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Apple Makes Slight Progress On Diversity While Its Rivals Are Making Practically None (macrumors.com) 241

The workforce at Apple is still predominately white and male, reveals the diversity report the company released Wednesday. But that doesn't mean that its efforts to improve diversity haven't yielded improvements. This is the third year that the Cupertino giant has released its diversity numbers and the balance is improving, although a bit slowly. From a MacRumors report: Its overall workforce, including tech, non-tech, and retail jobs, is 68% male and 32% female as of June 2016, a slight change from a 69%-31% split in 2015. Apple's race and ethnicity breakdown among U.S. employees is 19% Asian, 9% Black, 12% Hispanic, 2% Multiracial, 1% Other, and 56% White, representing a 2 percent increase in White employees and a 1 percent increase in both Asian and Hispanic employees compared to last year's data. Females represent 37% of Apple's global new hires, while U.S. underrepresented minorities represent 27% of global new hires. Apple defines underrepresented minorities as "groups whose representation in tech has been historically low -- Black, Hispanic, Native American, Native Hawaiian, and Other Pacific Islander."Washington Post compares Apple's progress to other Silicon Valley giants, claiming that rest of the industry is mostly sitting idle. (Alternate source: Reuters) From the report: At Facebook, black and Hispanic employees make up 2 and 4 percent of the employee base. Despite commitments to diversity, neither Google nor Facebook have made a dent in those numbers since they first announced them in 2014.
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Apple Makes Slight Progress On Diversity While Its Rivals Are Making Practically None

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  • So (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 03, 2016 @03:37PM (#52638279)

    What

  • by OverlordQ ( 264228 ) on Wednesday August 03, 2016 @03:41PM (#52638315) Journal

    It's only a bad thing if they're excluding better qualified people. If they're hiring the best person for the job regardless of what they have between their legs and the color of their skin, and it turns out to be a bunch of white guys, then that's just an artifact of the talent pool.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      The myth of hiring the best qualified person. Here's the thing, you aren't going to get a rockstar coder on a phone number salary to write that internal process management app. You actually want someone qualified but not overqualified. Someone who can do the job, and who can fit in and grow in the job, someone suited to that level of work.

      And you want lots of them. These companies employ tens of thousands of people. They can't all be the best, the most qualified in every single role. And qualification isn't

  • by rwven ( 663186 ) on Wednesday August 03, 2016 @03:41PM (#52638323)

    I'm curious what percent of applications come in from minorities comparatively, and what the reasons are for declining those who are declined. I think it's important for the debate/argument (in either direction) to know how many people of each minority are TRYING to work there, compared to which are accepted, as well as the reasoning behind those decisions and the qualifications of each.

    • by Jaime2 ( 824950 )
      The "normal" way for a company to increase their minority composition is to go out and specifically try to get minority applicants. Then, through the normal hiring process, they usually end up with more minority hires. Simple things like sending a rep to the job fair at a university with mostly black students are pretty typical ways to accomplish this. You don't even have to analyze your data - just keep "doing more" and watch the numbers go up.
    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      It's also important to know what Apple is doing to encourage people from minorities to apply, e.g. by having flexible working and good policies towards women (think maternity leave), and by sending reps to colleges in disadvantaged areas rather than just MIT and the other top ranking ones. They need to spread the net as widely as possible.

  • by John Smith ( 4340437 ) on Wednesday August 03, 2016 @03:42PM (#52638333)
    That instead of making companies hire under qualified (generally) minorities, we should work on qualifying more minorities. And avoid quotas at all cost.
    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      What evidence do you have that they are hiring under qualified (generally) minorities?

      Did you notice that they are putting very large amounts of money into education?

      Does Apple have a quota?

  • by Archfeld ( 6757 ) <treboreel@live.com> on Wednesday August 03, 2016 @03:43PM (#52638339) Journal

    I am just curious, but according to the census blacks make up 9.5% to 13% depending on which survey you use. So at what point will a company be considered diverse ? When the % of blacks they hire exceed the national % present or when they are equally represented with all other ethnicities, which would put them at a much greater than national average representation.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by HBI ( 604924 )

      Another thing to consider is representation as a percentage of the population where Apple has facilities. For instance, Baltimore has a lot of black people. But Apple, to my knowledge, only has one Apple Store in the metro area. So even if they pack the Towson Apple Store with 90% black people (an over-representation, to be sure), that still doesn't fix their overall numbers, which probably have a lot to do with having facilities in places like Cupertino, which is something like 60% Asian and 29.3% white

      • I wonder if people are advocating busing in people from remote locations to "fix" the balance?

        That's next.

        • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
          Expect policy moves on very focused rent support into each city or outer city area to move very poor populations into very wealthy areas with a lot of extra gov support payments just for rent.
          The other creative policy idea is to mandate affordable housing in any new redevelopment or larger building project in all wealthy areas.
          • by HBI ( 604924 )

            The interesting part is that doing that results in the pricing of the units being reduced due to the fact that people with money don't want to live next to the riffraff. Also, it assures that in certain areas, the permits won't get issued for the construction.

            • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
              Yes wealth will move out very quickly to safe areas or buy into established areas that will not face such policy changes.
              Poverty will just take over as ever more people get full gov support to move in.
      • Hey, they have one in Columbia too. You know, one of the highest cost of living spots in the nation? Got decent enough schools though.
    • by Merk42 ( 1906718 )
      Not only that, but should a company strive to match the diversity of the population or of its customers?
      Either way people will complain that it isn't representative.
    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      It's not about hitting any particular numbers, at most they are just an indication that there is a lack of bias in hiring. In that sense Apple is one of the better ones, approaching the make up of the general population. Facebook is pretty far from it though, so they know that there is some issue there.

