By BRIAN X. CHEN NY Times
AUGUST 12, 2014 4:35 PM 24 Comments
Timothy D. Cook, Apple's chief executive, said he was "not satisfied with the numbers" in the company's diversity report.
Similar to other Silicon Valley tech companies, Apple has a work force that is composed mostly of men, and most of them are white.
The company on Tuesday published statistics on the makeup of its work force of 98,000 employees in terms of race, ethnicity and sex. It said 30 percent of its employees worldwide were women. In the United States, where Apple is based, 55 percent of the employees are white, 15 percent are Asian, 11 percent are Hispanic and only 7 percent are black.
Apple joins a number of American companies, including Google, Facebook and Twitter, that have recently released so-called diversity reports in response to pressure from the civil rights activist the Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, who has called on tech companies to release this data about their work forces.
Apple’s report shows it is slightly more diverse than other tech giants, at least in terms of ethnicity. Apple’s percentage of white American workers (55 percent) is lower than Google’s (61 percent), Twitter’s (59 percent) and Facebook’s (57 percent).
Apple published a letter from its chief executive, Timothy D. Cook, alongside its diversity report. Mr. Cook noted that Apple’s definition of diversity goes beyond ethnicity and gender and includes other personal qualities like sexual orientation, disabilities or veteran status.
Though Apple’s overall work force teeters heavily toward white men, Apple, under Mr. Cook’s leadership, has steadily added women or minorities to its executive roster. Crucial hires and promotions include Angela Ahrendts, who oversees Apple’s retail operations, and Denise Young-Smith, who took over human resources. In July, Apple also added a woman, Susan L. Wagner, to its boards.
Still, Mr. Cook admitted he was not happy with the results of the report.
“Let me say up front: As C.E.O., I’m not satisfied with the numbers on this page,” Mr. Cook wrote. “They’re not new to us, and we’ve been working hard for quite some time to improve them. We are making progress, and we’re committed to being as innovative in advancing diversity as we are in developing our products.”
In an interview, Mr. Jackson said he was glad that Mr. Cook had chosen to reveal the report under his signature. He said the publication of diversity reports by Apple and the other tech companies was a step in the right direction. In the fall, he plans to hold a public forum, which will include the tech companies that have disclosed diversity data, to talk about a plan of action to help close the diversity gap.
“We think Silicon Valley is the fastest growing industry in America,” he said. “We must be forward-thinking and inclusive in ways we have not been before.”