12 white dudes in room is totally diverse, says Apple VP of Diversity


diversity Apple
Apple is pledging to do more on the diversity front.
Photo: Apple

Creating diversity at Apple isn’t just about making sure more people of color get added to the mix, according to the exec put in charge of creating a more diverse and inclusive culture at the iPhone maker’s offices.

Denise Young Smith, Apple VP of Diversity and Inclusion, was part of a recent panel discussion on fighting racial injustice where she talked about her mission at Apple. White men currently account for 56% of Apple’s workforce, but Young Smith says that doesn’t mean the company isn’t diverse.

“There can be 12 white, blue-eyed, blonde men in a room and they’re going to be diverse too because they’re going to bring a different life experience and life perspective to the conversation,” said Young Smith during the panel discussion at the One Young World Summit in Bogotá, Colombia

Diversity at Apple

denise young smith
Apple’s new VP of Diversity and Inclusion, Denise Young Smith.
Photo: Apple

For years, Investors have criticized Apple for not being diverse enough. Its board of directors and leadership board was filled with mostly old white men during most of Steve Jobs’ tenure as CEO. Tim Cook has made some significant additions in recent years, but says the company still has work to do.

Denise was asked whether she would be focusing on one group or area to help boost Apple’s diversity, like black women. The 20-year Apple veteran said that she focuses on everyone.

“Diversity is the human experience,” explained Young Smith. “I get a little bit frustrated when diversity or the term diversity is tagged to the people of color, or the women, or the LGBT.”

Although per position at Apple was only created earlier this year, Young Smtih pointed out that she’s been playing this role for a long time. She is, after all, a black woman in Silicon Valley, an area not known for putting women of color in prominent roles often.

Young Smith said she sees the problem at Apple as one of “representation and mix.” Creating a work environment that brings all the voices that “can contribute to the outcome of any situation” is her main goal at Apple she says.

  • WaywardOne

    Diversity hiring/promotion without regard to qualifications simply makes a company less than it could be.

    • Giovanni

      There tons of qualified people who aren’t white men. POC gotta be over qualified just to get our foot in the door. FOH.

      • Cai

        Qualified white men still shouldn’t be disqualified in the name of “diversity”.

      • stanhope

        Clearly you lack something upstairs.

      • Toltepeceno Delsur

        NO, he’s right. The best person should get the job, period.

  • Anthony Velazquez

    Please stop with this crap “12 white dudes in room is totally diverse”. I’m sorry but if i’m a company trying to make the best products and provide the best services I’m not going to just hire someone because I can fill that diversity slot. As of the 2010 census america is 63.7 white, 16.3 hispanic, 12.2 black, 4.7 asian etc. So, obviously if you have more white people they are going be in more jobs.

    I’m mexican and I don’t want to be some freeloader getting a job just so they can say, “hey look we hired a mexican!”

    Stop looking for the free ride and handouts people!

    • stanhope

      Blacks call them ‘toms’. Native Americans call them ‘apples’ what do they call you? Sellout might work.

      • Anthony Velazquez

        Yeah, sorry I don’t want handouts because of the color of my skin. If that’s the kind of treatment you want then by all means line up and play the race card buddy. smh

      • Toltepeceno Delsur

        I agree with you, handouts are saying we are not smart enough to make it on our own. It’s typically white guilters from lilly white neighborhoods like the kid above playing the race card.

        Not totally but mosty.

      • macguy59

        Yet another entitled snowflake

  • naqahdah

    I like that the article is framed (and titled) to make her look bad, but she just comes off sounding reasonable and intelligent.

    …Suggesting that white males aren’t all identical, psh. What is this world coming to?!

  • Jeroen de Haas

    Clearly you lack something upstairs.

  • FilBack

    These diversity policies are stupid and borderline racist. They should hire the best person for the job, regardelessly.
    Diversity is about not excluding people because they are different, not about including people BECAUSE they are different.

    It’s about making race disappear. Not about checking all the boxes for the white, the black, the Asian, the woman, the Hispanic, etc to look politically correct. I hate that “diversity for the sake of being diverse” crap.

    Hire only women or only blacks or only whites, as long as they are the best people for the job.

    • macguy59

      What they are really saying is hire a minority that’s “good enough”. I’ve yet to see factual data that proves diversity yields a better product/service or better sales. That said, all applicants should be treated fairly without gender, race or color bias.

  • David Kaplan

    She’s correct, the tone with which this article is written is total garbage…. diversity doesn’t mean all minority only… it means people of different backgrounds in more ways than one. Ultimately, a company shouldn’t desire to be diverse anyway, they should desire to be a pure meritocracy.

  • Chamone

    All the old white men butthurt about being surrounded by non old white men is hilarious. Every single time.

    • macguy59

      Nah only the ones that saw better qualified applicants passed over for one of those less qualified non old white men.

      • Chamone

        Only that never happens. Old white men just like to think it does because they can’t fathom minorities being better than them at a job.

      • Chad Burke

        Companies exist to profit. If there were so many minorities outperforming everyone else we wouldn’t be having this discussion.

  • TheShoeHorn

    Whoever wrote this headline needs to be replaced with a pansexual Somalian.

  • Teh Apple Sux

    The goal of a company is to make money, not become a racially diverse utopia. No wonder the economy is tanking. The left seems to want to artificially engineer the racial makeup of every aspect of society. That reminds me of something. Diversity is the new racial purity, only there’s just a different definition of ‘pure’ this time around.