Apple, Silicon Valley and Diversity

Last month, Apple CEO Tim Cook had announced that Apple, Inc. will start to provide data on the diversity of its employees. As promised, Apple recently released diversity data pertaining to their employees and their results displayed that Apple is not as diverse as is usually conceived.

According to Apple’s report, 7 out of 10 of its employees worldwide are male. In the United States, 55% of Apple’s employees are White, 15% Asian, 11% Hispanic, 7% Black, 2% Mixed, and 9% did not disclose their race. From an overall standpoint, 70% of Apple’s workforce is Male and 30% of its workforce is Female.

Apple Diversity 1
Apple’s Diversity Highlights

Apple’s survey was divided into three categories of employees: Non-Tech, Tech, and Leadership. The following were the results in those sections:

  • Non-Tech: 56% White, 14% Hispanic, 9% Asian, 3% Two or More, 9% Undeclared
    • Overall Gender Distribution: 65% Male, 35% Female
  • Tech: 54% White, 23% Asian, 7% Hispanic, 6% Black, 2% Two or More, 8% Undeclared
    • Overall Gender Distribution: 80% Male, 20% Female
  • Leadership: 64% White, 21% Asian, 6% Hispanic, 3% Black, 6% Undeclared
    • Overall Gender Distribution: 72% Male, 28% Female.

To these numbers, Tim Cook responded by stating:

Apple is committed to transparency, which is why we are publishing statistics about the race and gender makeup of our company. Let me say up front: As CEO, I’m not satisfied with the numbers on this page. They’re not new to us, and we’ve been working hard for quite some time to improve them. We are making progress, and we’re committed to being as innovative in advancing diversity as we are in developing our products.

Apple is also a sponsor of the Human Rights Campaign, the country’s largest LGBT rights organization, as well as the National Center for Women & Information Technology, which is encouraging young women to get involved in technology and the sciences. The work we do with these groups is meaningful and inspiring. We know we can do more, and we will.

Furthermore, Apple also published a video on diversity featuring employees from different backgrounds:

While it is true that these numbers are, to be blunt, awful, they are a lot better that those of other companies in Silicon Valley. For instance, at Apple 15% of the US workforce is Asian, 11% of the workers are Hispanic. However, at Facebook, LinkedIn, and Yahoo, 4% of the workforce is Hispanic, and 3% at Google. Furthermore, at Facebook, LinkedIn, Yahoo, and Google only 3% of their US workforce is Black whereas at Apple that number is 7%. Hence, Apple is certainly ahead in terms of employee diversity.

To further illuminate this fact here is a info graphic displaying diversity at numerous Silicon Valley firms:

Diversity in Silicon Valley

Although all of these statistics are truly disheartening, all of these companies have begun to devote efforts to diversity their workforce more. Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, is well-known for her activism of women in the work-force. Tim Cook, himself is known to advocate for LGBT employees. All of these kind signs, give us hope that one day there will be a lot more diversity in the workforce.


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