Apple’s Board of Directors says a call for diversity is ‘unduly burdensome and not necessary’

“When Apple released its diversity report last August, CEO Tim Cook noted that ‘we know there is a lot more work to be done,'” Alice Truong writes for Quartz. “So it’s curious that ahead of a shareholder meeting in February, Apple’s board of directors is recommending that investors vote against a proposal to increase the diversity of its board and senior management.”

Apple’s eight-member board is “dominated by white men, with three exceptions: former Boeing president James Bell, who is black; BlackRock cofounder Susan Wagner; and Grameen America CEO Andrea Jung,” Truong writes. “In 2015, Apple reported that 54% of its US employees, including its retail staff, were white, but that number increases to 63% when zooming in on its execs.”

“The proposal by investor Antonio Avian Maldonado II criticizes Apple for being ‘painstaking slow’ to increase representation of minorities in its leadership and board,” Truong writes. “In a proxy statement filed Jan. 6, Apple’s board called Maldonado’s proposal ‘unduly burdensome and not necessary,’ citing its ongoing diversity efforts.”

Read more in the full article here.

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

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. Amazing! It seems like you are advocating a ‘keep America white and run by the whites’ movement. Do you have to wash your own pointy white hat and white robe or do you send them out to the cleaners (run by the brown or black people)? You don’t want those ‘coloureds’ having any say in things, right?

      1. According to the US Census Bureau, US population by ethnicity, 2015:
        White: 62.6%
        Hispanic: 17.1%
        Black: 13.2%

        Why exactly should a company be forced to hire people based on arbitrary ‘diversity’ guidelines that aren’t reflected in the actual population?

      2. Merit, nothing but merit 9s what qualifies anyone for any position at Apple.

        What is this nonsense racist bulshit that wants to be injected here?!

        Apple is an example of corporate fairness

      3. Race, gender, and orientation has never been, and never will be relevant when it comes to business.

        What IS important is teamwork. Each individual affects the entire company as a whole, thus, when there is an issue with an employee, there is an issue with the company.

        Every company, every branch of the military, every business, large and small, can only achieve success through teamwork and finding common ground. This has been a universal concept since the dawn of time.

        Put individuality behind you. You may be unique genetically, but you are a team player, plain, and simple. You are no more nor any less special than any other person in that team.

        This is why the PC industry does so poorly — there’s no uniformity. It may dominate the market in overall sales, but when it comes to customer satisfaction, it’s a very different story.

        Apple has been consistent in quality and customer service because they are the ones who engineer the software and the hardware, working together as a single integral system top to bottom.

        Think of the Apple experience as a team, where every part is a system of gears, each gear no more or no less important than the other. They must all function, or the computer will not work.

        This is why I’ve stuck with Apple, even during hard times, because I know that a good system, solid from the ground up will stay the course.

        A good business will be profitable if every person works as part of a team.

        This isn’t an idea or a concept. This is a known fact.

      4. You are why the US and the West in general sucks right now. It’s your racial paranoia, your Don Quixote quest to find archaic racists under every bed, regardless of what anyone has said or even implied.

        The people who see color are you and your fellow travelers. No-one else cares. We want the people who bring the creativity and discipline to the job.

        People with racial chips on their shoulders should just go away.

  1. Hold on… Apple’s 8 person board of directors is “dominated” by white men, yet 3 of them (almost half) are not white men?

    You don’t make a shareholder mandate to hire a black guy, Asian woman, or whatever… what if there are no suitable candidates that fit their criteria? Do they just get somebody in there to fill a spot? This is not what diversity is supposed to be.

    Apple should hire the best people for the job. And part of the criteria for judging that should be whether they have the diversity of culture, experience and thought that is needed for the role. In many cases, that should be a minority or woman.

    1. Not to mention the 5 white men are not entirely pure white.
      Furthermore, only a few of these males are heterosexual.
      Funny how diversity has to be such a visual thing.
      Once the world mixes its races to all tanned – are we still going to fight over this diversity crap? Oh the Oscars are not fair; mainly white are being nominated. Tony says it right.
      Thx Tony.

  2. The board is misguided. What they want is not to increase diversity directly, or artificially. What they need to do is eliminate recruitment bias (or take steps to reduce it). But Apple is already doing this anyway.

    While this may be a semantic difference for some, and many wouldn’t really even see any, there is a fundamental difference between forcing greater diversity and reducing (and eliminating) hiring bias.

    In every industry, and especially in the tech industry, we all suffer from a strong hiring bias. We always tend to hire people who more-or-less look like us, regardless of how well they may fit in the team, or if better, more qualified and more compatible candidates exist who look different. Tech industry id largely dominated by white males, with a smaller proportion of Asian and South Asian men. The strong tendency is to hire men like them, which is why many women struggle to advance in tech, which is home to most socially inept men of the society.

    Companies that successfully eliminate (or reduce) this hiring bias have much more efficient workforce, with better quality of talent, and most often, a coincidental consequence is a more diverse workforce.

