After reports found a glaring lack of women and minorities in Silicon Valley, Apple has set out to increase its diversity.
Apple CEO Tim Cook announced yesterday that in the last year, 35 percent of the company’s new hires were women, and 24 percent were either Black or Latino. However, the company and its executives admit that it is still overwhelmingly White and male—though it hired more diverse employees, the number of women and minorities within the company only increased by 1 percent from last year.
“Diversity is critical to innovation, and it is essential to Apple’s future,” Cook said in a statement. “We aspire to do more than just make our company as diverse as the talent available to hire.
Last month, various tech giants began releasing statistics showing their workforce demographics, and the diversity within the companies was minimal. Only 4 percent of Intel’s employees were Black, while companies like Google, Yahoo!, LinkedIn and Twitter all had workforces that were only 2 percent Black.
In recent months, Apple has made public pushes to diversify the technology landscape. In March, the company announced a $50 million initiative that would increase the number of minorities in tech jobs.
Civil rights activist Jesse Jackson, who has been active in pushing to boost the number of minorities in Silicon Valley, has praised Apple’s efforts, but he is asking that the companies provide more comprehensive hiring data and prioritize contracting with female- and minority-owned companies.