Reverend Jesse L. Jackson, Sr.
Comments on Apple Diversity and Inclusion Record
August 13, 2015
“Today, Apple released its diversity and inclusion report. It shows solid, measurable progress as the company seeks to fulfill their view that “diversity is critical to innovation and it is essential to Apple’s future.” (Tim Cook)
As Rainbow PUSH and others have advocated, Apple for the first time released its formal Equal Employment Opportunity report (EEO-1). That’s a positive step and we hope that other tech companies do the same. But RainbowPUSH has asked companies to go beyond the EEO-1 report and provide additional, comprehensive, transparent data points, showing year over year numbers and percentages relating to hiring of women and people of color in the tech and non tech sectors; in leadership positions; retail; and their supplier diversity spend. This data provides a much clearer picture of what companies are actually doing.
Apple has done that, reporting that they have “hired over 11,000 women globally… more than 2,200 Black employees — a 50 percent increase over last year — and 2,700 Hispanic employees, a 66 percent increase. 50% of their new hires this past year have been women and people of color.” (Tim Cook) Tim Cook and Apple are driving innovation in diversity, and are showing measurable and quantifiable results. Hiring 2200 African Americans and 2700 Latinos is perhaps the highest numerical increase – in the last 12 months - shown by any tech company. (Their full report is at http://www.apple.com/diversity/)
Earlier this year, Tim Cook said, “we are wrong,” referencing the virtual exclusion of people of color in the industry. He, along with Intel CEO Brian Krzanich, are provided the type of high level leadership the industry needs to change the face of technology.
This is a watershed week for propelling the tech diversity and inclusion agenda forward. HP broke new ground by appointing two African Americans to each of its two new companies (HP Enterprise and HP Inc.); Intel reported significant and measurable progress in their diversity hiring in perhaps the most aggressively transparent report provided by any company in the industry. Now Apple has leaned in.
While progress among other companies has been disappointingly slow – high on initiatives but low on hiring – these three companies are providing much needed momentum to the tech diversity and inclusion PUSH for 2015.
I said to Apple at their shareholder meeting this March, “Apple is one of the greatest innovators in the world - - - from the IPad and IPhone and now the IWatch – you make products that transform the world. I urge you to use that same power and genius to transform the culture of Silicon Valley - to transform the workforce, leadership and Boardrooms to look like America and the communities you depend upon for success. Apple and this thriving Silicon Valley are solving the world’s most challenging and complex problems. Diversity and Inclusion is a complex problem – if we put our collective minds to it, we can solve it, too.
Apple and the tech industry has demonstrated that it can solve the most challenging complex problems in the world. Inclusion is a complex problem – if we put our collective minds to it, we can solve it, too. “
RainbowPUSH is excited to join with Apple and partner with them to implement the “tech 2020” initiative, and to engage and empower people, businesses and communities of color who can change the face of technology. That continues to be the civil rights challenge of this era, and we intend to keep pushing for racial equality and economic justice.