SAN FRANCISCO — Apple’s leadership remains mostly white and male despite growing pressure on technology companies to diversify their workforces from the board room to the rank-and-file.
Some 81% of the company’s senior officials are men and 82% of them are white, according to a 2016 government filing Apple released Thursday.
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Of 107 leaders in the Silicon Valley company, 10 are Asian men, four are Asian women, two are black men, one is a black woman and two are Hispanic men. There are no Hispanic women in the Apple leadership, according to the EEO-1, an annual report that Apple makes to the federal government.
Apple has faced and rejected shareholder proposals to increase the diversity of its executives and board.
Less than a third — 33% — of its global workforce and 23% of its technical staffers are women, according to Apple’s estimates. It says 9% of its technical staffers are African American and 13% of them are Hispanic.
Apple says it’s making progress. Some 29% percent of its leaders are women, up one percentage point from July 2016 to July 2017, the company said.
And, Apple says half of all new hires are from historically underrepresented groups in tech: women, African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, and Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders.
These efforts aside, white and Asian men still make up the majority of Apple’s workforce.
Major technology companies such as Apple, Facebook and Google release pie charts to illustrate the demographics of their workforces. They also release a form they file with the federal government called the EEO-1.
In a statement, Apple said “The EEO-1 has not kept pace with changes in industry or the American workforce over the past half century. We believe the information we report elsewhere on this site is a far more accurate reflection of our progress toward diversity.”
Since 2014 when Google released its demographics for the first time, technology companies have pledged to close the gender and racial gaps in Silicon Valley yet the gaps have been stubborn.
In fact, black and Hispanic representation is declining in San Francisco Bay Area technology companies, according to research published last month by the non-profit Ascend Foundation, which advocates for Asians in business.
The employment data from 2007 to 2015 examined by the Ascend Foundation showed that people of color are being denied opportunities from the entry level to the executive suite and are losing ground in the tech industry.
Thursday’s diversity report was the first released by Apple since Denise Young Smith was named vice president of diversity and inclusion in May. Previously she served as head of human resources.
Last month, Smith apologized for controversial remarks she made during a panel discussion in Colombia.
“I focus on everyone,” Smith said at a summit in Bogota when asked about whether she would focus on black women at Apple.
“Diversity is the human experience,” she continued. “I get a little bit frustrated when diversity or the term diversity is tagged to the people of color, or the women, or the LGBT.”
“There can be 12 white, blue-eyed, blonde men in a room and they’re going to be diverse too because they’re going to bring a different life experience and life perspective to the conversation.”
In an email to her team at Apple that was obtained by TechCrunch, Smith wrote: “I regret the choice of words I used to make this point. I understand why some people took offense. My comments were not representative of how I think about diversity or how Apple sees it.”
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