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Apple's Diversity Numbers: 70% Male, 55% White 561

Posted by Soulskill
from the one-button-issue dept.
An anonymous reader writes: Apple has released a diversity report on the genders and races of its employees. As is common in the tech industry, the majority of Apple's workforce is male — only three out of 10 employees around the globe are female. Broken down, males compose 65 percent of non-tech workers, 80 percent of tech workers, and 72 percent of Apple's leadership.

According to CEO Tim Cook, he's unhappy with Apple's diversity numbers and says Apple is working to improve them: "Apple is committed to transparency, which is why we are publishing statistics about the race and gender makeup of our company. Let me say up front: As CEO, I'm not satisfied with the numbers on this page. They're not new to us, and we've been working hard for quite some time to improve them. We are making progress, and we're committed to being as innovative in advancing diversity as we are in developing our products."
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Apple's Diversity Numbers: 70% Male, 55% White

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  • Stupid (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Scareduck (177470) on Wednesday August 13, 2014 @12:17AM (#47660309) Homepage Journal

    Wow, so we have quotas for Apple employees.

    How about if we have quotas for awesome products?

    • Re:Stupid (Score:5, Insightful)

      by kbrannen (581293) on Wednesday August 13, 2014 @12:33AM (#47660371)
      Gotta agree that's stupid. First, you can only hire people that are available with the skills you're looking for. So if you don't have "diverse applicants", you'll never get "higher numbers".

      Second, I hope he doesn't mean it, but it sounds like Cook want to be more diverse to look more politically correct. If I were a stock holder, I'd be upset. I wouldn't want him be "diverse" so he can look good; I'd want him to hire the best qualified people in a completely "blind" way. If that means 90% are male, or 80% white, or 85% female, or whatever the numbers work out to be because those were the best people to get the job done, then so be it. If the PC-crowd doesn't like it, then they need to encourage more minorities to get the required education and get qualified.
      • Re:Stupid (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 13, 2014 @12:46AM (#47660423)

        If the PC-crowd doesn't like it, then they need to encourage more minorities to get the required education and get qualified.

        Kudos for saying what needed to be said.

        It's time that bullshit like hiring quotas based on sex, race, etc. are dumped for the
        wasteful idiotic bullshit they are.

        There is ONE thing that matters, and that is : who does the best work. If you don't think
        this is true, ask yourself whether you'd rather have a semi-competent pilot flying your airliner
        because the airline was forced to accept hiring quotas, or whether you'd rather have the
        very best pilot available controlling the airliner on which you are a passenger.

        .

        • Re: Stupid (Score:3, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward

          RACIST SEXIST NEANDERTHAL PIG! How dare you, breathe the same air as we Smart and Sophisticated (SS) people! When Hillary becomes President, we'll send you to totenkamp with your white trash buddy Bubba!

        • Re:Stupid (Score:5, Insightful)

          by AthanasiusKircher (1333179) on Wednesday August 13, 2014 @10:06AM (#47662553)

          Before I respond, let me be clear: I'm NOT arguing that quotas are the best way to fix this. Nor do I necessarily think Apple even has a "problem" here -- as others have noted, hiring pools in tech jobs tend to contain a lot of men, and white people are in fact the majority of people in the U.S.

          However...

          There is ONE thing that matters, and that is : who does the best work.

          While I agree with you to some extent, the reality is that for most of history, that has NOT been the "one thing that matters." Getting a job was not just about whether you could do the best work, but whether you "looked like" other people at the company (maybe same race, sex, whatever), whether you went to the same school that the hiring manager did, whether your dad played golf with somebody who had some "pull" in the company, etc. And because of those latter things, even people who aren't really racist per se end up hiring people who are "more like them," because the college they went to also was skewed more white than most and the golf course is almost all for male white people, etc.

          I'm NOT defending quotas here or saying they are a good solution to these problems. But the reality is that "who does the best work" is often only one of many criteria that goes into screening candidates or selecting someone to hire. And even though those mechanisms may not necessarily be overtly unfair regarding race or gender (though they may be unfair in other ways), they end up reproducing a result that is balanced toward maintaining the status quo.

          And that also doesn't take into account the reality that there are in fact huge numbers of actual racist and sexist people who still live and work in the U.S. It's not polite to talk about it anymore, but it doesn't mean the attitudes aren't still around -- and just because one guy on the hiring committee doesn't explicitly say, "Let's move on from these three candidates because they're black" doesn't necessarily mean he isn't harboring prejudice.

