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Apple's Response To Diversity Criticism: 'We Had a Canadian' Onstage at iPhone 7 Event (mic.com) 413

Mic published a report last week in which it criticized the gender divide at Apple's last two iPhone events. The reporter noted that at iPhone 7 event, women spoke for roughly eight minutes at stage compared to men, who spoke for 99. Furthermore, most of the women and people of color who appeared onstage weren't Apple representatives. An Apple spokesperson, who shared the information "off-the-record", had a weird response. The email read, "We may have different interpretations of diversity." The email continues, via Mic report, "he pointed to 'two African-Americans' who spoke at the keynote, neither of whom are actually employed by Apple. He also mentioned 'a Canadian, and a British woman.'"

The reporter has defended the use of "off-the-record" information, noting that Apple PR didn't warn her beforehand -- and as an important ethic in journalism -- they didn't reach an agreement before the Apple PR decided to share things.

Glenn Greenwald writes:They're 100% right. Nobody can unilaterally decree "off the record". Requires a mutual agreement or it doesn't exist.
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Apple's Response To Diversity Criticism: 'We Had a Canadian' Onstage at iPhone 7 Event

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  • Who cares? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 12, 2016 @01:26PM (#52871841)

    So, speaking time should be determined by genitals?

    The real tragedy is that most of the talking time was taken up by brown eyed people. As someone with green eyes, I am offended.

    • Re:Who cares? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by NotInHere ( 3654617 ) on Monday September 12, 2016 @01:28PM (#52871863)

      Also, the keynote was held in english. I demand that the keynote should be held in languages that match the language distribution in the population. Otherwise you will offend foreign speakers.

    • Re:Who cares? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Kohath ( 38547 ) on Monday September 12, 2016 @01:50PM (#52872141)

      The real point is to pressure Apple into giving money to some advocacy groups.

    • by x0ra ( 1249540 ) on Monday September 12, 2016 @01:59PM (#52872247)
      Why should your brain eye color be determined by your physical eye color ? Don't you know that eye color is a social construct ? My blue eyes should not mislead you, I am truly brown eye colored !
      • Funny thing about colour, is it might actually be a social construct of sorts. I mean sure, you can define frequency ranges for response etc, but there's more to it because perception plays a huge part. Go and get yourself a blue blocking filter. Then look a the sea and sky. At that point descriptions such as respectively wine dark and bronze start to make a lot more sense. The ancient Greeks didn't even have a word for blue.

        In fact, the only society of ancient which did were the Egyptians, who were also th

        • Language of colors is interesting. For example, the name of the color "Orange" was derived from the fruit, not the other way around. Before there was a word for the color orange, people said "red-yellow".
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by OrangeTide ( 124937 )

      The real tragedy is that most of the talking time was taken up by brown eyed people. As someone with green eyes, I am offended.

      Congratulations on being able to identify differences that preschoolers practice watching Sesame Street.

      Now try something more challenging, like identifying where differences lead to different socioeconomic treatment in our society, while other difference do not impact status and class. (I'm not sure what the university equivalent of Sesame Street might be, but maybe it's what most of you need)

    • So, speaking time should be determined by genitals?

      It shouldn't be. According to the summary it is: "The reporter noted that at iPhone 7 event, women spoke for roughly eight minutes at stage compared to men, who spoke for 99." That is what's being criticized.

    • That's the point of the article. There is an imbalance going on in the world that seems to be genital based. Eye shade correlation is also not a good choice of methods to define good leaders.
  • Oh My (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    "women spoke for roughly eight minutes at stage compared to men, who spoke for 99"

    People who actually count stuff like that should be sent on a fast rocketship to land on the surface of the sun.

    • you got downvoted, not because you are wrong, but because everyone knows you dont land on the sun, you just....burn up when you reach it

      still a great idea however
  • by Nidi62 ( 1525137 ) on Monday September 12, 2016 @01:29PM (#52871879)
    Every Apple keynote from now on should just be presented by Laverne Cox and Drake's character from DeGrassi(post-shooting of course). That way you've got handicapped, minority, female, transgender, and even Canadian covered. Problem solved!
  • Fuck you for stooping to the level of the typical clickbait peddled by the shitty news outlets. News for nerds? Stuff that matters? Is this either or the two or am I losing my mind? Give me something actually about tech. I'm taking a break from your website and turning on ads in the future.
    • Fuck you for stooping to the level of the typical clickbait peddled by the shitty news outlets. News for nerds? Stuff that matters? Is this either or the two or am I losing my mind? Give me something actually about tech. I'm taking a break from your website and turning on ads in the future.

      If you think whiny busybodies, that are trying to build careers by cultivating outrage don't matter in tech, reality has a rude awakening for you.

