Apple investors call for civil-rights audit

Apple has declared its commitment to racial and gender equity, seemingly ad infinitum in the Tim Cook era of empty sanctimony, but it is now facing a shareholder call for a civil-rights audit amid employee controversies and slow progress in diversifying its workforce.

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Levi Sumagaysay for MarketWatch:

The shareholder groups that filed the proposal say the company reportedly shut down employee-run surveys on pay equity, and also mentioned the hiring (and subsequent firing after employee protests) of a manager who had “a history of misogynistic and racist commentary.” In addition, the alliance of three shareholders says that for all of Apple’s publicly stated commitments to racial justice and equity — including $100 million for a racial justice initiative after the Black Lives Matter protests in 2020 — the company’s progress in diversifying its own ranks has been negligible.

“It is unclear how Apple plans to address racial inequality in its workforce,” the proposal, shared exclusively with MarketWatch, says. “Apple currently has no Hispanics and only one Black member on its executive team.”

SOC Investment Group teamed up with the Service Employees International Union and Trillium Asset Management on the proposal; the group filed their proposal in the fall but only recently found out it will actually be on the proxy. The SEIU’s pension fund’s holdings include Apple, while SOC owns 21.9 million shares of the company and Trillium said it owned more than 1 million shares of Apple as of the end of the third quarter.

Trillium’s chief advocacy officer, Jonas Kron, said Apple and other companies generally emphasize their diversity initiatives, employee resource groups and financial commitments.

“That’s all great and commendable,” Kron said. “But it doesn’t mean they don’t have blind spots, or that they have some sort of process for ensuring accountability.”

He likens a civil-rights audit to the financial audits that are required of all companies. “Given the importance of gender and racial equality, having this level of review is not only appropriate but highly beneficial,” Kron said.

MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote on December 31, 2015:

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?

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24 Comments

  1. Every year there are a few vanity proposals like this. When we used to have live meetings it gave the filers a chance to stand up and air their causes publicly. We all listened politely then they got voted down.

    I recall the issue with the guy who was hired then fired. Seems like management acted appropriately and fired the guy. One guy out of more than 150,000 employees.

    Seems like they would help their cause by having more data.

    1. Lol reverse racism the Delusion of privileged white ppl. Racism is about power. Unless u have it your actions cannot be called racist.
      Fact is study after study has shown that a bunch of white guys will hire other white guys and tell themselves they got the best candidate. Women & non whites will only get equality when their allowed at the table. We’re a long way from that

  2. I work for a large company and we’re having problems filling certain positions. So, we’ve had to resort to hiring offshore resources. We’ve interviewed several people and made a selection. Breaking protocol, the offer extended to them by their contract firm was sent to us. The offer to the candidate is less than $55,000 salary for a lead developer position. It’s totally disgusting.

    This is a real problem, not the petty grievances of special snowflake racists. You whine about equal pay? Every day you show up to work, you consent to your employment arrangement. What’s happening in our candidate’s country is exploitation.

    1. I thought you said “Every day you show up to work, you consent to your employment arrangement.” That person may be making 10x the average salary in their country. Is that exploitation?

      You’re probably earning less than the same position in London, are you being exploited?

  3. MDN… MEGA MEGA HATS OFF to the last paragraph/2 lines of what you ended the article with ! BULLS EYE! ( along with most comments posted)
    Cut and pasted in my notes..
    🙏 .. Superbly expressed!

  4. The great Dr. Martin Luther King devoted his life to civil rights and end to racism and sadly lost his life for the cause.

    Echoed by the MDN superlative commentary: “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?”

    Both saying the same for 50+ years and easily summed up in one word: COLORBLIND!

    This initiative and all the rest of the social experiments combined with social media noise from LOUD Leftists is not getting it done. More racist gerrymandering dog whistle programs amount to an unconscionable refusal to work toward the common goal.

    High time EVERYONE gets with the program on the SAME page…

  5. In some roles it’s important to hire the very best candidate from a technical perspective, regardless of other factors. We should be working hard to get to a point where the absolutely most qualified candidates have the same level of diversity as the general population.

    But in many fields (arguably most of the ones we care about), the better aim is to hire the best possible team. And teams need diversity — of talents, of perspectives, of life experience, and of essentially every dimension.

    1. “Teams need diversity.”

      Why?

      Because that’s what you’ve been told and programmed to think, or do you have an actual reason?

      The original Mac team was all-white, mostly male, with just a few females.

      They created the Macintosh with a homogeneous team, proving that teams don’t actually need diversity to change the world.

      In reality, devoid of corporate media social programming, teams do not need diversity.

      All teams really need to succeed are qualified members with competent leadership.

        1. “Well, I’ve built and managed high performing teams.”

          Big deal. You got lucky, if you really think skin color variance is a meaningful criterion for a successful team.

          “Monocultures are a recipe for mediocrity.”

          That’s your opinion, proven wrong by my example, not proof that “teams need diversity.”

          The Mac team, a monoculture that changed the world, has already proven that an amazing team does not need diversity, certainly not as defined by widely varying skin colors.

          It’s rather amazing you’ve been able to do anything given your complete lack of basic logic.

      1. Diversity is literally a defining characteristic of a “team”.

        You don’t build a team when you just need to increase capacity/throughput (well, perhaps a team of horses). You build a team specifically when you need diversity of abilities and complementary strengths.

        1. A team is a group of two or more people, or animals, working together.

          Diversity is simply not a “defining characteristic” of a team.

          Again, the original Mac team was all-white, mostly male, with just a few females.

          They created the Macintosh with a homogeneous team, proving that teams don’t actually need diversity to change the world.

          1. As defined by Professor Leigh Thompson of the Kellogg School of Management, “[a] team is a group of people who are interdependent with respect to information, resources, knowledge and skills and who seek to combine their efforts to achieve a common goal”. A group does not necessarily constitute a team. Teams normally have members with complementary skills and generate synergy through a coordinated effort which allows each member to maximize their strengths and minimize their weaknesses.

            Again, that may not apply to teams of horses (or other draught animals, or machines).

  6. still waiting for the NFL, NHL and NBA to diversify their starting lineups. What message does it send to the children when winning a game is put ahead of equitable representation of physically oppressed minorities. In the history of the NFL how many starting QB’s are asian ? How many women have been awarded the Stanley cup.

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