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Apple is hiring more diverse workers, but its total shares of women and minorities aren’t budging much

The company released its latest diversity report Thursday.

Apple’s new headquarters building, shot from the air, looks like a giant ring.
Apple’s new “spaceship” campus
Justin Sullivan / Getty

Apple continued to hire greater numbers of Asian, black and Latino workers over the past year, but the overall racial and gender breakdown of the company’s workforce remains mostly unchanged since 2016.

The new data, released Thursday, also highlights that Apple added more women to its leadership ranks in 2017. As a whole, though, Apple acknowledged in its latest report that diversifying an employee base of roughly 130,000 workers is no easy task, explaining: “Meaningful change takes time.”

Around the world, Apple’s workforce in 2017 is 68 percent male and 32 percent female. That’s the same gender breakdown that the tech giant reported in 2016. But it reflects a 2 percent improvement in the number of women in Apple’s ranks over the past three years. That translates to 37,000 hires, the company said.

In the United States, meanwhile, more than half of Apple in 2017 is white. Roughly 21 percent of its U.S. workers are Asian, 9 percent are black and 13 percent are Latino. As with all of Apple’s data, diversity is measured over the period between June 2016 and June 2017.

Compare that to a year ago: Then, Apple reported that 19 percent of its workers were Asian, 9 percent were black and 12 percent were Latino, the 2016 data show.

In sharing its new figures, Apple debuted a new diversity portal that emphasized many of its hires over the past year — 27 percent — identify as underrepresented minorities. In tech-related fields, meanwhile, the iPhone giant estimated that 50 percent of its newest workers come from underrepresented groups, including women as well as blacks, Latinos and other racial minority groups.

Apple also stressed that it has added more women to its leadership ranks.

In 2017, the company reported that 29 percent of leadership roles are filled by women, up from 28 percent last year. Among the additions at the top of the tech giant are Katherine Adams, Apple’s new general counsel; Isabel Ge Mahe, who oversees Apple’s work in China and Deirdre O'Brien, who recently was elevated to become the company’s vice president of People.

In some ways, Apple bests some of its peers in Silicon Valley, where diversity has long been a challenge — and a source of constant criticism.

Meanwhile, Apple counted a 2 percentage-point increase in Asians in leadership roles, to 23 percent. Mostly, though, the race of the company’s upper echelon has remained white.

(Company correction: This story has been updated to reflect Apple posted a 2 percent increase in women in its workforce over the past three years, not four as originally reported.)

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