Apple Inc. fights shareholders group demand for more diversity

“Silicon Valley has a long way to go on diversity, but most tech companies would argue that they’re making progress,” Jacob Kastrenakes reports for The Verge. “Apple also claims to have removed pay disparities and has made slight gains on hiring women and people of color. It’s even launched an ‘Inclusion & Diversity’ page with visualizations of its hiring data.”

“But a small group of Apple investors believe the company isn’t making progress fast enough, and they’re trying to force the company to pick up the pace. ‘Some of the excuses given by Apple and others — there’s not sufficient people in the pipeline, this and that,’ says investor Tony Maldonado. ‘Excuse my language, it’s bullshit,'” Kastrenakes reports. “Maldonado is leading an effort to mandate that Apple accelerate its work toward becoming a more diverse company. For the second year in a row, he’s submitted a shareholder proposal asking that Apple ‘adopt an accelerated recruitment policy… to increase the diversity of senior management and its board of directors.'”

“Maldonado says that could include tying executive pay to diversity goals, as Intel and Microsoft have done, or adopting a board refreshment policy, requiring the company to regularly explore potential new board members from diverse backgrounds,” Kastrenakes reports. “In a filing with the SEC, Apple’s board wrote a note recommending that shareholders vote against the proposal. The company argues that it already has ‘much broader’ diversity efforts at work and, in the past three years, has made ‘steady progress in attracting more women and underrepresented minorities.’ The proposed policy, Apple concludes, ‘is not necessary or appropriate because we have already demonstrated our commitment to a holistic view of inclusion and diversity.'”

Much more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote back in July 2014:

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’s “Inclusion and Diversity” page is here.

SEE ALSO:
Apple’s Board of Directors says a call for diversity is ‘unduly burdensome and not necessary’ – January 15, 2016
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

32 Comments

  1. Diversity is just another quota system flung on companies by liberals. Diversity accomplishes nothing in and of itself.. By forcing companies or anything else to be “diverse”, it just makes things worse, because you cannot quantify when your “diverse” enough.

    1. Exactly. And this is why we’ll end up with diversity by default, in our companies and in this country. Today’s young white American males will be the least able to be hired based on merit, thanks to our educational system and culture of idiocy, and we’ll have moved past the need to hire them just because they’ll be the minority of the future. And any company that feels forced to hire them will just move elsewhere.

    2. Calls for forced “diversity” are simply attempts to institutionalize racism in hiring. All things being equal (which, in reality, seldom are) among job applicants, diversity advocates want hiring preference given to a person of color (or whatever) based on a quota system.

      That’s racism, pure and simply.

      I never hear a practical answer to what a company is supposed to do when applicants don’t meet “diversity” qualifications… that is, when applicants aren’t diverse.

      Are companies supposed to wait until an “appropriate” candidate applies? Companies can’t whistle up qualified, diverse applicants out of thin air.

      Isn’t it a violation of federal law to inquire about someone’s race/ethnicity when hiring?

      So… how are they to assess someone’s “diversity”? By looking at them? That’s making some assumption.

  2. Diversity as a tool for eliminating discrimination has its place, as long as it is simply a tool, and not its own goal.

    There are too many companies in tech industry that exhibit the prevailing hiring bias (towards geeky men). This isn’t due to some inherent gender discrimination, or racism; it is simply due to our natural desire to surround ourselves with people who look and think like ourselves, as it then makes us most comfortable. There is nothing fundamentally wrong with this natural desire, but for companies that are in an extremely competitive industry, the ultimate goal will always be to hire the best possible talent; not necessarily the talent that thinks and looks like the majority of the workforce. And engineering talent sometimes (not often, but sometimes) comes from the most unlikely sources (women, gay men, Latino women, Latino gay men, to bring up a few of the most stereotypical ones).

    Apple seems to be taking the necessary steps and doing a lot of training in order to minimise, if not eliminate, any potential hiring bias. Not in order to please some diversity minded activists, but to increase the likelihood of hiring the most talented candidates, regardless of who they are. This is the same reason for their objection to any artificial immigration barriers that have the potential to prevent them from attracting the best talent from around the world. Let us not forget; two of the most creative men that defined Apple (Steve, and Jony Ive) have immigrant roots (Steve’s biological Syrian father would have never entered the US under the recent travel ban, and Jony Ive was born and raised in the UK).

    In order to compete, companies try to attract the best possible talent. The most successful ones are those who most effectively eliminate any obstacles in that process.

  3. As an Apple shareholder and customer I want the very best people working for Apple and governing it as Board Members. No person should not get a position because of age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, ethnicity, race, veteran status, disability, nationality , non-belief or faith. The inverse is also true- you should not get a position because you are a fill in the blank.

    People should be recruited, appointed, promoted or hired based upon their education, experience and track record- nothing more or less.

    Word to the diversity crowd: go over to the School of Engineering at any College or University and look at who is enrolled. The next generation of Hardware and Software Engineers is going to look like what you see- not the counter at McDonalds. Go over and check out who is majoring in Accounting and Finance. Those will be the next generation workinin those fields and it will not look like the checkout at Wal-Mart.

    Next, see the guy and gals all tatted up like a Carny or Jailbird? They will not be replacing Phil on stage or working with the media.

