Apple’s Vice President of Inclusion and Diversity Denise Young Smith has apologized for comments she made about Apple’s commitment to inclusiveness.
Speaking at the One Young World Summit in Bogotá, Colombia last week, Smith made a comment defending diversity that’s not about skin color or gender, but rather lived experiences — therefore allowing a group of “12 white blue-eyed blond men” to be considered diverse.
However, despite meaning well with the comment, Young’s response was criticized by some commentators, who felt it undermined the need for greater diversity in tech by suggesting a company could remain overwhelmingly white and male, while still considering itself diverse. Read Denise Young Smith’s response letter to Apple employees below.
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.
Apple’s workforce became a little bit more diverse in 2016 according to the company’s annual Inclusion and Diversity report that was published today, revealing that minorities made up 54 percent of new U.S. hires.
The company is also hiring more women than ever and says it is finally paying women equal wages, and will continue to analyze the salaries, bonuses and annual stock grants of all employees worldwide to solve the gender pay gap once and for all.
To go along with its Diversity week celebrations that have included Tim Cook taking an icy bath, Apple has added a little diversity to its executive leadership page today, by adding a new tier full of fresh faces.
The Apple executive profiles page has been expanded to include five of the most notable VPs at the mothership, including VP of Environmental Initiatives, Lisa Jackson, and Denise Young Smith who serves as VP of Worldwide Human Resources and the narrator of Apple’s new Diversity video.