    1. “What they need to do is eliminate recruitment bias”…

      Nicely said. This has been studied over and over — as simply as presenting the same resume for a potential call-in for an interview, with either a white sounding name or a black sounding name. The white names, of course, get way more calls.

      What is NOT needed is artificially bumping somebody up the line BECAUSE of country of origin, skin color, religion or whatever.

    2. Thanks, Predrag, for pitching the need to eliminate “hiring bias”.

      I work at Apple and I absolutely treasure the diversity in my immediate and my larger group. More non-whites than whites, but we’re hungry for skills not being pushed in our schools these days. A nice mix of women for such a technically-oriented group. My immediate management layers: SE Asian/Islander male at level 2; white female, SE Asian male, Indian male at level 1.

      Diversity rocks the casbah! Bring on those perspectives different than my own. They are enriching for me, both personally and professionally.

      But I’m not playing numbers games when interviewing (and recommending hires). It’s a straight technical/professional evaluation of the candidates and that’s what my management has always wanted from me.

    3. Thanks for your support.

      It seems clear that you are acquainted with the relevant scientific research that seeks to explain human biases and underpins efforts by human resources departments to overcome them. Unlike most commenters you exemplify reason, rather than lazily participate in the currently popular backlash against political correctness.

      It isn’t good enough to cry “merit!” You need to remove the blinders that demerit candidates who don’t look like you.

      1. The problem is not that people are bad, or bigoted, or racist (although some people are, but most aren’t). The essence of the problem is that all of us have subconscious inherent biases that compel us to seek out people who are like us. The more different they are, the more resistant we are to consider including them in our circle. This is a historical legacy of the time when we had ethnic nation states, which were in a frequent state of war with neighbours, which meant, if you aren’t like me, you are my enemy. Things have changed since the middle ages, but that inherent fear of people who don’t look and speak like you is still there, and research largely confirms this.

        America is a very peculiar place, unlike pretty much the rest of the world. It is a bipolar political battlefield, where you essentially have a two-party political dictatorship and an electorate profoundly convinced they are living in the greatest, most democratic and free of all societies in the world. That belief tends to bring out the entitlement to think that they have largely overcome all the wrongs of the pasts, such as inequality, racism, gender, ethnic, religious or any other bias. Of course, research out there proves that, while there is a significant improvement over the period 40 years ago, there is still a strong gap and it is persistent.

        What is needed is consistent, effective and coordinated training in order to recognise this selection bias and neutralise it. Once we learn how to ignore subconscious signals to hire a white man for the job among other white men, and look at the skill set, experience and personality behind the physical person, we will give our team an edge by getting the best available talent for the money, and most likely, we’ll also end up with a more diverse team.

        1. A much simpler look at this is; everyone is everyone else 63 cousin. Thanks to human DNA. There no longer is a pure race — and colour, sex, money nor religion nor thought or one’s thinking, should be used against anyone in favour of another. Specially in the workforce. Those who are extremely capable and have proven their abilities should be selected for the position – and the result could appear all Asian. People need to stop this complete cry for unfairness – though discrimination still exists.

  3. So……all white men think alike….don’t want to suggest that the belief that we do think alike could possibly be rac..t, but…….

    I can’t imagine why I would hire someone just because they looked like me. That would be silly when it is easier to hire by actual qualifications. Of course that would be simple, logical, but certainly not politically correct. But thats just me.

    1. Well, it may just be you, but research suggests that not just all white men, but everyone seems to have this inherent, subconscious bias. We need to make a conscious effort in order to overcome this bias. There is nothing inherently racist about this bias; it is not a result of racist upbringing or ideology. It is a natural thought process that is the result of historical legacy of defending ourselves from those who want us harm. Throughout the history, people that were different (different skin colour, different language, different religion) went to wars against each others, and human race was essentially conditioned to perceive those that aren’t like us as a threat. And we still subconsciously do. We aren’t aware of this, and that is what creates this bias; when we are convinced that our selection of a white man (for example) was because he was the best candidate, and not because we liked him better because he was also white.

      The same bias persists among Asians, or Blacks. Obviously, while this is the same type of problem, with the same kind of consequences (failure to hire the best candidate), but it is below anyone’s radar as such situations are exceedingly rare (for obvious reasons — there are far fewer situations where non-whites are the majority in the position to make a hiring decision).

  4. Whining political correctness babies everywhere. Wahhhhhh, we need more diversity, wahhhhhhh. STFU. Hire the best. Dump the rest. If that means your favorite faggot didn’t make the cut, get over it.

  5. That means that 62.5% of the board are white males. Meanwhile 74.4% of NBA players are black males (at least according to Wikipedia). Does that mean the NBA is 11.9% more racist? Give me a break!

