Apple is making a major improvement in creating a more diverse workplace. The Cupertino-based tech giant recently announced it hired 65% more women than it did the previous year. CEO Tim Cook added that 50% of Apple’s new hires in the U.S. were women, African-Americans, Hispanics and Native Americans. Despite the improvement in diversity, Cook believes there is much to do.
Tech companies prompted to hire more women and minorities
Apple is one of the many tech companies urged by civil rights groups to hire more women and minorities. Members of Congress joined forces with civil rights activist Jesse Jackson to urge tech companies to create a workforce that’s more representative of the entire population.
The iPhone maker issued the initial report detailing the recent statistics regarding new hires on Thursday. Other tech companies published similar reports, including Facebook, Google and Intel. Although most of the companies only started disclosing their reports at the urging of others, Intel has been releasing these reports for roughly 10 years.
Apple needs more diversity in the tech sector
Globally, Apple’s current workforce is made up of 31% women, a small increase from last year’s 30%. The numbers include employees in both technical and non-technical positions such as retail jobs. Some critics remain concerned about the lower diversity rates in higher-paying jobs like engineering or software developer positions. Apple has increased the percentage of African-American and Hispanic employees in tech positions from last year’s 13% to 15% so far this year. The overall number of white and Asian employees in higher-paying technical positions also increased from 77% to 78% this year.
Apple’s report also showed that the number of leadership positions dropped from 64% to 63% this year. However, the number of African-Americans, Hispanics, and Asians dominating leadership positions remained stagnant at 3%, 6% and 21% respectively. Cook talked about the importance of diversity within the company, how it helps with innovation, and how it will benefit Apple’s future.
Jackson commended the iPhone maker for releasing a detailed report on its hiring statistics and for making progress in hiring women and minorities. He also hopes all tech companies will soon share comprehensive information on working with companies owned by women and minorities.