At Apple, our 98,000 employees share a passion for products that change people’s lives, and from the very earliest days we have known that diversity is critical to our success. We believe deeply that inclusion inspires innovation.
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.
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.
Inclusion and diversity have been a focus for me throughout my time at Apple, and they’re among my top priorities as CEO. I’m proud to work alongside the many senior executives we’ve hired and promoted in the past few years, including Eddy Cue and Angela Ahrendts, Lisa Jackson and Denise Young-Smith. The talented leaders on my staff come from around the world, and they each bring a unique point of view based on their experience and heritage. And our board of directors is stronger than ever with the addition of Sue Wagner, who was elected in July.
I receive emails from customers around the world, and a name that comes up often is Kim Paulk. She’s a Specialist at the Apple Store on West 14th Street in Manhattan. Kim has a medical condition that has impaired her vision and hearing since she was a child. Our customers rave about Kim’s service, and they say she embodies the best characteristics of Apple. Her guide dog, Gemma, is affectionately known around the store as the “seeing iDog.”
When we think of diversity, we think of individuals like Kim. She inspires her coworkers and her customers as well.
We also think of Walter Freeman, who leads a procurement team here in Cupertino and was recently recognized by the National Minority Supplier Development Council. Last year, Walter’s team provided over $3 billion in business opportunities with Apple to more than 7,000 small businesses in the western United States.
Both Walter and Kim exemplify what we value in diversity. Not only do they enrich the experience of their coworkers and make our business stronger, but they extend the benefits of Apple’s diversity to our customers, into our supply chain and the broader economy. And there are many more people at Apple doing the same.
Above all, when we think of the diversity of our team, we think of the values and ideas they bring with them as individuals. Ideas drive the innovation that makes Apple unique, and they deliver the level of excellence our customers have come to expect.
Beyond the work we do creating innovative tools for our customers, improving education is one of the best ways in which Apple can have a meaningful impact on society. We recently pledged $100 million to President Obama’s ConnectED initiative to bring cutting-edge technologies to economically disadvantaged schools. Eighty percent of the student population in the schools we will equip and support are from groups currently underrepresented in our industry.
Apple is also a sponsor of the Human Rights Campaign, the country’s largest LGBT rights organization, as well as the National Center for Women & Information Technology, which is encouraging young women to get involved in technology and the sciences. The work we do with these groups is meaningful and inspiring. We know we can do more, and we will.
This summer marks the anniversary of the U.S. Civil Rights Act of 1964 — an opportunity to reflect on the progress of the past half-century and acknowledge the work that remains to be done. When he introduced the bill in June 1963, President Kennedy urged Congress to pass it “for the one plain, proud and priceless quality that unites us all as Americans: a sense of justice.”
All around the world, our team at Apple is united in the belief that being different makes us better. We know that each generation has a responsibility to build upon the gains of the past, expanding the rights and freedoms we enjoy to the many who are still striving for justice.
Together, we are committed to diversity within our company and the advancement of equality and human rights everywhere.
Apple’s diversity webpages are here.
Jesse Jackson calls on Obama to scrutinize tech industry’s ‘lack of diversity’ – July 28, 2014
Tim Cook: Apple will release diversity data ‘at some point’ – July 9, 2014
Jesse Jackson targets tech’s lack of diversity; sends letter to Apple, Google, HP, others – March 19, 2014
U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. blames Apple iPad for killing thousands of American jobs – April 16, 2011