Tim Cook is ‘personally involved’ in improving diversity at Apple Inc.

“Apple knows it needs to do more to encourage diversity, but it will take time to show real results in the numbers, the company’s head of human resources said Tuesday,” Shara Tibken reports for CNET.

“The ‘diversity challenge… didn’t happen overnight so it’s not going to be changed overnight,’ Denise Young Smith, Apple’s vice president of worldwide human resources, said during the Fortune Brainstorm Tech conference in Aspen, Colorado,” Tibken reports. “‘Diversity as a concept should be part of your talent strategy,’ Smith said. ‘It means you’re… all of the obvious things like race, gender, sexual orientation, but diversity is different… Different is our legacy at Apple.'”

“Apple CEO Tim Cook has tried to inject more diversity in Apple’s management team. He promoted Eddy Cue, a Cuban, to his role as senior vice president of Internet software and services in October 2012. Cook also named Angela Ahrendts, the former Burberry CEO, as Apple’s head of online and in-store retail. In addition, he appointed Susan Wagner, a director at BlackRock, to Apple’s board in place of long-running director Bill Campbell,” Tibken reports. “Smith on Tuesday noted that Cook has been ‘personally involved’ and is ‘incredibly personally committed’ to efforts to boost diversity at Apple.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: 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 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


      1. I don’t think when it comes to diversity that they are talking about a behavioral parameter like sexual orientation but rather the diversity of physical attributes, like tall, short, fat, skinny, brown hazel eyed people of diverse hair color.

    1. “Diversity” unfortunately does not mean to normal people what it does to Tim Cook.
      Actual diversity and tolerance means being prepared to listen to others who do not view the world your way, it does NOT mean hiring a woman or an Indian and issuing press releases with the ‘news’.
      Cook is absolutely not by any stretch of the imagination open to anybody’s views but his own.
      I would consider his company “diverse” the day Mr. Cook invites a conservative or *shudder* a real live Christian to occupy a position of power at Apple.
      That’s hilarious.

      1. Well introducing the idea of Tim Cook not being normal to other people is an interesting approach, and then tolerance. I don’t see where diversity requires a need to listen to others.

        I wouldn’t be too surprised that Cook is absolutely open to nobody’s view but his own. After all he is an American and I’m quite familiar with their levels of intolerance and their incapacity to listen to common sense. Then again he’s an individual so he might be open to listening to others’ views. In fact I think part of the process of where he got today requires one to be a good listener.

        Again the parameters of diversity the way I see it for this situation is more toward the physical attributes of skin color and gender like MDN pointed out and hair color, height and weight.

        In terms of your diversity attributes the political and religious beliefs I believe are private and nobody’s business if so wanted.

        The way you handles diversity, hilarious.

  1. Not a good sign for the future of Apple business.

    Like Cook’s letter coming out as homosexual. First few lines saying he is not an activist – but that is exactly what his letter made him be. Not seeking “attention?”

    Cook find the best person you can and hire them. Only people that don’t care about Apple the company care of the person gender, sexuality etc…

    Not a good sign for Apple.

    1. “Best person” is a nice theory.

      But the well studied fact is that the resumes with the name “John” on them get markedly more responses than the SAME QUALIFICATIONS with only the name changed to Jamal.

      I don’t personally agree with going the other way to affirmative action. But I do think conscious AND unconscious discrimination need to be addressed, and that ALL ELSE BEING EQUAL (i.e. qualifications) a balance should be actively sought.

      1. I believe that the hiring process should kinda work like this. HR or a computer picks candidates. The candidates are assigned a number, and a skills assessment and education background, and work experience one sheet is prepared based on the resume. The one sheets are given to the manager doing the hiring. He has no indicators as to appearance or gender. The manager decides who to interview based on the one sheets. It could even be taken one step further. The manager could be kept blind during the interview.

  2. This is not a perfect world, nor will it ever be one.. the only factor that should play into a hire is whether that hire is the best person for the job, not skin color race, or gender… all of which get far too much attention.. Technically at a base level, we are all human, we can try and sub categorize people all we want, and that’s what divides us all…

  3. i said it often before , for many jobs that require higher education, employment stats should reflect Education stats. Some groups simply do not want study certain fields and you can’t make your company reflect national demographics as certain groups do not have the graduates.

    Take a look at Caltech stats for it’s student body:

    Asian : 40%
    Black or African American : 2%
    White 31%
    Hispanic 10%
    Mixed: 5%
    Others: 11%

    Male: 62%
    Female 38%

    Almost all the tech colleges around the country have similar distorted demographics like that. (It actually is even WORSE. Asians are being held back by racial QUOTAS in many colleges otherwise there will be even more of them there. There are current lawsuits in several colleges including Harvard to address this) There’s no way a company hiring tech staff can be ‘diverse’ according to national population stats without being bias against some groups like Asians or Whites.

    For the diversity fighters First fight and cajole the constituencies that you think are underrepresented to STUDY .. starting from Grade School or younger (forcing Colleges to accept subpar candidates is just as wrong as forcing companies to accept subpar employees due to diversity — so students should start working at it from an early age to get good high school results )

    (about education and the whining about minorities being discriminated against, I would like to point out Asians are even smaller minority than African Americans and have almost zero political clout , no Jesse Jacksons or Al Sharptons who pressure schools yet are able to produce large numbers of tech graduates… )

    (btw Apple has donated money to various education causes for the underprivileged )

    and One more time as I I’ve posted before ..
    why don’t diversity worriers FIGHT FOR OBVIOUS BIAS IN ORGANIZATIONS LIKE THE NBA WHERE 76% OF THE PLAYERS ARE AFRICAN AMERICANS ?? why shouldn’t the NBA hire some more ASIANS or whites ?
    weird that people like Jesse jackson never talk about things like that…
    (personally for me when I watch sports I’m not into diversity i just want the BEST. Shouldn’t this be the same for Apple, i.e get the BEST … ? )

    1. Those types of statistics exist for all technical colleges. And this is despite their use of illegal methods (i.e. reverse descrimination) to increase diversity.

      Those disgusting little “race” checkboxes should be outlawed and eliminated from all applications for work, college, etc. They only enable a racially discriminatory system.

    1. What is is with these whiny crying Republicans. What a bunch of babies. The slightest hint of losing their white privilege and they have a tantrum. Grow up and stop quoting Ann Cutler and Fox News. At least they know they are lying and using you.

      1. Are you deranged? “White privilege”??
        You mean the “privilege” of living in a nice neighborhood because I actually work and don’t sell drugs???
        And who is Ann Cutler?

  4. Anyone wondering what ever happened to the once great company where comments about quality were amazingly rare can now add this Tim Cook priority to the ever expanding list of reasons why we need a new CEO. Whenever political and personal agenda motivation guides decisions, the inevitable result is to sacrifice quality and the rest of what once set the company apart. Very sad.

  5. This is all a bunch of BS. Apple just promoted 3 white men. One to a c-level position the other two to VPs reporting directly to the CEO. Companies hire and promote the best people for the job. All this diversity nonsense is just PC lipservice.

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