That's easy to say but not what most large company Chief Human Resources Officers think about.

     

    Asking Apple for specific hiring data does a few things.  First, it makes Apple more transparent about their hiring practices which is always a good thing.  Second, it gives our communities better data to go back to the collegiate and secondary school level to convince leaders to allocate budget to encourage more kids (especially those in predominately children-of-color districts) to reach for careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math).  Finally, a productive dialogue with the hiring managers can lead to better, targeted recruiting.  There might be a great engineering student at Tuskegee University who will invent the next great thing a company would want, but if your company doesn't come there to recruit, then the opportunity may be lost.

  • Reply 11 of 58
    splifsplif Posts: 603member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by JDW View Post



    Native Americans account for 1.7% of the US Population, yet they are not mentioned. Is that because 1.7 is a statistically insignificant figure, or is it because they are a minority group who simply don't complain so loudly about such things?



    Furthermore, if Steve Jobs were picking people, he'd pick the A-players regardless of Melanin content and ethnicity. And to be an A-player, you would need to be rather well educated and somewhat gifted too, which tends to exclude (statistically speaking) certain segments of the population which tend to lack in such credentials. In other words, if you seek to put all A-players on a team, you may not achieve your diversity goals, but if you put diversity first, you may not be able to ensure all players are A-players.



    This is not a discussion about Right and Wrong in my opinion. It is just about a matter of priorities.

    What makes you think this isn't about cultivating talent?

    http://www.urbanfaith.com/2011/10/steve-jobs-passion-for-diversity.html/

  • Reply 12 of 58
    rayzrayz Posts: 814member
    Well said.

    Most of the people here think that Apple will stop recruiting suitably qualified white people in order to fill some quota.

    What Apple is doing is ensuring that they don't overlook suitably qualified talent because they don't happen to be white.

    There's a big difference.
  • Reply 13 of 58
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post



    If the 'diversity' (which, for some reason, does not include Indians and Chinese) candidates actually have the education and skills to have tech jobs and yet were not being employed, I can certainly understand their concerns.



    So, could we please have that data too, folks at the CBC? Or would it be inconvenient to ask for it?



    Where does this 'diversity' thing end?

    How long will it be before Apple is asked to release figures on how many employees are 'Lefties'? (I'm a half-cast lefty)

    What about 'Left footed, left handed Male to Female Gay transexuals'? Aren't they a minority? Are there any working for Apple? If not why not? Shame on Apple for discriminating against a minority... etc etc etc

    Enough already ok!

  • Reply 14 of 58
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by rotateleftbyte View Post

     



    Where does this 'diversity' thing end?

    How long will it be before Apple is asked to release figures on how many employees are 'Lefties'? (I'm a half-cast lefty)

    What about 'Left footed, left handed Male to Female Gay transexuals'? Aren't they a minority? Are there any working for Apple? If not why not? Shame on Apple for discriminating against a minority... etc etc etc

    Enough already ok!




    Have you ever been discriminated against, oppressed, or not considered for a position because you're left handed? Have you ever been called offensive names, insinuated you're not talented enough or capable enough for a job, because you're left handed? Are jokes and death threats made casually by friends and strangers alike because of your left handedness? Are their state and federal laws in place that restrict your agency and bodily autonomy due to being left handed? Do you feel scared to walk down a street at night because of your left handedness? Do you watch TV, movies, or talk with friends and family members and feel like you've somehow been ignored, left out, or are the unwanted, hated "other" because of your left handedness?

     

    Don't go comparing being left handed (or left footed, whatever that means?) to being a person of color, a woman, someone who's disabled, someone of different sexual orientation, or any group that has genuinely and systematically been oppressed on a societal level, to the point that companies have to work twice as hard to ensure that they're hiring a fair and diverse group, otherwise every single company will continue to be saturated with white, able-bodied, cisgender, heterosexual men indefinitely

     

    Obviously, there are disadvantages to being left handed--a lot of stuff is built for right handed people, which can lead to accidents, which is grossly unfair and still needs to be addressed more adequately--but you aren't going to be overlooked for a job purely because of your left handedness. No one is going to say you're too stupid for a job because you're left handed. No one is going to ignore the school you went to when looking for hires because it's a "left handed school." You'll experience some difficulties in life due to being left handed, but you're not marginalized, victimized, nor oppressed, and therefore are not even remotely in the same category as people of color, women, or transgender people (transexualism is something entirely different, thanks). 

     

    Companies like Apple need to keep striving towards being inclusive and diverse, and being transparent about that diversity, precisely because of people like you, who don't even understand what a minority is.

  • Reply 15 of 58
    jdwjdw Posts: 1,085member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Splif View Post

     

    What makes you think this isn't about cultivating talent?

    http://www.urbanfaith.com/2011/10/steve-jobs-passion-for-diversity.html/


    That article notwithstanding, it is a known fact Steve Jobs preferred to deal with a team of people numbering 100 or less, mainly because he couldn't remember more names than that.  Steve Jobs was not buddy-buddy with every member of Apple, but rather the core people.  Consider well that Apple has 98,000 employees.  The diversity the article talks about focuses on ALL 98k, not core groups.  So in my post, I was talking about the core groups of engineers, Mr. Ive's team, etc. — those with whom Mr. Jobs would have conversed regularly.  Mr. Jobs always sought A-players for those teams.  He probably didn't mind if a B, C or even D player manned the front desk at Apple HQ.

