Shareholders approve civil rights audit of Apple policies

Shareholders approve civil rights audit of Apple policies


Shareholders approve civil rights audit of Apple policies
The proposal for the civil rights audit pointed out that Apple’s executive team is mostly white men.
Image: Apple/Cult of Mac

Apple shareholders voted Friday to require an audit looking into whether the company’s policies have a negative impact on the civil rights of its employees and customers.

Apple’s Board of Directors opposed the idea, claiming the company is already committed to respecting civil rights.

Apple BoD to carry out civil rights audit

A shareholder proposal at Apple’s 2022 shareholder’s meeting asked, “the Board of Directors to oversee a third-party audit analyzing the adverse impact of Apple’s policies and practices on the civil rights of company stakeholders, above and beyond legal and regulatory matters, and to provide recommendations for improving the company’s civil rights impact.”

A statement in favor of the proposal pointed out, “Apple currently has no Hispanics and only one Black member on its executive team. Further, Hispanic and Black tech employees only account for 8% and 4% of all tech employees, respectively.”

But the Apple BoD urged shareholders to not approve the proposal. A statement by the company said, “Apple already fulfills the objectives of the proposal in several ways, including through impact and risk assessments, active governance and Board oversight, engagement with our communities and key stakeholders, and regular, transparent public reporting. We believe our current framework for the implementation and oversight of our human rights commitments is more effective than the broad and unfocused audit requested by the proposal.”

Nevertheless, the proposal passed a shareholder vote. But with the approval taking place Friday, there are no details yet on when or how the civil rights audit will be carried out.