          So, I think it's important to recognize that "who does the best work" is actually NOT the only (or even primary) criterion for who ultimately gets hired in many positions. Some companies may actually succeed in doing that, and I applaud them. But there are often a lot of other subjective factors at play, and some of those may have racist or sexist effects (either intentional or unintentional).

        • who does the best work. If you don't think this is true, ask yourself whether you'd rather have a semi-competent pilot flying your airliner because the airline was forced to accept hiring quotas, or whether you'd rather have the very best pilot available controlling the airliner on which you are a passenger.

          Competent is fine by me. I don't care if they are Charles Lindburgh reincarnated or just some guy who can keep it, metaphorically, between the lines. In fact, I'd rather the pilot was cheaper and the s

      • Re:Stupid (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Noah Haders (3621429) on Wednesday August 13, 2014 @12:47AM (#47660429)
        it's clear that for a company of apple's wealth and reach, the solution isn't to hire diverse applicants, but to produce diverse applicants - invest in education opportunities, scholarships, other programs to bolster the pool of people.
        • Re:Stupid (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Darinbob (1142669) on Wednesday August 13, 2014 @01:13AM (#47660537)

          This could fix things. However the people who refuse to acknowledge that the problem even exists won't be the ones to implement the fix and will probably claim it's a waste of effort, or that it's quotas in the schools.

          • by Bert64 (520050)

            Quotas won't "fix" anything...
            It's the culture among kids that needs to change. If kids are in an environment where their peers shun specific subjects, then they will go along with it due to peer pressure irrespective of what they might individually be interested in.

        • Re:Stupid (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Maxo-Texas (864189) on Wednesday August 13, 2014 @01:28AM (#47660613)

          In my average IT class, we started with 20% females and finished with about 5% females.

          I.e. they dropped at a higher rate. Most were not obsessed with computers enough to excel.

          That creates a challenging pool to hire from.

          Perhaps if IT people were not expected to be as obsessed and asocial as they are, it wouldn't happen.

          There were zero IT parties in 4 years of collage. Heck my DND club had at least a couple parties a year.

          • Re:Stupid (Score:5, Interesting)

            by lisaparratt (752068) on Wednesday August 13, 2014 @02:12AM (#47660751)

            Or, another way of looking at it: they met their future colleagues, and bailed while the gettin' was good.

      • Re:Stupid (Score:4, Insightful)

        by electrosoccertux (874415) on Wednesday August 13, 2014 @01:18AM (#47660549)

        If I were a stock holder, I'd be upset. I wouldn't want him be "diverse" so he can look good; I'd want him to hire the best qualified people in a completely "blind" way. If that means 90% are male, or 80% white, or 85% female, or whatever the numbers work out to be because those were the best people to get the job done, then so be it.

        until you catch negative PR blitz that feminists picket and blacks boycott, which the media loves to pick up because You're Apple

        • by prowler1 (458133)

          I subscribe to the "Hire the best person for the position" methodology.

          I manage a SysAdmin team and I will admit that 100% of my team is male but that might have something to do with the fact that 100% of the job applications I have received over the years have only been male. Other than that, 70% of my team is made up of what many of these PC groups like to call 'minorities'. My percentage comes from the simple fact that they were the best person for the job. Race, gender etc should not be part of the sele

          • Re:Stupid (Score:5, Interesting)

            by mlk (18543) <michael.lloyd.le ... [ ]com ['il.' in> on Wednesday August 13, 2014 @04:29AM (#47661199) Homepage Journal

            I come from the same camp, hire the best person for the role. Definitely.

            But best is not just "technically best" but also "team fit best" and "not a dick" and "can communicate with the team" and various other little things. What this can mean is that the team unconsciously equates "best team fit" as "same as the rest of the team". The management should step in if this happens and look at ways to fixing what is a problem and reports like the one performed by Mr Apple is one quick way to measure if this is happening.

      • by TubeSteak (669689)

        [...] I'd want him to hire the best qualified people in a completely "blind" way. If that means 90% are male, or 80% white, or 85% female, or whatever the numbers work out to be because those were the best people to get the job done, then so be it.

        The decision has been made and the MBAs are happy to write up a proposal that justifies any corporate goal.

        So if you say that you want a "blind" process, they'll come back at you with something about mixed gender and multi-racial/ethnic groups combining synergies to create explosive new innovations yadda yadda yadda.

