Apple backs affirmative action in U.S. Supreme Court case

Apple is among a group of nearly 80 companies filing a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in support of affirmative action programs being challenged at Harvard and the University of North Carolina.

Apple Park in Cupertino, California
Apple Park in Cupertino, California

Bloomberg News:

The brief filed Monday argues corporate diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts “depend on university admissions programs that lead to graduates educated in racially and ethnically diverse environments.”

“Only in this way can America produce a pipeline of highly qualified future workers and business leaders prepared to meet the needs of the modern economy and workforce,” the brief said. The cases are the first on affirmative action to come before the justices since conservatives gained a 6-3 majority.

In the latest cases, Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard and Students for Fair Admissions v. University of North Carolina, the plaintiffs say affirmative action not only hurts white applicants, but amounts to an “anti-Asian penalty,” too.

UNC responds that race is only one of “dozens of factors” that the school “may consider as it brings together a class that is diverse along numerous dimensions—including geography, military status, and socioeconomic background.”

Weighing in on politically controversial issues also carries new risks as stakeholders like employees and legislators press companies in different directions, The Conference Board research group warned in a May 2022 report.

MacDailyNews Take: Regarding affirmative action, as we wrote back 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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