      And the issue can't be just that there are no qualified or good black candidates available, because Apple is managing to hire them.

  • Job security (Score:4, Informative)

    by DidgetMaster ( 2739009 ) on Wednesday August 03, 2016 @03:47PM (#52638387) Homepage
    I wonder if any black or woman programmer has ever been fired for incompetence, insubordination, or for refusing to do their work at Facebook or Apple? Is the company too afraid to get rid of bad programmers if doing so might hurt their 'diversity' numbers? Years ago, I worked with a woman who wanted to be let go so that she could collect unemployment or get a severance package. She did everything she could think of to get the company to get rid of her. Nothing worked so she finally left voluntarily.
    • I once worked with a manager that dreamed of hiring a female, minority, with a physical disability. He could have checked off a lot of diversity points with that one. I don't think he'd have cared at all about the quality of work. Just getting HR and the SJW's off his back would have been worth it.
      • I had a boss who switched the ownership for his construction company from himself to his Native American wife, who also did the bookkeeping and answered phones. That little change opened up so many government construction contracts, as the state government was eager to promote minority-owned small businesses.
    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      I knew a guy who did something similar, tried to get laid off so he could get his 15 years severance pay. They just kept refusing until he quit out of frustration and they didn't have to pay anything out. Anecdotes like that are meaningless.

      Also, Apple's software was shit long before they started trying to improve diversity. Look at iTunes. If anything, it's got slightly better in recently years, and they killed off some of the worst bits like QuickTime.

  • Washington Post compares Apple's progress to other Silicon Valley giants, claiming that rest of the industry is mostly sitting idle. (Alternate source: Reuters) From the report:

    Probably due to the realization that diversity is only good for a company as at most a secondary good. Unfortunately, the prevailing rhetoric about diversity is generally closer to the assumption that there exist plenty of qualified black and non-white Hispanics who are just chomping at an opportunity to prove their worth. However, w

  • Oh? So more/better qualified candidates have become available to apply for positions at Apple? Great! Although, I'm not entirely convinced that Apple had anything to do with that...
    err..or were you saying that Apple has become a little better at hiring people that will make it look more Politically Correct?
  • So we are forced to conclude that it's not a diversity issue, it's a failure to find enough of the candidates to tick the boxes to keep the social justice warriors off your backs

    In 2010 David Cameron appointed a lot of female cabinet ministers in the UK. A year later a lot of them were sacked in his first reshuffle, and the papers were strangely quiet because they KNEW that they'd proved incompetent...

  • All in Retail? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by TooManyNames ( 711346 ) on Wednesday August 03, 2016 @04:34PM (#52638853)

    Hmm. I wonder what Apple could have that neither Facebook nor Google possess in the US? What might possibly account for the discrepancy between Apple and other big tech companies? Oh yeah, probably the 30,000 retail workers (out of a total of 43,000) [wikipedia.org] in their Apple stores. I wonder what the breakdown would be for the technical jobs that Apple relies upon for the products those retail workers are hawking? I'm guessing that it'd probably be in line with what Facebook and Google are posting.

    Good for Apple for being more diverse that Google, I guess, but I'd bet it's a hell of a lot easier to broaden overall diversity when you essentially require a Starbucks level of skill for the majority of your workforce.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      No need to wonder, just go to the actual report [apple.com] and they break it down into tech, non-tech, leadership, retail and retail leadership. Tech is by far the worst for gender equality, but at least non-tech and leadership are improving quite a bit. Seems like there are very few people of colour in leadership roles though.

      Their claim that they have achieved pay equality is interesting but not backed up by numbers.

  • is making boorish sessions with women, fat women, blacks and gays, instead on focusing in perfection and technology like in Steve Jobs gone days, Apple is doomed.
  • People seem to decry the concept of a person being hired despite being seemingly less qualified than a white male. To a company that thrives on ideas the diversity is actually key, and can benefit a corporation more than having a large group of cookie-cutter people who have all had nearly identical life experiences and all come from very similar culture. This is an example of the parts being less valuable than the sum.
    • Not seeing any proof that the feel-good things you are saying are true.

      It seems to me that hugely successfu tech companies here in USA have whites and 20% asian (or so) working on the ideas of a "lone wolf" type. Where is the need for this "diversity" of which you speak? Why upset winning strategy? Because it makes you feel good?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 03, 2016 @08:21PM (#52640579)

    Apple Makes Slight Progress On Diversity...

    Any time ethnicity is a factor in hiring decisions, it's not "progress," it's a social regression. It's the opposite of what Dr. King wanted; namely, a society where people "will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character."

    It's time to take back the work "progressive" from those who use apply it to regressive policies.

  • by Z80a ( 971949 ) on Wednesday August 03, 2016 @08:43PM (#52640709)

    Any sort of "quota" is awful and racist, because it paints the worker as "a guy that needed a hand from the HR to be hired", and his actual merits get downplayed in the process.
    Now if you for example subsidie GOOD schools on the poorer cities/neighbors, you give em an equal chance to get the jobs fairly.

    Also if there was any sort of systemic racism in place, it would be favoring asians rather than white people.

  • by azav ( 469988 )

    Fuck putting "diversity" ahead of reality.

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