        In the long run, this can only be a good thing, as almost no changes involving women or minorities in the workforce have come about organically.
        So this is as close to "organic" as a change gets,

      • by u38cg (607297)
        Where is your evidence that either of those things are the case?
      • Once you hire someone, they may want to leave because the atmosphere in the workplace isn't what they like, or the pay for their gender or ethnicity seems off compared to others. A large part of why some companies can't seem to get their "diversity" numbers anywhere near what they want them to be, is because they have a reputation that will put certain groups off whether deserved or not.

        These are things that are much more important in the long run than just getting candidates in the door that have the r

        • by Lumpy (12016)

          "or the pay for their gender or ethnicity seems off compared to others." This is why the bullshit of "secret pay scales" exist. so management can pay the black guy less than the white guy or the woman less than the men.

          I freely tell others what I get paid at work and I'll ask others what they get paid. It should not be a secret.

      • by thegarbz (1787294)

        Second, I hope he doesn't mean it, but it sounds like Cook want to be more diverse to look more politically correct.

        No of course not. ... it's not just Cook doing it.

        Diversity and inclusion is the latest buzzwords from all government and all companies. I was actually pressured by HR to consider hiring a lesser candidate who was Asian and female because she ticked 2 of the 3 diversity boxes. I asked them if next time we should just skip the entire interviewing / vetting process and flat out send out a questionnaire asking Gender, Race, LGBT, and then hiring based on the the results. (that didn't go down well and somehow *

      • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Wednesday August 13, 2014 @06:06AM (#47661509)

        I do IT work at a state university. As you'd expect with government institutions, we are really big on the EEOC rules and such. However, we can't force people to apply and for IT stuff, you get mostly men. Last round, it was all men. I don't mean we chose to interview all men, I mean no women applied, or if they did apply, HR filtered them out (HR does a basic "resume vs qualifications" check). Our IT group (we are only one of many IT groups on campus, there are women in other groups) is all male, at present. We had a female webmaster, however her fiance got a job in New York, so they moved there and of course she quit.

        What, precisely, are we supposed to do to be more diverse? There are just not many women who seem to have the skills and wish to apply. We can't go and force people to apply, nor can we (legally or practically) say we'll waive the requirements for the job if you are a woman.

        You can't hire those that don't apply.

        So in terms of all this fluff up over Silicon Valley and diversity, I'd say how does their workforce numbers compare to their applicants? If in general it is the same, meaning say 30% of applicants are female and 30% of employees are female, 9% of applicants are black and 8% of employees are black, well then there probably isn't any discrimination going on. The fact that the numbers do not reflect demographics doesn't mean any discrimination on their part if they are simply not getting the applicants.

        Also with regards to race, I'm not seeing why the 55% white number is problematic. According to Wikipedia, 72% of the US is white. If you count being hispanic as not being white (remember hispanic is an ethnicity, not a race) then the number is 64%. So per overall breakdown of the population, white people would be underrepresented in Apple by a fair bit.

        That is also something I think people forget: The US does not have an even balance of all groups. Male/female has about a 50/50 split, but racial/ethnic groups are not nearly so even. It is still a nation dominated by fair skinned people of European ancestry, aka "white". The amount varies by state, of course, but it is quite a consistent majority.

      • If there were quotas, the ratios wouldn't look like this. My take was that Cook said what he did because he has a firm belief that there are more minorities who can do awesome work for Apple but for whatever reason (ie the bigotry displayed on this thread) are being dissuaded from the company or even the industry. And that Apple wants to take advantage of that.

      • by Livius (318358)

        Very skewed statistics are a sign that your process may not be as "blind" a you think it is, which is *different* kind of racism/sexism/etc/ but a problem nonetheless.

        Of course, "70% male", "55% white", given the actual statistics for, say, graduates in IT programs, suggests they've already been engaging in politically-correct reverse discrimination.

    • Apple must work on their diversity. All their products are white!

    • Yes. Also I've noticed recently (over the last few years) quite a few people coming out of the woodwork to opine at how awful it is that white males exist. In 50 years time I think we'll be hunted with high powered rifles for sport.
    • by Dutch Gun (899105)

      Men in teaching positions (as of 2011, from US Bureau of Labor statistics):

      Kindergarten teachers: 2.3%
      Grade school teachers: 18.3%
      Secondary school teachers: 42.0%

      Is this a problem? Personally, I don't think so. It just means that more women are interested in teaching younger children, and the men who are there are because they want to be [youtube.com]. I doubt there's some grand conspiracy to prevent men from becoming kindergarten teachers. Just like there's no conspiracy to keep women out of tech jobs.

