“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.”
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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