Shareholder resolution looks to force Apple to put more ‘people of color’ in high-profile positions

“Apple Inc. shareholders could make history next year by deciding whether the company should be forced to increase the number of non-white executives and directors, with a vote on a proposal the iPhone maker has tried to squelch,” Laura Colby reports for Bloomberg. “A resolution submitted by an investor who lives in New York and London would require Apple to put more ‘people of color’ in such high-profile roles to increase diversity. Apple told the Securities and Exchange Commission that it believes it doesn’t have to include the proposal in its proxy materials, contending it’s an attempt to ‘micromanage’ recruitment.”

“The SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance said in a Dec. 11 letter that the agency didn’t agree with the company. But it’s up to Apple whether to bring the matter to a vote at the 2016 annual meeting, which hasn’t been scheduled,” Colby reports. “The company could decide not to include the matter in its proxy. That could bring an enforcement action by the SEC. The proposal for an ‘accelerated recruitment policy’ was submitted in September by Antonio Avian Maldonado II, who owns 645 Apple shares. He said he was spurred to act after looking at photos of the directors with his teenage son, who asked him why nearly everyone was white. The board is ‘a little bit too vanilla,’ said Maldonado, the creative director for Insignia Entertainment, a music company.”

“At Apple, the percentage of blacks and Hispanics in top positions has declined, according to the company’s website, with Hispanics at 6 percent last year, down from 11 percent in 2014, and blacks at 3 percent, down from 7 percent. Managers of Asian descent went to 21 percent from 15 percent,” Colby reports. “Six of the eight Apple directors are white. Andrea Jung is Asian-American and James A. Bell, an African American, joined the board in October.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Getting the absolute best people should remain Apple’s ultimate 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 Apple and everyone involved.

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

How do we ever get to the point where people “will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character,” when we insist on judging people by the color of their skin?

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


    1. If you tell me you hired me, even just in part because my skin is brown, I’d start looking for another job. I would feel disgusted and cheated.

      For a company like Apple to hire you, particularly for high level and engineering jobs is an achievement to be proud of. If you are told it is because you have the right skin tone or genitals, it robs you of the achievement. It is condescending. It is the worst kind of patronizing RACISM. You feel inferior.

      UNDERSTAND THIS. It’s NO DIFFERENT really than being DENIED a job because of your race. Either way you are denied the satisfaction of saying I earned this. Either way you are reduced to nothing more than your skin color or your genitals.

      Who among you would want this? Seriously. Liberals I’m talking to you. If you ran an Olympic race and came in third, but the judges pushed you up to first because of your skin color, would you accept the award? Really? Would you feel as if you won? Would you be proud of what you had done? Could you look your competitors in the eyes and say I am as good as you?

      THIS DOES ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO RECTIFY ANY GODDAMN SOCIAL INJUSTICES. In fact, if anything, artificial diversity is a set back. It is garbage “everyone gets a trophy” social engineering that necessarily lowers the standards of hiring for those organizations that practice it.

        1. TMac, I agree with your post in the sense that I have never seen a case in which quotas were a good or effective solution. But a concerted effort to seek diversity is a good thing, in my opinion. After nearly three decades in the workforce, it is clear to me that there is a general, inherent bias towards similarity in terms of management and promotion. In the U.S., that gives white males the advantage in many of the higher paying professions and in upper management. But I have also witnessed the negative effects of forced acceleration of diversity. The advancement for a few, if they do not perform well, can come at the expense of a negative attitude towards others and limit their advancement opportunities in the future. At my workplace, we have gone through mandatory diversity training. It was difficult at times, and many of the older employees grumbled that we were being blamed for events in which we had no involvement. But the counter argument was that we benefitted from those events, even though they occurred decades or centuries ago. And the training helps many employees to recognize that there are hidden and unrecognized biases and to consciously make an effort to move past them.

          TT, conservatism is not a “gospel,” and the fact that you consider it to be a religion is highly troubling. That means that you consider anything labeled “conservative” to be superior and correct and are unwilling to consider any challenge to the contrary. It means that your mind is closed and that your politics operate on faith. That is highly undesirable. I think for myself – I do not blindly adhere to a ny belief system, political, religious, or,otherwise. I challenge you to do the same.

          I hold some viewpoints that are conservative and others that are liberal, according to your definitions. I cannot wholly ascribe to either U.S. political platform because both are artificial constructs with their own inconsistencies, contradictions, and illogic. Both platforms carry some concepts to the extreme, supporting positions that are ultimately indefensible. And both parties are currently detrimental to the future of this country, promoting policies that will ultimately bring this country to fiscal ruin.

