Apple could be forced to add more ‘executives of color’


diversity Apple
Apple is stepping up its pro-diversity game.
Photo: Apple

Apple could be forced to add more non-white executives and directors, due to a proposal put forward by an investor who thinks the current makeup of Apple execs is “a little bit too vanilla.”

The possible pro-diversity push was reportedly prompted after the son of investor Antonio Avian Maldonado II, who owns just 645 Apple shares, asked why nearly everyone on Apple’s board of directors was white.

“I want to nudge them to move a little bit faster [for the sake of diversity],” Maldonado said.

Maldonado submitted a proposal for an “accelerated recruitment policy” back in September that will be voted on at Apple’s upcoming shareholders meeting, yet to be scheduled.

Apple, however, insists it’s making efforts to change — and dismisses the proposal as an effort to “micromanage” its recruitment.

“[T]he company has no power to ensure that its recruits will accept offers,” Apple told the Securities and Exchange Commission, concerning the challenge of making such rapid changes.

Apple’s diversity issues were in the news earlier this week after Twitter hired away Apple’s Director of Worldwide Inclusion & Diversity, Jeffrey Siminoff, prompting a backlash online in some corners after it was revealed that he was a white male.

Speaking personally, stories like this one do way more harm than good. Trying to address complex issues like the racial makeup of executive boards by insisting on quota systems (suggested by a teenage boy) appears to be a recipe for disaster.

I definitely want to see equality of opportunity for people at every level of the business world, but picking on a progressive, pro-diversity company like Apple is misguided at best.

Isn’t the whole point of eliminating racism about ignoring the color of people’s skin in favor of their credentials and success? Looking arbitrarily at a photo of an executive board and assuming that there’s racism at play impugns the company unfairly. Without any evidence or context, these types of proposals say more about the views of the person doing the looking than the people in the photo.

What do you think of this hot-button issue? Leave your comments below.

Source: Bloomberg