Tech's diversity problem (both in terms of gender and ethnicity) has been well documented. But in the name of transparency Apple has decided to release its own numbers for scrutiny, following similar moves by other major players.
To get straight to the likely unsurprising news, Apple is pretty white and pretty full of dudes. Out of Apple's 98,000 employees, 70 percent are male and 55 percent are white. When you look at leadership, the numbers skew even more heavily – 72 percent male and 64 percent white.
This puts Apple at the less-diverse end of a spectrum that consists of Google, Yahoo, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and eBay. Apple joins Google and Twitter at that end of the spectrum (both also reported 70 percent male). Out of all the major diversity reports previously released, eBay 'wins' with an only 58 percent male workforce.
Like Google, Facebook, and everyone else, Apple's CEO Tim Cook is not happy about these numbers but is committed to making progress.
"Apple is committed to transparency, which is why we are publishing statistics about the race and gender makeup of our company. Let me say up front: As CEO, I’m not satisfied with the numbers on this page. 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," he says in an Apple-ized diversity report page, just released today.
Cook does make a good point that the term 'diversity' represents other differences in the human condition other than sex and race – although those are the two specific figures that all these tech companies are voluntarily reporting.
"Our definition of diversity goes far beyond the traditional categories of race, gender, and ethnicity. It includes personal qualities that usually go unmeasured, like sexual orientation, veteran status, and disabilities. Who we are, where we come from, and what we’ve experienced influence the way we perceive issues and solve problems. We believe in celebrating that diversity and investing in it," says Cook.
Like Facebook, Google, and many other tech companies, Apple is and has been for some time, a huge supporter of human rights causes. This is undeniable. But when it comes to their own hiring practices, these companies known that a 70/30 male to female ratio just isn't going to cut it anymore. It'll be incredibly interesting next summer, when these companies all reveal their second diversity reports. Will all this attention the issue is receiving have changed anything by then?
Image via screenshot, Apple.com