Apple praised and slammed for representation of women at March event

Posted:
in General Discussion edited March 9
More women presented at its March 8 Apple Event than ever before, and it happened without Apple patronizingly championing the fact. Yet behind the scenes, the company is still apparently failing its staff in this regard.

Colleen Novielli, product line manager, Mac, introducing the Mac Studio
Colleen Novielli, product line manager, Mac, introducing the Mac Studio


Four of the seven presenters at Apple's March 8 event, and all six developers interviewed, were women. On the face of it, the only sensible comment to make is, "So what?"

Except we are embarrassingly still in the situation where women contributors are unusual enough that it gets noticed. It's better today than it was, now an all-male Apple presentation would also be noticeable, and would just seem peculiar.

There is yet further to go, though, before we reach "so what?" And when we get there, it will be in part because of people and companies using women and men for what they do and say, rather than ever because of their gender.

This ideal of selecting people on merit is regularly used as a criticism of quotas that aim to make sure women are better represented. It is completely true that a role or a job should go to the best person, but historically and shamefully it has just automatically gone to a man anyway.

Quotas and merit

Maybe Apple had a self-imposed quota to fill to offset, as it has been male-heavy since inception. After all, the company does talk a lot about equality, and Tim Cook just tweeted in support of International Women's Day.

But Apple didn't showcase any quota, it didn't make a meal out of how it's finally using women presenters. Whatever steps Apple took, whatever decisions it made to create the March 8 event, the result was that there were a lot of presenters and interviewees, and it just so happens that many were women.

That is a good and right result, except there is a problem. Apple is doing the right thing by its presenters, but at the same time, it's seemingly not doing the right thing at all by its women staff.

In response to the praise Apple got for its March 8 event use of women, ex-Apple software engineer and #AppleToo founder Cher Scarlett tweeted that, "video representation is great, but it's not enough."

Most of the other women I knew in engineering teams at Apple were the only women on their teams.

24% of "tech" workers are women. We found >40% of that were sw/hw engineers.

Video representation is great, but it's not enough.#AppleEvent #InternationalWomensDay

-- Cher Scarlett #FreeUkraine (@cherthedev)


Tim Cook's tweet about International Women's Day also came in for some specific criticism.

I reported a manager at my Apple Store for trading sex with female employees for better schedules directly to you several times and nothing was done about him. So no. I'm not here for this bullshit, @tim_cook #appletoo https://t.co/lqBsgrnoef

-- Bree Schmidt (@B_Schmidt)

Two sides of Apple

This dichotomy between the public face of Apple and its business operations could be getting better. In 2021, it was reported that Apple's hiring data showed an increasingly diverse workforce - but then later in 2021, a survey showed a 6% wage gap between men and women.

It took more than 30 years for Apple to appoint a woman to its board of directors, with Andrea Jung joining in 2008. The second was Susan Wagner, in 2014.

Today, Apple's Leadership page lists 18 executives. Two women are senior vice presidents, while three more are vice presidents.

Ultimately. it won't be about the numbers. It shouldn't be about the numbers. But right now it still has to be if Apple is to rid itself of the historic male bias and get us to the right "so what?" state.

Read on AppleInsider
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 45
    iOS_Guy80iOS_Guy80 Posts: 661member
    All the presenters were professional, informative, knowledgeable and had a good on camera presence. What more could you ask for. End of subject.
    mike1magman1979psliceGG1entropysfastasleepmacseekergephyrophobiajony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 45
    bsimpsenbsimpsen Posts: 376member
    1) I care. During my 35 year engineering career, I worked with hundreds of white male engineers, perhaps a dozen males of color (mostly Asian, two Indian) and two white females. I encountered zero females in top management. Only four of my engineering school graduating class of 150 were women, The few women I had the pleasure of working with where bright, motivated, thoughtful, and frustrated by the lack of opportunity, even in places where management seemed progressive. I want better for women because they’re more than half our future, they’re undervalued and I want their different perspective involved in my decision making.

    2) If you don’t care whether Apple’s workforce has the diversity of its public face, why do you care whether Appleinsider does?
    foregoneconclusionOferfastasleep
  • Reply 3 of 45
    XedXed Posts: 1,522member
    iOS_Guy80 said:
    All the presenters were professional, informative, knowledgeable and had a good on camera presence. What more could you ask for. End of subject.
    I like the increased presence, and agree with William's statement that  "we are embarrassingly still in the situation where women contributors are unusual enough that it gets noticed", but I don't think they most of the presenters had a good presence. There were a lot of weird pregnant pauses, odd arm gestures, and unusual cadency that I felt took away from the amazing product presentation. Now, this Is (somewhat) resolvable with training, but these presenters seem more like one-offs, not using the same presenters every time like in the past.
    magman1979watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 45
    The women (and men) did an outstanding job at Apple’s event. This seems obvious. 

