Apple has too many white men in its upper ranks, say shareholders who are pressuring the company to add more female and minority directors to its board.
In response, Apple has added new language to its board charter claiming that it will consider more candidates who meet this criteria — noting that, “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 move was made after shareholders Trillium Asset Management and the Sustainability Group expressed their disappointment that Apple has just one woman serving on its 8 person board: former Avon Products CEO Andrea Jung, who is also the only person of color on the board.
Former Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts — who has been hailed as a possible future CEO for Apple in some quarters — will be the only woman on the company’s executive team when she starts work at the company this year.
“This is going to be a multiyear process. It is not going to change overnight,” Jonas Kron, director of shareholder advocacy at Boston-based Trillium, has noted. “It will take some time for Apple to make the decisions they need to make and vet the possible candidates out there. But I think they are committed to doing that.”
Apple is the latest Silicon Valley company to come under fire for lack of diversity at its top levels: with both Facebook and Twitter having been previously faulted for similar decisions.