Apple’s first ever VP of diversity and inclusion says she focuses on everyone, not just minorities

“Denise Young Smith is Silicon Valley’s most powerful black woman,” Aamna Mohdin writes for Quartz. “‘My name was not talked about prior to maybe 5 years ago,’ she says. But that quickly changed once Apple named her as their very first vice president of diversity and inclusion, just a few months ago.”

“Young Smith was talking in a panel discussion on fighting racial injustice, which Quartz moderated, at the One Young World Summit in Bogotá, Colombia,” Mohdin writes. “Apple… is trying to take key steps in addressing the problem of having a lack of diversity, which has been highlighted by investors. But it does look like the company is making progress. Apple’s latest statistics show that a majority of new hires in the US are from ethnic minorities, although white employees still account for 56% of the overall current workforce. When asked whether she would be focusing on any group of people, such as black women, in her efforts to create a more inclusive and diverse Apple, Young Smith says, ‘I focus on everyone.’ She added: ‘Diversity is the human experience. I get a little bit frustrated when diversity or the term diversity is tagged to the people of color, or the women, or the LGBT.’ Her answer was met with a round of applause at the session.”

“Young Smith went on to add that ‘there can be 12 white, blue-eyed, blonde men in a room and they’re going to be diverse too because they’re going to bring a different life experience and life perspective to the conversation.’ The issue, Young Smith explains, ‘is representation and mix,'” Mohdin writes. “She is keen to work to bring all voices into the room that ‘can contribute to the outcome of any situation.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Refreshing.

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

Apple’s new Vice President of Inclusion and Diversity will report directly to CEO Tim Cook – May 24, 2017
Apple’s board has urged shareholders to reject proposal to tie executive compensation to racial diversity quotas – February 27, 2017
Apple Inc. fights shareholders group demand for more diversity – February 15, 2017
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, 201


  1. (redux) It seems few people understand the primary reason companies establish a ‘VP of diversity’ with a ‘person of color’ in that position. It’s to prevent a Jesse Jackson style shakedown. Do a search on ‘jesse jackson toyota settlement’ for just one example.

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