back to article PALE, MALE AND STALE: Apple reveals it has just ONE black exec

Apple’s latest diversity report shows that of the fruity firm's 83 executives, senior officials and managers, 72 are white and 60 of those are male. A look at Apple’s executive info biography page shows a sea of white male faces. Of the eighteen executives pictured, only three are female – one of whom, Denise Young Smith, of …

So let the usual debate begin.

Are they racist and misogynistic or simply hiring the best and resiting pointless tokenism?

To be honest only they know which and statistics don't really provide proof one way or another.

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Anonymous Coward

I don't like Apple...

...but this report / issue is BS.

Successful companies hire the best people for the job, they don't care what their sexuality, colour, religion or anything else is, as long as they do a great job.

More Cultural Marxism BS from the Frankfurt School...and I say that as leftie too.

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Re: I don't like Apple...

"Successful companies hire the best people for the job, they don't care what their sexuality, colour, religion or anything else is, as long as they do a great job."

And it just so happened that the best people for the job turned out to be white men for the 250th year running.

to be honest, I don't really think that it reflects on Apple, who I'm sure have a fairly typical company attitude to trying to hire minorities and women (i.e., we have to so let's get good ones for whatever role we can find), and does rather more say something about an industry which appears to attract a labour force which is 80% white and 95% male. While it's clearly a fairly big issue, I (for once) agree with Worstall on this - it's a lot more about the activities which women are encouraged to follow in Western culture generally than anything the tech industry does. By the time Apple's hiring managers are involved in the process, it's a good 15 years too late to do anything about it.

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Anonymous Coward

kill whitey

Success = tyranny

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Re: I don't like Apple...

There isn't really a lot of evidence that companies have the ability to differentiate between the best and the absolutely adequate. And such a tacit admission is through the use of networking and external firms with their own list of "known quantities" to fill senior and executive positions, or the promotion from within concept.

All are absolutely essential to ensuring that a company is able to fill such positions with the least amount of turnover or expensive flame-out, but the problem is that the first two are heavily tilted towards incumbent or established groups, while the last one is going to be a reflection of the last 10 to 30 years of hiring practices, whitewashed or not.

Let's look at it from a the lens of international business and the oft-stated claim that companies hire the best of the best. If that were the case, boardrooms would be filled with people from all parts of the developed and developing world, assuming they can speak the appropriate language and are willing to relocate or commute. So in Japan, you should see numerous American, European, and Pacific faces. The same is true in the United States, Britain, Germany, France, etc. The reality is that all those firms practice the same cultural bias and hire people from their own nation. The US is more problematic as those networks are an old boys club that farm from the same small set of universities.

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It's actually RACIST to make a big deal out of an employee's race. It's also SEXIST to make a big deal out of an employees sex. Why not be RACE BLIND and SEX BLIND and just hire "a person" to fill a position based on qualifications like experience, demonstrated past success, education level, and so forth? 'Diversity' can be expressed by "iron mixed with clay". Nobody would do THAT. TEAMWORK, on the other hand, might be like rebar inside concrete. Each provides its own function based on its best qualities, and the result of 'teamwork' is better than the individual sums. Diversity, on the other hand, WEAKENS the whole. It's a STUPID idea. It should be jettisoned and abandoned like the sewage it is.

And it figures that race-baiting agitators like Jesse Jackson are the ones screaming about it.

I'd prefer a color-blind society where NONE of this mattered. We can start by NOT pointing out race all of the time.

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Re: I don't like Apple...

The Frankfurt school? Because it's all about the Benjamins?

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Why not be RACE BLIND and SEX BLIND and just hire "a person" to fill a position based on qualifications like experience, demonstrated past success, education level, and so forth?

Except those things aren't blind, either. Let's say you have a handful of resumes in front of you, all with name, age, gender, stripped from it, limited only to those items deemed pertinent to the job. Let's head to the education section:

Carleton

Drake

Oberlin

Wellesley

Barnard

Morehouse

Spelman

Here in the US, the first three are "traditional" colleges that are not Ivies but well-respected undergraduate institutions. The fourth and fifth ones are top women-only colleges, and the last two are well-respected but historical black colleges. Throw in Ivies or an engineering college, add in a major, and you can probably make a really good guess as to both the gender and ethnicity of the candidate.

In the UK, I've heard there are some characteristics you can associate to a person based on their university and it's not much different here.

But let's say it's a sheaf of public universities with majors that don't go in one direction or another. Next you can look at things like organizations they belong to, or where they interned, or what charitable or non-profit committees the sit on or organize. That will say a lot as well, especially since many women only or race-based organizations were set up specifically to combat the turn of the 20th century's white male only fraternities, professional organizations, etc.

And even stepping away from all of that, if it was perfectly vanilla or equal chance to be anyone... the people doing the hiring will go with what they know. They have colleges or universities they are familiar with or went to, organizations they worked with or are part of, or positive or negative experiences with people from those places. When presented with millions of combinations, the brain seizes and starts thrashing about looking for anything to grab on to... and that's often the familiar or comfortable.

