Apple has released its first diversity and inclusion report since naming Denise Young Smith as VP of diversity and inclusion in May. It’s also Apple’s first report since Donald Trump took the office of president of the United States.
Let’s get into the numbers, which are as of July 2017. Apple is still 32 percent female worldwide. In the U.S., Apple is 54 percent white (down two percentage points from last year), 13 percent Hispanic (up one percentage point), nine percent black (no change), 21 percent Asian (up two percentage points), three percent multiracial (up one percentage point) and one percent other (no change).
From July 2016 to July 2017, Apple says half of its new hires in the U.S. were from historically underrepresented groups in tech (women, black, Hispanic, Native American, Native Hawaiian & Other Pacific Islander). Apple’s new hires also reflect more diversity than its current employees. For example, 11 percent of Apple’s new hires were black compared to its current black employee population of nine percent.
While Apple has a larger percentage of black and Hispanic employees than many other tech companies, it’s important to note that some of them are in lower-paying retail roles. Eighteen percent of Apple’s retail employee base is Hispanic, 13 percent are black, 7 percent are Asian and 57 percent are white.
At the leadership level, Apple is still predominantly run by men who make up 71 percent of the leaders at Apple worldwide. And white people make up 66 percent of the leaders at Apple in the U.S. Only 3 percent of Apple’s leaders in the U.S. are are black, only 7 percent are Hispanic and just 1 percent are multi-racial.
Diversity at the leadership level is a bit of a heated subject. Apple shareholder Tony Maldonado has called on Apple several times to implement an “accelerated recruitment policy” in order to increase diversity at the senior management level and board of directors.
But Apple’s board of directors has repeatedly shot it down. In January, the board said the policy “is not necessary or appropriate because we have already demonstrated our commitment to a holistic view of inclusion and diversity and made detailed information about our inclusion and diversity initiatives, and the progress we have made with respect to these initiatives, available on our website at apple.com/diversity.”
Apple, of course, is a large company, with 130,000 employees worldwide and 83,000 in the U.S. It’s a large company with high retention rates, sources say. That means change may happen slowly.
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Apple laid out the information on an updated diversity and inclusion site, which now prominently features a video with a female Muslim employee wearing a hijab as the still image. This is notable given Trump’s racist policy attempts against Muslim people. Above the video, the text reads:
Humanity is plural, not singular. The best way the world works is everybody in. Nobody out.
The video goes on to talk about how Apple celebrates differences, and embraces different faiths and cultures.
Some data that’s missing from this report includes people with disabilities, age, veterans, LGBTQ status and intersectional identities. According to Apple’s 2016 EEO-1 report, we do know that 9 percent of employees at Apple were women from underrepresented racial groups in tech.
As I mentioned, this is the first report under Smith’s leadership. Smith previously served as head of worldwide human resources at Apple for three years, but had been involved in diversity programs at Apple for years.
Last month, Smith came under fire for some comments she made during a panel at the One Young World Summit in Bogotá, Colombia. She later apologized, saying she regretted her word choice in her answer to a question regarding whether or not black women were a priority for her in her role. Moving forward, the spotlight will remain on Apple, especially as the company approaches a trillion-dollar market valuation.