    2. Singling me out and giving me an award because I am black disparages me and robs me of as much self respect as singling me out because I am black and discriminating against me. Either way you are forcing me into a category outside the norm. Flip the coin and you are STILL CALLING ME NIGGER. You are STILL A RACIST.

  1. Character & Acumen, NOT color or gender should dictate future hires. Reverse discrimination is rampant throughout this country and quite frankly is disgraceful as well as destructive.

    Instead of lowering the bar, how about raising the bar & SEEK EDUCATION in a field you LOVE and you will never WORK a day in your life.


  2. Live well and qualify on MERIT, nothing but MERIT – One and all.

    Enough with spiteful, blind, stupid politics.

    MDN take- 👍👍👍👍👍

    Happy, Healthy, Fair and Peaceful New Year.

    1. I do not disagree with the concept of merit-based recognition, awards, and promotion. But I would like to point out that management in each company defines those criteria and judges the performance of individual employees against those merits. Consciously or not, biases can favor particular groups of people based on a variety of unwritten preferences. Awareness of that fact can help. And each generation needs to work on making progress towards a more enlightened society.

  3. Somehow this is acceptable to an evolving America? “The way to stop discriminating on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.” Justice Roberts.

  4. It’s more important to fill positions based on qualifications and ability. Forcing companies to have a certain number of employees based on skin color or ethnicity is counter productive. Might as well say companies need X number of Catholics, Baptist, and every other denomination. Might as well make sure you cover sexual preference also.

    1. I agree entirely! What the guy with 600 shares (are you kidding me?) wants Apple to do is to evaluate people by ethnicity and skin color and not ability. That’s discrimination in reverse. AAPL signifies Apple Corp., a technology company, not the United Nations.

    1. Sadly that is what make racism rear its ugly head even more, forced diversity. Damn the colour of your skin, sexual orientation or religious beliefs, only the best qualified need apply. Thank you, just my honest opinion!

  5. Funny how all the white people are bashing this. Racism is alive and will always be alive until this white privilege thinking goes way of the dodo. For the record, I applied for a job at APPLE, they never even bothered to look into my application, and I know I am qualified. I guess I wasn’t white enough for them!

    1. Does anything on your application read like your post here?

      Most companies are more interested in people who are passionate about something, the world has enough ‘injustice collectors’ already.

    2. No, no, no, no, turn this around and look in the mirror. It is because of people of colour believing this crap about everyone else and remembering what white people did to them HUNDREDS of years ago the racism is truly alive. Get life and live as a HUMAN being, not a person of colour. Under the skin we are all the same. I am sick and tired of people using the Race colour to get their point across. It gets absolutely nothing accomplished but generate more racism.

      1. It is great that you think that way. Regrettably, a good majority of white America continues to harbour strong bias. Every once in a while, some TV news station does an experiment, where they send resumes for a job opening to some local company, putting names like Shaquana Jones, Deshondra Wilson, Rayshaun King, and similar, mixed in with Oliver Harrison, Julia Richards, Fujiko Kawamura, with almost the exact same qualifications and experience, then see the company only call the names that sound ‘white’ (or Asian), ignoring those that sound ‘black’. Add to that numerous studies, older, as well as recent, that clearly show consistent and strong gender and racial bias, and you can see how the idealism of your statement is still far off.

        1. Typical pie-the-sky Dem/Lib/Prog claptrap. Here’s how it works in the real world. I apologize upfront for introducing pragmatism into your usual fantasyland:

          Did you ever think that firms simply avoid the “Shaquana Jones, Deshondra Wilson, Rayshaun King, and similar” names because they don’t want to deal with the potential racial discrimination lawsuits that might result if they ever wanted to get rid of a underperforming employee?

          In other words, might those hiring think to themselves: “Let’s just avoid any problems. If we hire “Shaquana Jones,” we’re quite likely to be stuck with her even if she’s a horrible employee unless we want to deal with wrongful termination lawsuit claiming racial bias. “Oliver Harrison, Julia Richards, Fujiko Kawamura,” we can fire if they don’t work out because they generally don’t sue.

        2. “Regrettably, a good majority of white America continues to harbour strong bias.”

          Oh, the irony of your simple leftist mind-clutter.
          That is a perfect statement to sum up ‘open-thinkers’…..

          1. I don’t quite see what is your points, as you aren’t really arguing anything other than spewing some common labels.

            There is plenty of empirical evidence that confirms that white Americans continue to exhibit strong racial and gender bias when hiring. This is detrimental to their business (as it often eliminates from competition talent that is superior, simply because of race or gender). I would like to see empirical evidence supporting the opposite claim.

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