Apple’s slogan asks for consumers to Think different. This has been the slogan for the company since 1997 when it was Apple Computer, Inc. But Apple hasn’t done much with the slogan in the past decade nor have they done much when it comes to workforce diversity and shareholders are taking notice. A small group of investors led by Tony Maldonado are taking action and later this month, Apple shareholders will vote on a proposal to “…increase the racial diversity of executives and board members through an accelerated recruitment policy.”
Currently, Apple is asking its shareholders to vote against the new proposal claiming a program is already in place that will address the issue.
According to Apple, one of the qualifications to become “a senior-level VP or a C-suite exec at Apple, [is that] you most likely have worked at the company for decades.” Although I can understand the desire for company longevity, this qualification indirectly cuts out potentially qualified employees who do not have a decade of experience, such as millennials, transfer hires, and others.
Let me not be so hard on Apple because Apple does have some of best diversity numbers in the tech industry compared to its counter parts in particularly when you look at the new employees have hired. Besides new hires, however, Apple is lacking in C-level and executive positions. Out of the 11 people who hold high ranking positions only one is not a white male (although to be fair their CEO is a member of the LGBTQ community).
Well I tried to give them some props before I threw that number out there. In addition, according to the online site Mashable, “Apple’s board of directors has eight members. Two are female. One of those women is Asian, and the other’s white. One member, James A. Bell, is a black man. The other five members, or 62.5 percent, are white men.”
If Apple sticks to old fashioned traditions and promotional techniques then the diversity dilemma will not be resolved. Apple should needs to take their own advice and Think Differently.