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?

SEE ALSO:
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

57 Comments

  1. There was a time when one could be reasonably sure that Apple employed the cream of the industry. That’s definitely not the case today – mostly because the sheer size of Apple means drawing in large numbers of so-so talent. Statistically speaking, talent is evenly distributed across all races so if Apple is mostly white they are filling jobs with less talented people in lieu of the best people.

    Racism remains endemic in the USA and it will be many years before blacks, Latinos and others are represented in sensible numbers in senior jobs at American companies. In the meantime Apple needs to be recruiting young talent from diverse raves and backgrounds and providing them with the experience and skills to advance to senior roles.

    Apple’s reluctance here is not a good look.

  2. Caltech Enrolment 2015-16

    Whites 27%
    Asian 45%
    Underrepresented Minorities ( Hispanic, African Am, etc) 16%
    International 8%
    Mixed 3%
    Unknown 1%

    Men 61%
    women 39%

    From PREVIOUS YEARS stats where they broke down the numbers more African Americans make up less than 2%.

    Practically All the top tech colleges have similar stats including in areas where there are high populations of the so called ‘underrepresented minorities’.

    ——–

    Seriously maybe the kid and his dad who are wondering about why Apple doesn’t have so many of certain race should ask WHY THOSE RACES DON’T STUDY TECH.

    and you can’t say ‘discrimination’ in colleges because aren’t ASIANS a ‘minority’ (with practically no political power as they are few in number) get in . (actually there is REVERSE BIAS as many qualified asians are refused entry into colleges and jobs because of racial max quotas)

    (Please note the college data from previous years are even more skewed i.e there were vastly more men and whites. To reach the highest ranks of apple typically means you should have graduated many years ago)

    to be clear what i’m saying is that Apple should reflect more of college graduation stats in respective fields rather than ‘national demographics’.

    Note Apple has poured tens of millions into schools to help African American and other minorities.

  3. Equity
    The quality of being fair and impartial: equity of treatment.
    Equality
    The state of being equal, especially in status, rights and opportunities.

    We should strive for equity- not equality. Full equality for all is impossible. None of us will ever be able to play Basketball like Jordan, make people laugh like Robin Williams, write like Hemingway or play Bass like Stanley Clarke just because of some mandate.

    Apple should not hire anyone because they are of a particular gender, race, ethnicity, nationality or religious preference. They should hire the best applicant for each position regardless of demographics. To hire less than the best is to settle for mediocrity.

    As a shareholder and customer, I would support Apple using scholarships, internships and mentoring programs to encourage members of minority groups to enter STEM degree programs. That will make more qualified applicants available and is a wise investment of time, money and effort.

    Tell the PC police to go pound sand.

  4. It’s OK if you’re not impressing the world with astounding diversity numbers as long as you are hiring people most qualified in character, skill, ambition.

    . . . . . otherwise one day in the future you will wakeup and find “oh,oh, we have more than our quota of ‘B’ and ‘C’ players—how did that happen. But we have very, very impressive industry-leading diversity numbers—we have every color of the rainbow. And we have midgets and giants, blind people in wheel chairs, paupers and millionaires, rappers who like to swear—celebrating correctly all sexual, cultural and religious preferences.” Don’t discriminate and deny any ‘A’ players because they are snow white males and don’t give you fantastic industry-leading diversity stats. Don’t discriminate against brilliant snow white male born-again Christians/Buddhist monks who may work a lifetime with empathy, compassion and incredible drive for perfection and want to make the world a better place for everyone. I do think Apple will/have get/got the diversity thing right some way or other and hire ‘A’ players by their skill/character/heart and ignore the temptation to let body-mind characteristics over-ride chasing after diversity applause and give everyone an equal/fair opportunity whatever their situation. Hire by skill/ability/character/heart/motivation and let the chips fall where they may. Tim is a numbers guy—which could be dangerous—but his heart is in the right place and he is driven to get it right and do what is right.

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