Blind just means it's harder to figure out where things are going wrong. It's a societal issue that requires society-level changes. Apple's executive team is just a symptom of a larger problem.

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@disgruntled yank -- Re: I don't like Apple...

No... it's about hot dogs... wieners on a bun.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I don't like Apple...

>> it's a lot more about the activities which women are encouraged to follow in Western culture generally than anything the tech industry does.

The computer/software engineers in the east are women?

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Anonymous Coward

So it looks there are issues in colleges - women only? why they don't accept men, looks like gender discrimination to me? "historically black"? Another issue that need to be removed. If you let this kind of things happen at some levels, you can't blame much if then they happens at other level also.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I don't like Apple...

"And it just so happened that the best people for the job turned out to be white men for the 250th year running."

Just like the only black man to rank in hundreds of white men in the most intelligent people on the planet is DeGrasse Tyson. It's been scientifically proven that white people are more intelligent, but shhh it's an inconvenient truth that we are not allowed admit these days without getting shunned or worse. Of course, it's perfectly acceptable for everyone to celebrate that black men are better at sports and tend to be more well endowed than white men.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I don't like Apple...

It's been scientifically proven that white people are more intelligent

That's a statement I have trouble believing, can you back that up with any evidence? I tend to treat skin colour like hair colour: interesting, but not really indicative of what's underneath.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I don't like Apple...

"It's been scientifically proven that white people are more intelligent"

....And more likely to be serial killers and paedophiles. SHHHH!!!!***

*** Wow, It's so easy to make shit up on the internet.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I don't like Apple...@Naselus

Define White. Until JFK came along the Irish were not considered White. Do a search for NINA signs.

No Irish Need Apply. Poles and other of Slavic decent were considered Sub-human by people like Margret Sanger the founder of Planned Parenthood. The Italians weren't much higher on the list. Until a lawsuit out of Texas a few decades ago decided that Hispanics were a protected class. Hispanic wasn't an ethnic group. On job applications they put white not black. There was no third choice.

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Re: I don't like Apple...

"And it just so happened that the best people for the job turned out to be white men for the 250th year running."

Pretty much, yeah. Amazing what being in the large majority, coupled with significantly better education and employment opportunities does for you. What? You wanted the easy way out for altering inequality, a nice quick fix? Rather than accepting that it takes 100 years to educate an entire population.

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Why don't we get this anguish about garbage collection?

We hear nonsense like: More than 50% of facebook users are female, therefore more than 50% of facebook programmers should be women.

Well women create more garbage than men, so by the same logic most garbage collectors should be female.

Let's stop obsessing about what's in a person's pants. It is what is in their brains that matters.

From the 1960s to the present, the medical profession has swung from male to female (70% of UK medical students are female). Why did that not happen to engineering?

It's probably down to just pure correlation. For example, autistic tenancies a often associated with engineering and with being male.

Further, intelligent women are often guided (by mostly female guidance councillors) to go into political/leadership roles (eg. womens' studies and politics/law) rather than engineering.

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Re: I don't like Apple...

White people generally get a better education than blacks, and that certainly helps. Indians generally do pretty well, their next door neighbours in Pakistan, not so well, but there isn't much if any genetic difference between them, so it is all down to opportunities when they are young.

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When I had the misfortune to be senior management in a well-known multinational, I was taken to task by HR for having an overwhelmingly white male team. When I asked them whom they wanted me to sack, they said I was being 'unhelpful'. Fortunately, I was made redundant soon after.

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Re: I don't like Apple...

"Pretty much, yeah. Amazing what being in the large majority, coupled with significantly better education and employment opportunities does for you. What? You wanted the easy way out for altering inequality, a nice quick fix? Rather than accepting that it takes 100 years to educate an entire population."

That's pretty much the point I was making with the rest of my post. This isn't Apple's issue - even though I despise Apple - but it is indicative of the continual failure of US society to address structural issues around both race and gender.

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Their results say they only hire the best, regardless of sex, race, color or creed.

Lets face it, if we are honest each race and sex has its strengths and weaknesses.

Who are the best running athletes - 90+% black

Who are the best fantasy writers - 90% women

etc

etc

etc

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Re: I don't like Apple...

What rock have you been hiding under for the last 20 years? The book is called The Bell Curve and the science and math behind it cannot be disputed so all the criticism has gone directly to "RACIST!!!!"

Now there are some caveats on the data. First up, his comparison was whites and blacks, not all races. If you include all races, orientals are tops, then whites, then hispanics, then blacks. Next up, while the data sets are large enough that the differential is statistically proven, the standard deviations within any given group are large enough that only a fool would not interview both candidates and determine their actual skill level.

That's all on the purely objective level. On the moral level there is still the imperative to treat all people as equal before God.

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Anonymous Coward

"In the past year we hired over 11,000 women globally"

How many were escorts hired for a night or a weekend by executives?

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Facepalm

Re: "In the past year we hired over 11,000 women globally"

They're probably talking about the ones at the assembly-lines at Foxcon...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "In the past year we hired over 11,000 women globally"

And don't forget the sellers at the Apple stores....

