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Apple Releases New Diversity Numbers, Shows Incremental Improvement

Still, its U.S. workforce is largely made up of white men.

Apple Releases New Diversity Numbers, Shows Incremental Improvement
[Photo: Flickr user JoeInQueens]

A new snapshot of Apple’s diversity numbers makes clear that the global innovator still has work to do, despite improvements made to diversify its ranks since last summer’s report.

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“Some people will read this page and see our progress,” CEO Tim Cook said in a letter on Apple’s website. “Others will recognize how much farther we have to go. We see both.” Across the company’s current U.S. workforce, 54% of its employees are white, 18% are Asian, 11% are Hispanic, and 8% are African-American or black.

Screenshot: via Apple

The company also released its Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO-1) document, which provides further detail on Apple’s diversity numbers, but does not reflect hires made in the past year. It shows that, as of July 2014, the majority of employees are white men, particularly among its executives and senior managers. A breakdown of Apple’s top brass–the 83 employees that comprise its leadership–mirrors Silicon Valley’s imbalance across gender and race. Sixty white men and 12 white women work alongside seven men and a woman who are Asian, along with just one Hispanic man and two black women. Of the report’s nearly 6,000 “first/mid officials and managers,” about half are white men and and more than 1,000 are white women.

Cook wrote that as part of Apple’s commitment to diversity, the company has hired more diverse candidates over the last 12 months than in any other year to date (for which the EEO-1 filing has yet to come):

In the past year we hired over 11,000 women globally, which is 65 percent more than in the previous year. In the United States, we hired more than 2,200 Black employees — a 50 percent increase over last year — and 2,700 Hispanic employees, a 66 percent increase. In total, this represents the largest group of employees we’ve ever hired from underrepresented groups in a single year. Additionally, in the first 6 months of this year, nearly 50 percent of the people we’ve hired in the United States are women, Black, Hispanic, or Native American.

The report comes a day after Intel revealed its diversity figures in a 15-page statistical breakdown, which illustrated how the chip-making giant is making incremental progress toward its diversity goals.

Reverend Jesse Jackson, founder of Rainbow PUSH, took Apple to task during a shareholders meeting in March, for not releasing workforce and supplier diversity numbers annually. In a statement, however, Jackson said Apple’s report indicated the company “has leaned in” to support diversity and inclusion.

Jackson said that the lack of diversity in tech continues to be the civil rights challenge of this era. “Apple and this thriving Silicon Valley are solving the world’s most challenging and complex problems. Diversity and Inclusion is a complex problem–if we put our collective minds to it, we can solve it, too.”

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About the author

Lydia Dishman is a reporter writing about the intersection of tech, leadership, and innovation. She is a regular contributor to Fast Company and has written for CBS Moneywatch, Fortune, The Guardian, Popular Science, and the New York Times, among others.

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