Apple’s VP of Diversity walks back recent controversial comments

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Denise Young Smith shared her thoughts with colleagues following the comments.
Photo: Apple

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.

Apple hires satnav expert to improve Maps app

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Apple's latest hire will make Maps better.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s often-ridiculed Maps app is getting some much-needed assistance, thanks to a recent new hire who helped invent the satellite navigation systems used by a bevy of automakers. 

Sinisa Durekovic, a software engineer who was the principle architect and engineer for Harman International Industries’ navigation systems, has reportedly joined Apple, and the company won’t say what he is working on.

Diversity report shows Apple’s U.S. workforce still mainly white

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Apple has pledged to do more on the diversity front.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s U.S. workforce is a bit more diverse than it was a year ago, but still predominantly white and male, suggests the most recent EEO-1 Federal Employer Information report.

According to newly-released figures, roughly 30 percent of Apple’s U.S. employees are female, around 8.6 percent are African-American, and 11.7 percent are hispanic or Latino. That’s marginally up from 29 percent female, 8 percent African-American, and 11.5 percent hispanic and Latino in 2014.

New Apple Hiring Indicates Shift from Aluminum to Carbon Fiber for Future Devices

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Image courtesy of 9to5 Mac
Image courtesy of 9to5 Mac

The hiring of a Senior Composites Engineer at Apple has fuelled more speculation that the company could move away from aluminum for building future devices, choosing to use carbon fiber instead. Kevin Kenny began work at the Cupertino campus this month after spending 14 years building carbon fiber bicycles for Kestral Bicycles, where he was the President and CEO.

This isn’t the first time Kenny has worked with Apple; a patent called “Reinforced Device Housing” filed by the company in 2009 had Kenny’s name on it, and depicted an outer casing for electronic devices made from ultra-strong carbon fiber. The patent reveals Kenny was clearly working with Apple for a long time before he became a full-time employee.