      I think the b

  • by Spy Handler (822350) on Wednesday August 13, 2014 @12:30AM (#47660359) Homepage Journal

    we demand that Samsung engineering department show us their diversity porfolio!

    Signed,

    NAACP, N.O.W., G.L.O.W.

    • by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Wednesday August 13, 2014 @01:19AM (#47660561)

      we demand that Samsung engineering department show us their diversity porfolio!

      Samsung is proud to report their diversity numbers:

      45% Kim
      38% Lee
      7% Park
      6% Choi
      4% Other

      Samsung strongly believes in promoting a diverse workforce. We currently have a company-wide mandate to raise our Park percentage to 11% by 2018.

  • I'm an Apple, I am female
    I'm an Apple, I am white
    I'm an Apple, I am black
    I'm an Apple, I am brown
    I'm an Apple, I am Hispanic .... .... ....
    FUCK YOU ALL!! I AM STEVE JOBS, AND I AM APPLE!!

  • by Baldrson (78598) * on Wednesday August 13, 2014 @12:38AM (#47660393) Homepage Journal

    Its good to see Apple recognizes America's history of victimizing Indians requires remediation by affirmative action favoring the hiring of Indians.

    • a lot of comments on this thread are stupid and bigoted, but this one is +1 funny. Jonathan stewart should use this. as a side note, I had a licensing problem with my MS Office (replaced hard drive, then needed to revalidate the programs). Holding my nose, I called the M$ 1-800 number. The experience was fantastic. after a single-level phone tree, the phone was answered on the second ring by a very nice man in india who answered all my questions. it turned out i had a technical problem rather than a licensi
  • It's easy to fix (Score:5, Interesting)

    by msobkow (48369) on Wednesday August 13, 2014 @12:46AM (#47660425) Homepage Journal

    Just break down all the employees into the smallest groups possible. Instead of "White" or "African", break it down to German, Swiss, Dutch, South African, Tanzanian, and so on. With everything down to a few dozen members per group, you'll have a nice flat diversity line. :P

    • How far back are you gonna go? Where you were born, or your parents, or theirs? It's 2014... We're all just folk now.

  • Jobs to Cook: DFIU (Score:4, Insightful)

    by xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) on Wednesday August 13, 2014 @12:49AM (#47660439)

    >> CEO Tim Cook, he's unhappy with Apple's diversity numbers and says Apple is working to improve them

    (Voice of Steve Jobs): Tim. Boobie. The secret of Apple is 50% product and 50% marketing, with minimal bullshit. Please don't fuck it up.

    >> we're committed to being as innovative in advancing diversity as we are in developing our products.

    (Voice of Steve Jobs): Ah shit. You fucked it up.

  • Why the backlash? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by The Evil Atheist (2484676) on Wednesday August 13, 2014 @12:57AM (#47660481) Homepage
    How does this affect anyone here who is commenting negatively about this? Why are people taking it as a personal attack on their personal politics?
  • What is the available hiring pool? According to to the National Center for Women and Information Technology http://www.ncwit.org/ [ncwit.org] in a PDF document http://www.ncwit.org/sites/def... [ncwit.org]

    14% of 2010 Computer Science undergraduate degree recipients at major research universities were women. This compares with 37% in 1985. Why blame Apple?

    Besides what qualities do women provide that men don't? Intuitive GUIs? Did you know that Melinda French (who later married Bill Gates) pushed "Microsoft Bob" into production, an

    • by aybiss (876862)

      The ribbon and metro were undoubtedly the work of 'UX' people. I've long held that these people have no place in our industry and just make everything fucking suck for everyone else.

  • by nrasch (303043) on Wednesday August 13, 2014 @01:01AM (#47660497)

    I always apply a quick rule of thumb to these types of items: Replace the word diversity/female/minority/whatever with the words "single white Christian male." Then read the sentence again. Does it offend and/or sound bigoted? Would it make Al Sharpton snort milk out of his nose if he read it whilst eating breakfast cereal? If not great; probably a good idea. If so, then it's just as bad/racist/slanted as if the words really were replaced with "single white Christian male."