  • by Slider451 ( 514881 ) <slider451NO@SPAMhotmail.com> on Monday September 12, 2016 @01:31PM (#52871915)

    There is no such thing as "off the record". Anyone working PR knows this.

    • by schnell ( 163007 ) <meNO@SPAMschnell.net> on Monday September 12, 2016 @02:45PM (#52872743) Homepage

      There is no such thing as "off the record". Anyone working PR knows this.

      Then you pretty clearly don't work in PR. "Off the record," "on background," "not for attribution" and other deals between sources and reporters are real and specific things and are used frequently every day in "grownup" journalism. These concepts "work" because of mutual self-interest: the journalist doesn't want to burn the source/PR rep/whatever and vice versa because they (or at least their respective organizations) will continue to have to work together in the future.

      Dealing with bloggers from sites nobody has heard of and hence have no reputation to uphold by adhering to agreements? Not so much. The PR rep should have known better than to treat a random blogger whining about speaking time/genitals/skin color ratios like a grownup, but that doesn't mean those concepts don't exist and aren't employed frequently.

  • by 110010001000 ( 697113 ) on Monday September 12, 2016 @01:31PM (#52871917) Homepage Journal
    ...in all the ads they showed during the event, they ALL were of ONLY black men and white women. Not an Asian or Indian to be seen anywhere in them. Really outrageous!
  • So William Shatner was on stage at the Apple event?
  • What? Why? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by freeze128 ( 544774 ) on Monday September 12, 2016 @01:40PM (#52872019)
    I can see the reporter's view if (and only if) the presenters were a sample of the market demographic giving their opinions about the product. Of course you would want your demographic to include different colors/genders.

    But, if the speakers were knowledgeable individuals either working at Apple, or paid by Apple, then that goes all out the window. You don't stop racism by hiring someone just because of their skin color. You don't stop sexism by hiring someone based on their gender. I don't automatically get a job just because I'm a white male. I have to actually have the skills to do the job. Why should any other race/gender expect the same treatment?
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      but you do automatically get jobs because you're a white male. you'll never be cognizant of it, as you've spent a lifetime building up defense mechanisms against acknowledging systemic racism. that is why any kind of favoritism towards minorities is threatening to you on a lizard-brain level.

      there are some white people who are disabused of these notions, through sociological education or real-world experience. unless a white person is specifically educated on these things, they will fall into the favorable

    • Not the point (Score:5, Insightful)

      by SeattleLawGuy ( 4561077 ) on Monday September 12, 2016 @02:10PM (#52872369)

      But, if the speakers were knowledgeable individuals either working at Apple, or paid by Apple, then that goes all out the window. You don't stop racism by hiring someone just because of their skin color. You don't stop sexism by hiring someone based on their gender. I don't automatically get a job just because I'm a white male. I have to actually have the skills to do the job. Why should any other race/gender expect the same treatment?

      That's not the point of programs that encourage diversity in the workplace. Nobody wants to hire somebody who is unskilled. What they want to do is encourage people to apply and make sure the workplace is welcoming to everyone. If the skilled people are minorities, that helps the public image because it *shows* that minorities are welcome in the workplace. And it is NOT a given that minorities are welcome in a workplace. While most employers want anybody really good who can work with their teams (because good people can be hard to find), that doesn't mean that the team will understand how to relate to the new person or that the new person won't face a hostile work environment. Sure, people can make mountains out of molehills, but there are also things that are mountains if you're on one side of them and molehills if you're on the other and if you're standing on the molehill side you don't realize that the other side goes down for miles.

  • by jcr ( 53032 ) <jcr AT mac DOT com> on Monday September 12, 2016 @01:41PM (#52872033) Journal

    It's a HUGE mistake to give any attention at all to SJWs. He shouldn't have taken the bait, but he probably thought that pointing out facts would satisfy the SJW.

    -jcr

  • by imidan ( 559239 ) on Monday September 12, 2016 @01:43PM (#52872051)
    FTFA:

    When Jamia Wilson read this report, she noticed she was surrounded by Apple products. She thought about "how much money I've invested in an organization [that] doesn't believe in investing in people like me."

    Simply put, Apple's gender divide, both within the company and onstage in San Francisco, does not represent the company's consumer base. And incremental progress still yields pathetic results — the numbers don't lie.

    Maybe it's true that Apple's top echelons don't represent its consumer base proportionally in sex and color. All the same, as the most profitable business in the world, that doesn't seem to be a real problem for them. And, clearly, with Apple shipping the #1 smartphone and #1 tablet, and the currently popular Macbooks, consumers aren't actually all that concerned with the dearth of women on stage at Apple events. So it seems like this problem is being manufactured for our consumption by people whose job it is to do so, people like Jamia Wilson, executive director of Women, Action & Media.

