Apple's diversity and inclusion report finds representation of women and minorities largely steady

- November 10, 2017 2 MIN READ

Apple has released its latest diversity and inclusion report, revealing that though the percentage of women in the company has not changed over the last year, it has upped the representation of groups historically underrepresented in tech in its new US hires.

The report, the first since Apple appointed Denise Young Smith as its vice president of diversity and inclusion earlier this year, found 50 percent of new hires from July 2016 to July 2017 are from ‘historically underrepresented’ groups – women, Black, Hispanic, Native American, Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islanders.

However it is largely the company’s younger employees driving this diversity, with 31 percent of employees under 30 years of age coming from underrepresented minorities in the US, compared to 23 percent representation overall.

Source: Apple

The breakdown of US employees’ race and ethnicity shows 21 percent identify as Asian, 9 percent as Black, 13 percent Hispanic, 3 percent multiracial, and 54 percent white.

However, representation of minorities is particularly high in retail roles – lower paying roles than tech – with 13 percent of the Apple’s US retail workforce Black, 18 percent Hispanic, and 3 percent multiracial. This is compared to 7 percent Black, 8 percent Hispanic, and 2 percent multiracial across its tech workforce.

Source: Apple

Furthermore, while 57 percent of retail employees are white, this group makes up 76 percent of its retail leadership, and 66 percent of the company’s leadership overall.

Looking globally, 32 percent of the company’s 130,000 employees across all roles – including tech, non-tech, leadership, retail, and retail leadership – are women. This figure is unchanged from 2016, though up from 30 percent in 2014.

Breaking down the roles, women make up 23 percent of the company’s tech workforce, with this figure again unchanged from 2016, and comprise 39 percent of non-tech roles.

Twenty-nine percent of the company’s leadership roles are held by women, up from 28 percent last year, with Apple stating that 39 percent of leaders under 30 are women.

In releasing its report, Apple stated that “meaningful change takes time. We’re proud of our accomplishments, but we have much more work to do.”

The report comes at an interesting time, the first since the election of Donald Trump as US President, an event which the 2017 State of Diversity Report from Atlassian, based on a survey 1,400 tech workers across the US, found has had an impact.

Forty-eight percent of respondents said the presidential election made them care more about diversity, with 23 percent saying they have taken action in relation to diversity since the election.

Looking at changes in behaviour spurred by the election, 57 percent stated they learned more about the experiences of colleagues different from them, 50 percent engaged leaders on how to create a more inclusive environment, and 44 percent participated in a discussion about diversity in tech.

However, 37 percent of respondents said they felt the industry had taken a step back in terms of diversity efforts since the election, with 35 percent predicting the election will hurt their company’s existing diversity efforts and just 12 percent thinking it will help.

On the whole, however, 72 percent of respondents stated that diversity and inclusion initiatives are important to their company, and 83 percent saying diversity and inclusion is important, or very important.

Image: Denise Young Smith. Source: Apple.