Apple hired more women, but still has a huge gender gap

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Steve Dent
August 14, 2015 12:30 PM
Apple hired more women, but still has a huge gender gap

Apple's largely white guy workforce isn't going to change overnight, but the company made strides this year, according to its latest diversity report. After promising changes in June, Tim Cook said "we're working hard to expand our recruiting efforts, so we continue to hire talented people from groups that are currently underrepresented in the industry." Globally, it hired 11,000 women over the past year compared to around 6,500 this year before. The company also took on 50 percent more black employees and 66 percent more Hispanics in the US over the same period. That's positive, but Apple is still 69 percent male and 55 percent white, just a percent better than last year.

Apple has taken measures like supporting historically black colleges and disadvantaged universities and increasing intern diversity, but other companies set more concrete goals. Intel promised to reach "full representation at all levels" by 2020, and managed to hire 3.3 percent more workers from such groups this year. Other companies like Pinterest, eBay and Yahoo also set targets, and have significantly better gender diversity than Apple.

Some people will... see our progress. Others will recognize how much farther we have to go.

Apple still has serious glass ceiling issues, too, as its leadership group is 72 percent male and 63 percent white. As Wired pointed out, 60 of Apple's 83 top executives are white men, and there's just one woman -- Angela Ahrendts, Senior VP of retail -- in the upper echelon. Today's report is a good sign, though, and with nearly 100,000 employees worldwide, it'll take time for Apple to make a dent in its diversity stats. Cook acknowledged as much, saying "some people will... see our progress. Others will recognize how much farther we have to go."

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