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25 Jan 2016

Apple supposedly becoming more diverse; but is it enough?

Leading technology company Apple came under fire recently for not having a diverse enough workforce. Although the giant has recently published a diversity report showing that improvements are being made in this area, The Independent asked whether it is really enough.

According to Apple´s latest EEO-1 Federal Employer Information document, the company has made an effort to do away with its ‘white male´ image by hiring thousands of new employees from minority groups in the US.

For example, there are now 4,56 more women, 1,475 more black people and 1,633 more Hispanic people working for Apple than there were in 2014.

But with a workforce of more than 72,000, this doesn´t add up to a particularly significant change. Women still account for less than a third (30%) of the overall workforce, having moved up only 2.3 percentage points from last year. And as of August 2015, the report suggests that just 8.7% of Apple staff are black – a mere 0.7% increase from 2014 – and the number of Hispanic workers rose just 0.3%, to 11.8%.

This means that the majority of Apple employees are still male (70%) and white (nearly 60%). Unfortunately, this is still better than some other tech companies are faring when it comes to diversity; according to recent figures, just 2% of staff at Facebook and Google are black, a number that plummets to 1% when looking only at technical staff.

Expressing his commitment to improving diversity was Apple CEO, Tim Cook. In an open letter on Apple´s diversity web page, he wrote that it is “critical to innovation and it is essential to Apple´s future.”

“We aspire to do more than just make our company as diverse as the talent available to hire,” he added. “We must address the broad underlying challenges, offer new opportunities, and create a future generation of employees as diverse as the world around us.”

Denise Young Smith, the firm´s head of HR, also noted that diversity challenges won´t be overcome immediately. The problems starts with diversity issues in US universities, she explained, meaning that not enough black people are getting onto the best computer science courses.

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