    If you want to play for the Yankees you had damn well better be able to deliver the goods. Being some aggrieved minority is no good reason to deny you a job, but is no good reason to give you one, either. There are exceptions, but most people who are successful have worked hard- very hard- for a long time and they do not ever mail it in. So many that bitch about business owners and professional people have no concept of how hard they work and how many hours they put in Follow a Surgeon around for a week and see how many hours they log taking care of all they are responsible for and then remember the long road they walked just to get there.

    One legitimate thing many Conservatives criticize so many Liberals about is the “soak the rich” attitude. What a great way to piss off and disrespect some of the hardest working and productive people in our society. The rich should pay their fair share and not a dime more. The same is true about diversity quotas. Nobody owes anybody a damn thing other than common courtesy and the respect due any individual. The rest you have to earn.

    An old saying is that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. The desire for a diverse workforce is an admirable goal, but you do not hire unqualified people just to fill a damn quota. All hiring should be on merit alone.

    You want to work for Apple or sit on the board? Get off your ass and get to work.

    1. Absolutely. This kind of thinking gets people lethargic and unproductive. Shareholders should be thankful that some of the most brilliant minds on tech are working at Apple, who with their brilliance have made Apple where it is today. There is no need of gender diversity for the sake of it, there is no need of ethnic diversity of it does not add to the pool of talent. What the point of all of this.

  4. Diversity is good, but getting the absolute best should remain the goal!

    Why is diversity always based on ethnic and gender lines? How about a diversity of ideas and personal strengths. Just because you have a difference of minorities and sexes, means nothing.

    This political correctness has got to stop! The whole system is compromised if the best PERSON is ignored because they don’t fit the agenda!

    1. Yes, political correctness will contribute heavily to the downfall of western civilization. Currently, there doesn’t seem to be a damn thing we can do about it.

      And now, some words of wisdom from our friends in Canada, circa 1978:

      The Trees — Rush

      There is unrest in the forest
      There is trouble with the trees
      For the maples want more sunlight
      And the oaks ignore their pleas

      The trouble with the maples
      (And they’re quite convinced they’re right)
      They say the oaks are just too lofty
      And they grab up all the light
      But the oaks can’t help their feelings
      If they like the way they’re made
      And they wonder why the maples
      Can’t be happy in their shade

      There is trouble in the forest
      And the creatures all have fled
      As the maples scream ‘oppression!’
      And the oaks just shake their heads

      So the maples formed a union
      And demanded equal rights
      ‘The oaks are just too greedy,
      We will make them give us light’
      Now there’s no more oak oppression
      For they passed a noble law
      And the trees are all kept equal
      By hatchet,
      Axe,
      And saw

  5. What the fsck has diversity got to do with Apple Shares doing great. I don’t think this is healthy even. It’s more important to hire the right talent that will advance the goals of Apple in creating great products and enriching lives that just hiring people with different ethnic background. The shareholders should just keep such ideas to their own household.

  6. From the article:

    Maldonado, who is Hispanic, makes a pure business case for diversity. He identifies as a “fiscally conservative, socially moderate person,” clarifies that he doesn’t want this turned into “a social justice warrior issue,” and says he’s simply “looking at things in black and white in terms of money.” He’s also a “diehard” Trump supporter, who ends many of his tweets with “#MAGA” and says he both donated to and volunteered for the campaign.

    “I know it sounds as if it’s socially progressive, but it’s not a socially progressive issue,” he says. “Money talks, okay?”

    1. Ugh, he just needs to realize no one is going to give him any handouts. I don’t even know how he can square all the conflicting thoughts in his mind.

      Is he saying, “I’m a conservative, but I want to take advantage of liberal handouts?”

  7. How did we go from non discrimination policies against minorities and color blind applications to pro discrimination policies against majorities that are inherently harmful to the minority and the majority by setting different hiring standards based on your skin color or sex.

  8. For a Tech company we have to take into account who studies Tech, Minorities tend to favour certain areas. for Tech MIT stats are quite typical:

    MIT Undergraduate Enrolment:

    Black or African American : 5.9 %
    Hispanic 14.9
    Asian : 25.7
    White : 34

    GRAUDATE stats are even more striking , for example 725 are Asian vs 88 African American.

    Note: Asians a tiny minority tend to have many students enrolled (actually many institutions have ‘limits’ otherwise their numbers would be even higher).

    then when you get to SENIOR management you would need techies with additional degrees in Management like MBAs etc.

    For senior management whose ages (due to experience) would be in their late forties or fifties etc you will have to look at STATS from YEARS ago where certain minorities like African Americans are even smaller (student stats from 10 years ago show their numbers in certain fields at 1% or less).

    MEANWHILE:
    in the NBA (2015 stats) 75% of all players are African American.
    the number of Asian players are negligible (don’t even register on most charts).

    NOTE: the NBA gets a A+ rating for hiring practices from the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport .
    ——–
    I’ll leave people to decide for themselves from these numbers what is fair or not although I would say ‘ask why no one is crying for more ethnic diversity among the NBA players… ‘.

    ( Personally although I believe there IS gender, ethnic bias still in many companies, I think TECH companies are among the least bias as they are so competitive talent — not colour etc — count a lot)

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