    Countering the male biased argument in America (not talking about Apple here). It is currently in fashion to ask for one gender, race and event sexual orientation in the name of equity. Equity currently being defined as equal outcome along these 3 demissions. I disagree that historical male biased is the sole cause for female representation in the top1% of jobs.

    - Men are 10 times more likely to die on the job than females.
    - Men represent 93% of those in prison
    - Men are 50 times less likely to have primary custody of their children then females
    - women, on average in Silicon Valley, make 6% more than men. 
    hpemagman1979elijahgjony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 45
    red oakred oak Posts: 964member
    The best, most impactful employees are the ones who should get to present.   Period.  

    When one group is significantly over-represented, it's transparent and looks forced.  And, it de-values those presenters  as just on stage to achieve a "quota".    What happens to the morale of the over-achieving, highly qualified white males at Apple who were passed over just so a woman could be on stage?    That undermines the whole meritocracy of the company culture.  It is a cancer

    IMO
    edited March 9 libertymattersITGUYINSDmagman1979designromasouhpeGG1lam92103elijahggephyrophobia
  • Reply 6 of 45
    ilarynxilarynx Posts: 25member
    The women (and men) did an outstanding job at Apple’s event. This seems obvious. 

    Countering the male biased argument in America (not talking about Apple here). It is currently in fashion to ask for one gender, race and event sexual orientation in the name of equity. Equity currently being defined as equal outcome along these 3 demissions. I disagree that historical male biased is the sole cause for female representation in the top1% of jobs.

    - Men are 10 times more likely to die on the job than females.
    - Men represent 93% of those in prison
    - Men are 50 times less likely to have primary custody of their children then females
    - women, on average in Silicon Valley, make 6% more than men. 
    This falls in the "127% of people believe any statistic presented to them" category. 

    In addition to the stats presented here having no relevance to the subject at hand, they cite no source. Anyone can pull a number out of their... hat (e.g. "98.5% of people suffering from male fragility are also involuntarily celibate.") A number/statistic citing no source should be considered BS until proven otherwise.

    Apple is making progress on the gender equity front, but it, along with the entire tech industry, has a long way to go.  
    Oferweirdsmithwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 45
    red oak said:
    The best, most impactful employees are the ones who should get to present.   Period.  

    When one group is significantly over-represented, it's transparent and looks forced.  And, it de-values those presenters  as just on stage to achieve a "quota".    What happens to the morale of the over-achieving, highly qualified white males at Apple who were passed over just so a woman could be on stage?    That undermines the whole meritocracy of the company culture.  It is a cancer

    IMO
    Exactly.  Progressives will and are ripping apart the social fabric of companies in the name of equity.
    red oakmike1magman1979omasouGG1elijahgMicDorseywatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 45
    hpehpe Posts: 4member
    bsimpsen said:
    1) I care. During my 35 year engineering career, I worked with hundreds of white male engineers, perhaps a dozen males of color (mostly Asian, two Indian) and two white females. I encountered zero females in top management. Only four of my engineering school graduating class of 150 were women, The few women I had the pleasure of working with where bright, motivated, thoughtful, and frustrated by the lack of opportunity, even in places where management seemed progressive. I want better for women because they’re more than half our future, they’re undervalued and I want their different perspective involved in my decision making.

    2) If you don’t care whether Apple’s workforce has the diversity of its public face, why do you care whether Appleinsider does?
    Similar to my experience. Of 180 CS majors only 12 were female. But if the graduation classes look like that, how do you expect the representation in upper managers to be much different? Unless you think the female engineers are better on average, any deviation from what you see at university would mean discriminating the male engineers. 🤷‍♂️

    The only way to solve the problem and not just highlighting the symptoms is to encourage young women to apply for engineering school.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 45
    I watched a TC show called explained and they explained this wage gap between women and men. The main cause seemed to be that when some women have kids they go and stay home and look after the kids so it does not give them a chance to stay in the work force and further advance their career.  
  • Reply 10 of 45
    hpehpe Posts: 4member
    ilarynx said:
    The women (and men) did an outstanding job at Apple’s event. This seems obvious. 

    Countering the male biased argument in America (not talking about Apple here). It is currently in fashion to ask for one gender, race and event sexual orientation in the name of equity. Equity currently being defined as equal outcome along these 3 demissions. I disagree that historical male biased is the sole cause for female representation in the top1% of jobs.

    - Men are 10 times more likely to die on the job than females.
    - Men represent 93% of those in prison
    - Men are 50 times less likely to have primary custody of their children then females
    - women, on average in Silicon Valley, make 6% more than men. 
    This falls in the "127% of people believe any statistic presented to them" category. 

    In addition to the stats presented here having no relevance to the subject at hand, they cite no source. Anyone can pull a number out of their... hat (e.g. "98.5% of people suffering from male fragility are also involuntarily celibate.") A number/statistic citing no source should be considered BS until proven otherwise.