  6. You want new ideas you need different people. The board has a bunch of 1%er’s. Same ideas, look the same, think the same, nothing new coming out of this group. Really the board is about yes men. No CEO wants someone on the board that says no, so, the person will not recommended to join the board

      1. That’s a joke right. Apple was not started by a group of !%er’s.
        And then it was a group, 1%er’s, that got rid of Jobs… And then the 1%er’s almost close the doors at apple forever.

        Suckers come to mind, they can sell you people cow pie tea.

        Well enjoy.

        1. Ha! Back then the concept of 1% didn’t exist. Jobs was ALWAYS about making money and was a 1%er from moment Apple went public. Being a 1%er is a state of mind as much as anything else. Take all the money from the 1% and spread amongst the other 99%, and those same people will shortly rise back to 1% bracket because of what they are made of. This money envy is destructive. I’m no 1% but I don’t begrudge those that are. Those I know didn’t get there through cheating or screwing the little guy. They are just smarter and more driven. Their earnings don’t subtract from mine. Wealth makes wealth.

    1. You are a bigot. You think people who look the same as other people necessarily have the same ideas. My geez. That is stunningly ignorant, but I wouldn’t expect anything else from the jealous-of-other-folks’-money crowd.

  7. Bringing on a few token “minorities” just for the sake of having them is stupid. Why must we constantly worry about race? Why can’t Apple and other companies simply hire the best qualified people regardless of their race? What if the best qualified people just happened to all be black women? Would these same people be whining to hire more white men? I don’t think so. Those who insist on doing this are the real racists. They can’t see past the color of someone’s skin, and they care nothing about a person’s true qualities beyond the superficial. If Apple caves on this, then my days as an Apple customer will be numbered. This is bullshit.

  8. “Diversity” is a pointless political gesture that kowtows to people whose primary experience of tech is complaining about microaggressions on social media. It’s a social justice shakedown.
    Diversity spending is at best a speculative investment. If there is any peer reviewed research that says these efforts lead companies to greater profits, I have yet to read it.

  9. Go to any school of engineering on any campus in America and take a look around.

    It is a sausage fest- guys everywhere and very few African Americans – the usual suspect for complaints about diversity. This despite massive long-standing programs trying to recruit women and minorities into the field.

    There is no discrimination against ethnic minorities or women in tech. None. They are meritocracies.

    In order to get into the game, underrepresented groups need to get off their ass, stop bitching about inclusion and sign up for the classes- and degrees- necessary to go to work and earn a shot at the executive suite.

    Tim Cook is a world class expert at supply chain management and contributed mightily to the growth at Apple by moving it from a high cost producer to a low cost producer. People like Avie Tevanian and Bertrand Serlet- both former executives at Apple- were world class software engineers. Tony Faddell, another former executive, was the guy behind the iPod and iPhone teams that did the hardware engineering.

    Not many with degrees in Sports Management, Communications or Business and not much demand for them.

    I as a shareholder do not care if they hire someone with pointy green ears like Mr Spock as long as they are the best person for the job. As a shareholder I do object if they start hiring based upon quota instead of qualification.

    Can I get an Amen?

    1. Not only are there a high percentage of males in engineering schools, this happens at a time when women comprise 57% of all college students. It’s a war on men. Women are already overrepresented in college but demand special treatment for one area where men excel.

  10. As ever, the only question is:

    Q: Are you qualified?

    Knowing how difficult it is for often brilliant people to acquire a decent education in our increasingly Neo-Feudal world, I’d very much enjoy seeing Apple contribute directly to providing technology education scholarships. THERE is an opportunity to enable diversity.

    1. Women and racial minorities are qualified for scientific and technical jobs. Never doubt that. Also never doubt that bias exists in all humans and can only be nullified by fairness rules in the hiring process.

      If it hadn’t been for much-maligned affirmative action, I’d never have got my start in engineering. The college had to grudgingly accept me. And later in the jobs market, I still remember guys on the hiring committee muttering about pregnancy leave, about special protection for frail femmes around electrical generators, about losing new hires to marriage. All those excuses constituted bias, and I fought them and won. Still, I wasn’t accepted gladly into the fraternity.

      And yes, this happened decades ago…but no reasonable person would admit that gender and racial bias have disappeared since then. Even social engineering by the government hasn’t eliminated that, and you can see it in the comments in this very website.

      1. Every reasonable person doesn’t carry around grudges from 30+ years ago.

        You’re angry that different perspectives than your own still exist? Time to ratchet up that government spending and stamp out diversity of thought and politics! Then you will be free. Oh, and a couple of million dead males wouldn’t hurt, am I right?

        You leftists are all the same – bigoted, censorious, and totalitarian until the end.

      2. I always enjoy your spirit.

        The guys-afraid-of-girls thing (and other variations of bias) never made sense to me. It’s ancient.

        Here in the USA, the racial bias thing has a bizarre persistence. I see it in real time but am not enough of an historian to understand how exactly it has been reinforced over time.

        Any way, bright, capable people of whatever gender and race ABOUND in the world. Missing their talents is a profound disservice to our species and our endeavors.

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