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Apple Diversity Report Reveals Progress -- But a Long Way to Go

Apple said it hired 65 percent more women, 50 percent more blacks and 66 percent more Latinos in the past year.


Apple said it has hired more women, blacks and Latinos over the past year than at any time in its history, though the company remains overwhelmingly white and male.

The company released its diversity report Thursday, amid growing pressure on Apple and other technology companies to be more inclusive in their hiring practices.

“Some people will read this page and see our progress,” wrote Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook. “Others will recognize how much farther we have to go. We see both.”

Apple said it had worked hard over the past year to expand its recruiting efforts, and hired 65 percent more women, 50 percent more blacks and 66 percent more Latinos. By the numbers, those are gains of 11,000 women, 2,200 blacks and 2,700 Latinos.

“This represents the largest group of employees we’ve ever hired from underrepresented groups in a single year,” Cook said. “Additionally, in the first six months of this year, nearly 50 percent of the people we’ve hired in the United States are women, black, Hispanic, or Native American.”

However, these efforts barely moved the needle for Apple, which reported that 69 percent of its workers around the world are men and more than half of its U.S. workforce — 54 percent — is white.

Civil rights leader Jesse Jackson issued a statement applauding Apple for making strides in hiring — which he said may be the most significant gains in the tech industry, in terms of sheer numbers — and for releasing its federal Equal Employment Opportunity report, which provides a closer look at the racial composition of its workforce by job category.

“This is a watershed week for propelling the tech diversity and inclusion agenda forward,” Jackson said in a statement. “HP broke new ground by appointing two African Americans to each of its two new companies (HP Enterprise and HP Inc.); Intel reported significant and measurable progress in their diversity hiring in perhaps the most aggressively transparent report provided by any company in the industry. Now Apple has leaned in.”

Cook said Apple is doing other work to help underrepresented groups find jobs in the technology industry. It supports the Thurgood Marshall College Fund to help students at historically black colleges and universities find jobs in technology, and he cited Apple’s commitment to ConnectED to bring technology to disadvantaged schools.

“We are proud of the progress we’ve made, and our commitment to diversity is unwavering,” Cook said. “But we know there is a lot more work to be done.”

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