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Re: "In the past year we hired over 11,000 women globally"

also a lot of my friends are black!

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Can you even *have* a techie exec?

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Anonymous Coward

> Can you even *have* a techie exec?

Yes. It's rare, but it is possible:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satoru_Iwata

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Gimp

Techies?

I used to work for Apple in Brussels. They had women on the staff, but all the techies (who were needed to provide customer service) were locked up in a single windowless room (OK, they had a PC with Windows, but it was rarely used).

They also had good diversity: many Flemish speakers, a few Walloons, and even some who understood English.

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Eh

This is news? Is apple actively refusing the best people due to their colour not being white or due to their genitalia? Or is it expected that they should start refusing the best people for the job because they are white or due to their genitalia?

How about an analysis of the applicants broken down by whatever divisions we like to make of people and compare the skills across the divisions and compare how many get the vacancy or not.

I dont care if the place is swarming with men/women/ethinicity or robots. I buy a product because it offers what I want no matter who makes it happen.

*however I do not buy apple products because I find them too expensive for features I dont need or can get cheaper

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Re: Eh

You are being entirely too logical to address the sorts of ideologues who track race issues. They don't understand that when you tell someone not to think about pink elephants, its 99% likely that by the time you finish the sentence, an image of a pink elephant will have flashed in their brain.

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So?

Why shouldn't Apple hire and promote whoever they think will be best to fill any particular position? It's their business - if you don't like it, start your own employing mainly black female Asian men from Latin America and their much discriminated against budgies.

Businesses should be able to hire and fire who they want and gender, religion, or family tree are completely irrelevant in the vast majority of cases.

Disclaimer: I am no fan of the Apple corporation and don't think much of most of their products (though I'm typing this on a well abused MBP which was probably the best machine available at the time of purchase - they have done good things occasionally.)

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Re: So?

They should be able to hire who they wish based on who they think is best. However if they think the reason someone is best is partly because of their race, religion, sexuality, gender, etc, I would say we have a problem.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: So?

Businesses should be able to hire and fire who they want and gender, religion, or family tree are completely irrelevant in the vast majority of cases.

Completely agree! Let's eliminate the age restrictions as well!

Everyone knows children make much better chimneysweeps than adults.

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Re: So?

Why would you say "we" have a problem?

It might be that the company has a problem, probably best addressed by the directors, in that the hiring officers are using criteria not very likely to be related to capability to do the job. That is true equally whether an individual is, or is not. hired or promoted based on such criteria. Preferential hiring based on race, sex, or gender identification is as invidious and inappropriate either way.

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Facepalm

Maybe the Old White Dudes...

...were better candidates than any women, or youngsters, or 'non-white' people who applied for those posts?

Nah. It couldn't possibly be that. Apple is 'teh racist' and every single white male in the world is an over-privileged parasite who has had life handed to him on a plate and only got where he is today by stamping the faces of the poor, the female and the non-white into the dirt.

The Guardian news desk called. They want their high horse back.

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Re: Maybe the Old White Dudes...

I like that you jump to the assumption this is the case though.

Interesting that El Reg's largely white, male forum membership is so quick to defend a company for hiring white, male people.

(I am being sarcastic)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Maybe the Old White Dudes...

Upvote for both the sarcasm and pointing out a possible source of bias :)

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Anonymous Coward

well, they've done quite well so far.

if it ain't broke, why fix it?

Hope they don't get browbeaten by the diversity bitches.

Just like the introduction of new features on all of their products, maybe they can introduce gender and race diversity incrementally? Either that or just go for a job lot of: RuPaul, Bruce Jenner and Mr T

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Re: well, they've done quite well so far.

She's called Caitlin. It's not difficult.

Or do you have a collection of Reg Dwight albums in your itunes library?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: well, they've done quite well so far.

My bad, sorry about that aBloke FromEarth.

Next time instead of Bruce Jenner (Caitlin), i'll say Optimus Prime.

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When I worked at Motorola there were plenty of technical women in senior roles. Engineers, VPs, program managers, developers. For an old-fashioned Mid-west company it was surprisingly not male dominated in engineering.

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Anonymous Coward

...and how's Motorola doing now?

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You're suggesting they did badly because of the women?

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Motorola became Lenovo's b**ch, which probably makes their staff all Asian, after the culling.

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Anonymous Coward

Is that what you think?

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Anonymous Coward

Even if you assume lack of diversity is a problem that needs solving where do people expect these people to suddenly appear from? Skills don't grow overnight.

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But one might argue there are a fair number of talented non-white, non-male people who are pre-grown.

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Anonymous Coward

There are, but the non-white are all Indian and Chinese and already are over represented (if we're talking us population). But they aren't classed as black or female so they don't count.

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Anonymous Coward

Are there? Did they demonstrate skilled blacks/women are actively refused, or instead simply they aren't available in good numbers?

Also, articles like this put two very different issues together - the employees in tech roles, and the executives in leadership roles.

They are selected in two wholly different ways by wholly different people. Even if the effect is similar, is the cause the same? I'm sure it is not - especially since executive often doesn't come from the tech roles, but from roles where, for example, women are far better present.

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