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Apple releases Diversity Report, minority hiring up
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Aug 13, 2015, 06:04 PM
 
Apple has released its 2015 Diversity Report, covering trends in hiring and efforts to offer more opportunity to groups traditionally discriminated against in the white-male-dominated tech field. While in some specific areas, the company has made notable progress (such as hiring more women), the issues presented by the previous shutting-out of certain minorities is apparently going to take a long-term commitment to fix.

The new report tries to be transparent about both its successes and ongoing challenges. Overall, the picture hasn't altered much: Apple's global employee count is 69 percent male and 31 percent female, changed only slightly from last year's 70-30 split. Being a US-based company, whites still account for the biggest share of race at 54 percent, followed by Asians (who have long been a big part of the California population makeup for the last two centuries) at 18 percent.



Apple increased hiring of women by 65 percent over last year, adding more than 11,000 women to its global workforce. Hiring of Hispanics was up 66 percent, and hiring of Black employees was up 50 percent. Apple CEO Tim Cook mentioned in remarks in the report that the numbers are less driven by diversity for diversity's sake, but to seek out -- and importantly, help develop -- top talent in traditionally overlooked or discriminated-against groups, such as women or the handicapped, to widen the range of perspectives and backgrounds that contribute to the "think different" philosophy. Cook said that he felt that "diversity is critical to innovation, and it is essential to Apple's future."

"We must address the broad underlying challenges, offer new opportunities, and create a future generation of employees as diverse as the world around us," he said. "We also aspire to make a difference beyond Apple," referring to the company's many outreach programs that encourage traditionally-overlooked minority groups to study and enter the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math fields (STEM).

"We are proud of the progress we've made, and our commitment to diversity is unwavering. But we know there is a lot more work to be done," Cook said. "Some people will read this page and see our progress. Others will recognize how much farther we have to go. We see both. And more important than these statistics, we see tens of thousands of Apple employees all over the world, speaking dozens of languages, working together. We celebrate their differences, and the many benefits we and our customers enjoy as a result."
     
jameshays
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Aug 13, 2015, 06:31 PM
 
I'm not against hiring minorities, but I despise hiring minorities for the sake of hiring minorities just to fill a quota. I wonder what the relationship is between hiring to fill an artificial quota and the sub-par software that Apple has been pumping out lately.
     
Mike Wuerthele
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Aug 13, 2015, 06:47 PM
 
Are you kidding me with this statement?
     
aSevie
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Aug 13, 2015, 08:24 PM
 
Yeah, forget about the best and brightest, lets go with a friggen quota system. Give me an f'ing break.
     
Charles Martin
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Aug 13, 2015, 11:19 PM
 
I think Cook has made it pretty clear that Apple's not pursuing a "quota system," but trying to diversify the pool of talent generally to groups that have traditionally been discouraged from careers in tech. I'm sorry you somehow missed that in his remarks, or in his emphasis on how diversity leads to innovation. Statements like that of jameshays and aSevie demonstrate the skewed perspective that gives the term "white privilege" its reason for existence.
Charles Martin
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Flying Meat
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Aug 14, 2015, 11:33 AM
 
Focusing on diversity isn't the same as ignoring quality. It means your hiring staff are less likely to fall prey to bias. It's a conscious decision to do better at being objective.
I fully understand this isn't a switch one can flip for instant results. It will take several years, and focused HR and hiring policy, to effect significant results.
Good for you, Apple! Good for everyone.
     
mac_in_tosh
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Aug 14, 2015, 12:05 PM
 
" I'm sorry you somehow missed that in his remarks, or in his emphasis on how diversity leads to innovation."....I'm for diversity for its own sake, because people shouldn't be discriminated against because of their background. But I never quite got the idea of how it leads to innovation. Certainly people with different technical backgrounds in a group should make it more innovative. But for a technical organization, just because one is white, one is black, one is Asian etc....I don't get it. Any concrete examples out there?
     
Charles Martin
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Aug 15, 2015, 11:42 PM
 
mac_in_tosh: I can't speak for Cook, but what I understood that remark to mean was that people of different cultural backgrounds will have different interpretations of how to solve a problem or invent something new. To use a race-neutral example, a kid who grew up in a rural environment where supplies were difficult to get might have a different take on how to fix a hardware issue than a city kid who could easily lay hands on the usual parts or approach needed. Perspectives of race, culture, age, education, gender and many other factors have different ways of looking at the world -- the more diversity you can get in brainstorming session, the more ideas and approaches you're likely to discover.
Charles Martin
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