Apple’s diversity data is no better than Facebook’s

Apple’s diversity data is no better than Facebook’s

While Apple claims to have hired more diverse candidates in the last 12 months, its diversity data for 2015 shows globally 69% of Apple’s total employees are men, and only 31% women

“Apple is open. Open to everyone, regardless of where they come from, what they look like, how they worship, or who they love.”

This magnanimous statement is part of a long note written by Apple Inc. chief executive officer (CEO) Tim Cook while announcing the company’s diversity data on 13 August 2015, published on its website. The Inclusion and Diversity report presents gender, race and ethnicity data as of 27 June 2015. However, the picture does not look so promising going by the numbers.

The diversity data for 2015 shows that globally, 69% of Apple’s total employees are men, as compared to women who are 31%. Things have not changed since 2014, where the men-women employee ratio was 70:30.

Global gender figures for 2015 show that men hold 79% of all the tech jobs in Apple as compared to women who hold 22% of tech posts. Men also sweep the race in both leadership, and retail leadership with 72% and 68%, respectively. Women were way behind at 28% and 32%, respectively.

Apple claims that in the last 12 months, it has hired more diverse candidates than in any other year as part of its commitment to creating a truly inclusive company. The percentage of new hires in the last 12 months include 35% women (globally), and in the US 19% Asians, 13% Hispanic and 11% Black.

Apple’s diversity report comes close on the heels of recent reports from other technology companies such as Google Inc. and Facebook Inc. and serves to reiterate that Silicon Valley is not as diverse as it would like to be.

Google data showed that women comprise only 30% of the company’s total workforce. 21% women are in leadership roles whereas 17% are in technology-related jobs. At Facebook, women form 32% of the total employee base and hold a meagre 16% of tech posts. Compared to both Facebook and Google, Apple is a wee bit better with 22% women in tech jobs.

No wonder this prompted Cook to write: “We know there is a lot more work to be done.”

So what are the measures Apple is taking to drive up diversity? Besides hiring more inclusively, the company lists out a number of initiatives it has planned to make its workplace more diverse.

Apple has joined US President Barack Obama in supporting the ConnectED initiative by providing its technology and products to students and teachers across 114 underserved schools across the US. Each student and teacher are provided with an iPad, and a MacBook, and each classroom an Apple TV to empower them technologically. Other initiatives include introducing kids to coding at the Apple store, organizing field trips and Apple camps to keep kids glued to technology and lastly to improve the gender balance by encouraging women to be part of the tech industry and thus build a vibrant tech community.


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