  • Reply 16 of 58
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 5,992member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Sevenfeet View Post

     

     

    Asking Apple for specific hiring data does a few things.  First, it makes Apple more transparent about their hiring practices which is always a good thing.  Second, it gives our communities better data to go back to the collegiate and secondary school level to convince leaders to allocate budget to encourage more kids (especially those in predominately children-of-color districts) to reach for careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math).  Finally, a productive dialogue with the hiring managers can lead to better, targeted recruiting.  There might be a great engineering student at Tuskegee University who will invent the next great thing a company would want, but if your company doesn't come there to recruit, then the opportunity may be lost.




    Why does Apple even "need to be transparent about their hiring practices"??  They are not discriminating in their hiring practices.  70% of their staff are white males?  So what?  Do you think some head guy at Apple is telling HR to only hire white engineers, or asian ones?  I know you don't think so.  They are hiring the best-qualified HUMANS for the job at hand that they are introduced to.  Key word - "introduced".



    What you propose should always be done regardless of what hiring-data of any company says.  Period.  You want to help bring awareness to your group?  Great!  Please do that!  Always put them out front and center.  Latinos and asians also.



    I want color/gender to be completely irrelevant when it comes to hiring.  Statements like "Tim Cook wants his company to reflect society" is great on paper and good for the media, but in the end I don't care.



    Obviously, if Apple only employed white males, with blonde hair and blue eyes obviously that would make even me raise an eyebrow.  However they are not.  Out the companies that are doing bonafide discrimination.  Leave good companies like Apple alone.  

  • Reply 17 of 58
    frykefryke Posts: 217member
    There's a really important sentence in the article that isn't getting enough attention: "Apple has invested more than $50 million in various nonprofit organizations dedicated to increasing the representation of women, minorities and veterans in tech."

    If you have an under-representation of African-American, Asian and Latino people at a company and also an under-representation of them applying for jobs, you can't simply start to hire "diversity" over "talent". It would quite simply be _wrong_ to do so. You have to start in education to change the picture.

    Apple, as a company, can of course say that given five candidates with "the same talent" should look after diversifying. But five candidates _never_ have the same talent. And can you, or rather should you, really tell someone: "Well, you were just as good as the other women/men, but you were simply too white..."?

    The goal is that the colour of your skin and your mother tongue do _not_ play a role in hiring in my opinion. Artificially creating diverse teams so the photos look good cannot be the answer.

    (I work in a team of seven where each person has quite a different background. Works perfectly, btw. Even if each person could get the feeling of being "the quota something".) ;)
  • Reply 18 of 58
    genovellegenovelle Posts: 1,392member
    sflocal wrote: »

    Why does Apple even "need to be transparent about their hiring practices"??  They are not discriminating in their hiring practices.  70% of their staff are white males?  So what?  Do you think some head guy at Apple is telling HR to only hire white engineers, or asian ones?  I know you don't think so.  They are hiring the best-qualified HUMANS for the job at hand that they are introduced to.  Key word - "introduced".


    What you propose should always be done regardless of what hiring-data of any company says.  Period.  You want to help bring awareness to your group?  Great!  Please do that!  Always put them out front and center.  Latinos and asians also.


    I want color/gender to be completely irrelevant when it comes to hiring.  Statements like "Tim Cook wants his company to reflect society" is great on paper and good for the media, but in the end I don't care.


    Obviously, if Apple only employed white males, with blonde hair and blue eyes obviously that would make even me raise an eyebrow.  However they are not.  Out the companies that are doing bonafide discrimination.  Leave good companies like Apple alone.  
    I don't think you get it. It only takes a few people at the top of the HR chain to steer the hiring direction. The CEOs would never know until someone shines a light on it. I have still seen people hired into or promoted into positions when there are candidates that blow them out of the water, because they look a certain way. It all depends on who is in charge. Companies like Apple that are striving to do better have someone at the top paying attention, but Cook wasn't until the issue was brought up. That's how you can still have police forces in some areas that are nearly all white in predominately black areas in 2015.

    Apple releasing this data does several things. It challenges other companies to do better, it insures they stay the course, it encourages students of color to pursue technical careers, because they see hope in getting a job. These kids know plenty who have gone into this field, made excelled in school, but could rarely get past the first interview, if they got that one. After months or years of trying they just give up and take something in a different field, while white candidates that performed in a lower level had offers before graduation.
  • Reply 19 of 58
    ceek74ceek74 Posts: 324member

    I wouldn't hire a plumber to wire my house nor a carpenter to fix my car.

  • Reply 20 of 58
    hodarhodar Posts: 348member
    @sevenfeet

    When you recruit for a "specialty", you go to schools with a track record of delivering excellence in this "specialty". For example, if you want great Engineers, you go to schools that are KNOWN for their engineers, schools such as MIT, Stanford, Georgia Institute of Technology and University of California at Berkley. These schools EARNED their position.

    So sit and whine that they don't go to primarily Black schools is both racist and elitist. You are saying that because of your race, you are entitled to something automatically, that every college in the nation must compete for. Colleges do not give a crap what your race is, nor should they. It should be a meritocracy. If you want attention, I suggest you EARN it - just like everyone else. And by earn it, I mean you compete on equal footing with everyone else. That shouldn't be too much to ask.

    You are self-serving a select group, yet ignoring everyone else. Why is it that students from India, China, Japan can achieve success, without playing the race card? Perhaps because they EARNED their success, like everyone else did; through hard work.
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