“In a rare interview, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that society, including the tech community, is not moving fast enough on issues like equal rights and diversity,” Anita Balakrishnan reports for CNBC.

“‘I think the U.S. will lose its leadership in technology if this doesn’t change,’ Cook said to The Plainsman, the student newspaper at his alma mater,” Balakrishnan reports. “‘Women are such an important part of the workforce. If STEM-related fields continue to have this low representation of women, then there just will not be enough innovation in the United States. That’s just the simple fact of it,’ [Cook said].”

“Apple has pledged millions to support historically black colleges and universities, and also supports the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, National Center for Women & Information Technology and the National Society of Black Engineers,” Balakrishnan reports. “But as of June of last year, 32 percent of Apple employees are women, and 22 percent are underrepresented minorities, according to Apple’s website.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Would that such depth of thought and intensity of conviction have been given to certain Apple products and services over the last several years.

Hey, how about a woman CEO who not only understands and cares about professional Mac users, but who can also manage to ship and launch timely products on schedule with adequate supply?!

That said, as we wrote back in July 2014:

Diversity is good, but getting the absolute best should remain the goal. Forced diversity carries its own set of problems. Would the group be comprised of the best-qualifed people possible or would it be designed to hit pre-defined quotas? Would some employees, consciously or unconsciously, consider certain employees, or even themselves, to be tokens meant to fill a quota? That would be a suboptimal result for all involved.

The best and desired outcome is for this to work in Apple’s favor. Truly looking at qualified people from a larger pool would result in delivering different viewpoints and new ways of looking at things and tackling problems than a more homogenized workforce would be capable of delivering.

Regardless and of course, someday it sure would be nice for everyone to just be able to evaluate a person’s potential, not measuring and tabulating superficial, meaningless things like skin color and gender.

Apple’s “Inclusion and Diversity” page is here.

SEE ALSO:
Apple’s board has urged shareholders to reject proposal to tie executive compensation to racial diversity quotas – February 27, 2017
Apple Inc. fights shareholders group demand for more diversity – February 15, 2017
Apple’s Board of Directors says a call for diversity is ‘unduly burdensome and not necessary’ – January 15, 2016
Apple leads Facebook, Intel, Cisco, Google on gender diversity among Bay Area companies – November 17, 2015
Apple’s latest diversity report shows progress – August 13, 2015
Tim Cook is ‘personally involved’ in improving diversity at Apple Inc. – July 14, 2015
Apple donates over $50 million to diversity efforts – March 10, 2015
Apple CEO Tim Cook met privately with Jesse Jackson regarding diversity – December 9, 2014
Apple adds Vice Presidents, more diversity to Executive Leadership Team – August 15, 2014
A message from Apple CEO Tim Cook on diversity – August 12, 2014
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
Apple changes bylaws after facing criticism about lack of diversity on board – January 9, 2014