    Ex: Single white Christian male's have a higher cancer rate in lower income communities. (Yep, no problem here.)

    Ex: Apple needs to hire more single white Christian males. (Derp! Issues... Al's nose hurts now...)

  • If they really cared about diversity then tech companies wouldn't be asking workers to give up their entire social lives to work egregious hours. Young 20-30 year old men are often willing to go so far as to give up sleep but women and older workers want to be treated like people not machines.

  • by unimacs (597299) on Wednesday August 13, 2014 @01:10AM (#47660525)
    How often does a company REALLY hire the best possible person for the position? I'd say the chances are pretty slim. They may very well hire somebody who ends up being successful, but that's not the same as the best.

    Usually the way it works is that the person that gets hired is the one that the hiring manager likes the most out of the people they've interviewed. The people that get interviewed are the ones that HR/hiring manager liked out of the pool of people that applied.

    There may have been highly qualified people that were eliminated at any step. I've seen managers throw out resumes because the name wasn't "American sounding". That's a more blatant case. Some of the more subtle cases occur because there is a tendency to hire people like yourself.

    For example, I was nearly turned down for a position because they wanted someone with a masters degree. Why? Because the people running the business unit and doing the hiring had MBAs, not because anything about the job required a masters.

    I would venture that in many cases where a white male is hired into a technical position, there are equally or better qualified non-whites out there some place. To find them, you may have to look in different places, - cast a wider net. My point is that making an effort to have a more diverse workforce DOES NOT mean you have to settle for less qualified people.

    On the other hand, there is a definite shortage of women CS and engineering grads. There are lots of complex reasons for this. But it's worse than it used to be, - which means it can be better than it is now. Companies like Apple are big enough to help make that happen, but not overnight.
    • by silfen (3720385)

      I would venture that in many cases where a white male is hired into a technical position, there are equally or better qualified non-whites out there some place.

      There are many highly qualified non-whites, and they are getting hired. That's why whites are underrepresented in these statistics.

      To find them, you may have to look in different places, - cast a wider net. My point is that making an effort to have a more diverse workforce DOES NOT mean you have to settle for less qualified people.

      You're starting fro

      • by Sneftel (15416)

        My company (and others as well) don't go out and hire the best candidate for a job, we hire every candidate that meets our requirements, regardless of race.

        Except that, assuming that you are the average software developer (so FFS don't anecdote me, bro), Apple:
        * Pays better than you
        * Offers better benefits than you
        * Is better known than you
        * Has a larger and more effective recruitment program than you

        Apple is not hurting for applicants. They're probably hurting for "qualified applicants", but that's a tautology: The definition of a "qualified applicant" is an applicant that you're willing to hire, given the talent pool available to you. All of us want our geni

  • 55% White (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 13, 2014 @01:27AM (#47660607)

    In a nation who's population is approximately 80% White...

    If every company in the united states was only 55% white employees or less, then 25% of the countries population would be unemployed.

  • For example, how many of that 30% women makes the same as males doing the same job?

    Same goes for the non white compared to the white workers.

  • According to the AFL/CIO's report "Women in the Professional and Technical Labor Force" [dpeaflcio.org], in the manufacturing sector workers are 71% male, 29% female. Apple is a manufacturer, and as such has a range of employees in technical, clerical, and production categories that fit the manufacturing labor mix profile. So Apple's diversity is actually a tad better than the available workforce. You can't really "improve diversity" without affirmative-action-type job manipulation, which will lead to reduced productivity
  • by Tom (822) on Wednesday August 13, 2014 @02:41AM (#47660851) Homepage Journal

    When you stop using key figures as a guidance to reaching your goal and use them as goals in themselves, you've got a problem.

    Frankly speaking, I don't give a fuck if a company is 5% white, 50% white or 99% white. While these numbers may be indicators of an underlying problem, they are just that - indicators. Just like running a company by consulting-think usually results in a bancrupt company, you have to go deeper than some numbers, and you should never make those numbers your actual goals. Many companies have been run into the ground by idiots who thought 4% profit margin is not enough and this consultant or that business insider says they need 5% and if it ruins the company to get that extra 1% then so be it...

    What should matter is if there's any problem for anyone getting hired or promoted in Apple (or any other company) because of gender, skin colour or whatever else you want. Statistical numbers can give you a hint on where you might want to check, but in themselves, they are meaningless. They're just statistics.

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