    What I really want to hear is not that this is a problem, but why it is a problem. What are the consequences of lack of diversity at the top of the corporate structure? Why does this matter? How would it help, say, black women if there were more black women in positions of authority at Apple?

    • There's a perception that black people have no chance to reach the elite because nobody wants to hire an unevolved ape to handle important, respectable business decisions [youtu.be].

      The long and short of it is opportunity. You have the opportunity for promotion, and it instead goes to someone else based on your manager's emotional responses to the person. Those of us with developed technical sense about business understand this is mediated by things like rapport: it pays to be social with people who are promotin

      • by imidan ( 559239 )

        You're either causing a problem or ignoring it, and making a token gesture at the same time to cover your ego.

        This really bugs me. At my university, we have to watch a lame video every year about how to not sexually harass our co-workers and students. It's a complete waste of time for everyone: those of us who don't go around sexually harassing people don't need to watch a video to behave like respectful and responsible human beings, and those who do go around sexually harassing people aren't going to sud

  • Unfair to Apple (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Monday September 12, 2016 @01:44PM (#52872065) Journal

    I mean, 80% of the Apple speakers were gay men and the remaining 20% were bi-curious, so what's the problem? Or isn't that diverse enough for you?

    Aren't we in America? I thought this was America!

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Zocalo ( 252965 )
      Oh, sure, the make up of the speakers was absolutely diverse enough by any reasonable standards. Just not diverse in the particular way necessary to satisfy this particular pro-diversity protester's personal biases.

      When you get right down to it most pro-diversity protesters are just as biased and bigotted as those they are supposedly protesting against, they're just too tied up in their own one-horse personal agendas (disability, gender, race, religion, whatever) to see it. Either you promote equality
  • by jcr ( 53032 ) <jcr AT mac DOT com> on Monday September 12, 2016 @01:45PM (#52872067) Journal

    "The reporter has defended the use of "off-the-record" information," ...because she wanted clickbait, and is too fucking stupid to know that having the trust of her sources is far more valuable.

    -jcr

  • "I have a black, a woman, two Jews and a cripple." - James Watt.

  • Have only white women speak. Works for most other liberal groups!

  • When Jamia Wilson read this report, she noticed she was surrounded by Apple products. She thought about "how much money I've invested in an organization [that] doesn't believe in investing in people like me."

    And by "people like me" she means "political activists" and "liberal arts majors"?

    Apple's entire business model is for smart, technically oriented people to make stuff that's easy to use for "creative" people like Jamia Wilson. Obviously, Apple wouldn't be "investing" in people like her: that's the whol

  • This keynote was a complete sapiens-fest!

    If I don't see at least at least one freddled gruntbuggly come the iPhone 8, ground-break for the intergalactic highway will begin in Cupertino! (and the rest of the world a few milliseconds later.)

  • by coinreturn ( 617535 ) on Monday September 12, 2016 @02:28PM (#52872561)
    If the PR guy was talking "off the record," then his response is not "Apple's response..." you fuckwit click-bait headline writer.
  • I hope Apple is more meritocratic than Google. My Google contacts are telling me G is being torn apart internally by SJWs right now. I'm talking full on mandatory "unconscious bias" and "microaggressions" trainings, shutting down internal discussions on anything even vaguely non-PC (and as you can imagine, for an SJW that includes just about anything they disagree with), "reconsidering" female interview candidates that don't quite cut it, etc. You can either have all that, or you can have straight up merito

    • You can either have all that, or you can have straight up meritocracy, which Google was famous for in the years past. You can't have both.

      Your ability to interact with different people without causing problems - or unintentionally insulting your customers - is part of your merit nowadays. As the world changes, so do the requirements it places on businesses and their employees.

  • It is about not blocking people because of race, gender, nationality. (Blocking anybody because of religion is always fine and in fact recommended, because they have proven they are stupid...). If the statistics do not follow that move, maybe it is people's choice?

  • Good job Apple, blame Canada. They're not even a real country anyway.
  • Apple got where they were by being a meritocracy. They shouldn't respond to diversity criticism. They should be a proud meritocracy, which is the only reason they are successful today. Racism is bad for business, no matter what race you are discriminating against.

    • by JustNiz ( 692889 )

      > which is the only reason they are successful today.

      Wow what are you smoking? The entire reason Apple are successful today is a triumph of marketing a targetted "lifestyle" to wannabe hipsters rather than anything to do with actual content/value/quality.

  • by WaffleMonster ( 969671 ) on Monday September 12, 2016 @03:06PM (#52872907)

    MIC itself is a tribe of disproportionately intolerant young people who explicitly view attention whoring as a legitimate pathway to success.

  • Lets pack the supreme court with hate filled leftists so we can make every aspect of life just like this!

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