    Apple is making progress on the gender equity front, but it, along with the entire tech industry, has a long way to go.  
    Are they making progress. I am an engineer with a CS major. I started studying in 1998 so I am now of an age where some of my peers have reached top positions. There was 180 of us… only 12 were female… how can you expect to have a more even outcome in upper management 25 years later? That is saying that the women that do study this and related fields are on average that much better than their male peers… and this is not a random statistic. Wherever you look, you can be sure the female students of CS or electronics are a very small minority. Currently, you are discriminating men to reach a political goal. That is at best fighting the symptom and not the disease. At worst it is highly discriminatory towards male engineers.
    You should not correct a wrong with implementing another wrong.
    What should be done is figuring out why there are so few female students of CS. Encouraging future female engineers to take those classes.
    Requiring tech companies to hire from a small subset of the talent pool and expect them to be competitive is naive.
    randominternetperson
  • Reply 11 of 45
    hpe said: Currently, you are discriminating men to reach a political goal. That is at best fighting the symptom and not the disease. At worst it is highly discriminatory towards male engineers.
    LOL...the male/female population is roughly equal, which means the discrimination part already occurred in favor of males with your group of 180. You don't need to "figure out" what caused fewer females to be CS majors. It's gender bias in society.
    Oferfastasleep
  • Reply 12 of 45
    hpe said: Currently, you are discriminating men to reach a political goal. That is at best fighting the symptom and not the disease. At worst it is highly discriminatory towards male engineers.
    LOL...the male/female population is roughly equal, which means the discrimination part already occurred in favor of males with your group of 180. You don't need to "figure out" what caused fewer females to be CS majors. It's gender bias in society.
    This demonstrates a profound misunderstanding as it completely ignores that the disparity results from individual choices. There are many disparities in life that are not the product of discrimination or gender bias. Tearing down meritocracies and using affirmative action to change such discrepancies perpetuates discrimination. 
    BeatsrandominternetpersonelijahgMicDorsey
  • Reply 13 of 45
    hmlongcohmlongco Posts: 411member
    red oak said:
    What happens to the morale of the over-achieving, highly qualified white males at Apple who were passed over just so a woman could be on stage?
    So true. Male egos are so delicate and fragile. There are no doubt dozens of over-achieving, highly qualified white males at Apple who're now quietly sobbing in their cubicles, "I didn't get to be on stage! I didn't! I didn't! Oh, the world is SO unfair!!!!"

    If only there was some way to find out who they were. You could send them some flowers or candy or something...

    /s
    muthuk_vanalingamBeatsOferfastasleep
  • Reply 14 of 45
    A story that only a white male could have told. Come on Apple Insider.  You can do better than that. Where are the minority reporters?
    Beats
  • Reply 15 of 45
    BeatsBeats Posts: 3,073member
    I watched a TC show called explained and they explained this wage gap between women and men. The main cause seemed to be that when some women have kids they go and stay home and look after the kids so it does not give them a chance to stay in the work force and further advance their career.  

    There is no wage gap. It’s been debunked every year since the 70s.

    this is like how feminists cling on to an event that happened 100 years ago that is also filled with myths.
    elijahg
  • Reply 16 of 45
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,553administrator
    A story that only a white male could have told. Come on Apple Insider.  You can do better than that. Where are the minority reporters?
    Not presently on shift. Or, would you somehow rather women and minorities get no time off?
    edited March 9 bsimpsenOferred oakmacseekerwatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 45
    mike1mike1 Posts: 3,075member

    Ultimately. it won't be about the numbers. It shouldn't be about the numbers. But right now it still has to be if Apple is to rid itself of the historic male bias and get us to the right "so what?" state.


    So, you're advocating quotas and reverse discrimination until exactly 50% of every job function is women???
    elijahgMicDorseywatto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 45
    BeatsBeats Posts: 3,073member
    hpe said: Currently, you are discriminating men to reach a political goal. That is at best fighting the symptom and not the disease. At worst it is highly discriminatory towards male engineers.
    LOL...the male/female population is roughly equal, which means the discrimination part already occurred in favor of males with your group of 180. You don't need to "figure out" what caused fewer females to be CS majors. It's gender bias in society.

    Just like 99% of brick-layers and miners are men!!

    https://youtu.be/KhQBkb2zkzo

    society needs to stop being biased!!!!
    elijahgMicDorsey
  • Reply 19 of 45
    All the presenters did a good job, end of.

    However to do a video on cooling fans in studio mac, nahhh.
    randominternetperson
  • Reply 20 of 45
    hexclockhexclock Posts: 1,076member
    Did it ever occur to anyone that maybe women as a whole just aren’t that interested in computers as a job? Women have low representation in a lot of skilled trades as well. Perhaps women don’t want to swing a hammer or lay bricks either. 
    edited March 9 randominternetpersondesignrelijahgMicDorseytoddzrxwatto_cobra
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