Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has taken steps toward making its board of directors more diverse after pressure from some shareholders, according to Bloomberg. The company reportedly added some new language to one of its committee charters which says it plans to diversify its board.
Shareholders object to Apple’s current board
The Sustainability Group and Trillium Asset Management, two of Apple’s shareholders, recently said they were disappointed that the company has just one woman on its board—forber Avon CEO Andrea Jung—which is composed of eight members. The company also has only one new female—former Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts—coming to its executive team.
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Bloomberg reports that representatives from both firms met with representatives from Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) a number of times over the last few months and said they planned to bring up the issue for a vote at Apple’s shareholder meeting next month. The shareholders reportedly backed off after the company added language to its charter which said it would consider minorities and women as candidates for its board.
Apple’s board made of mostly white men
Last month Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) made headlines when it added a woman to its board of directors. The company, along with Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), both faced criticism ahead of their initial public offerings because they did not have any women on their boards at that time. A report from non-profit research organization Catalyst indicates that just women made up just 17% of the board seats for Fortune 500 companies and 15% of executive officer positions, so Apple isn’t alone in not having much representation of minorities or women on its board.
The language Apple has added to its charter is as follows: “The nominating committee is committed to actively seeking out highly qualified women and individuals from minority groups to include in the pool from which board nominees are chosen.”
The company also said it would keep talking with shareholders about other ways it can improve diversity.