Apple Employee Diversity Report Shows White and Asian Men Take Majority of Top Jobs
A report released by Apple on Tuesday about its employee diversity shows that the Silicon Valley tech company primarily depends on white and Asian men for its top-paying jobs. The report adds to the perception that many of Silicon Valley’s companies exclude women, blacks and Hispanics.
The report indicated that 54 percent of Apple’s technology jobs in the U.S. are fulfilled by whites and 23 percent by Asians – it also showed that 80 percent of Apple’s technology employees on a global scale are men. The report did not provide racial statistics for Apple’s global workforce of 98,000 employees.
The findings paint a familiar picture, with the likes of Google, Yahoo, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn all presenting similar employee demographics.
Apple, the world's most valuable company, has the largest workforce among that group. A significant chunk of Apple's $575 billion market value has enriched Apple programmers and other technology workers who received stock options to supplement their salaries, which routinely exceed $100,000, reported the Associated Press.
The tech powerhouses have been sharing the demographic data that they compile for the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission under pressure from the Rev. Jesse Jackson and his Rainbow PUSH coalition. Jackson has been focusing on the tech companies because the industry has become a catalyst for new jobs and wealth as consumers buy more gadgets and spend more time immersed in digital services.
Like its peers, Apple acknowledged its workforce isn't as diverse as it should be. Apple CEO Tim Cook expressed his disappointment in a letter posted alongside the company's data.
“Let me say up front: As CEO, I'm not satisfied with the numbers on this page,” Cook wrote. “They're not new to us, and we've been working hard for quite some time to improve them.”
Jackson said he called Cook Tuesday to congratulate him for “stepping up to the plate” to discuss the data. “It shows his personal commitment and his leadership,” Jackson said in a statement. “I urge him to take further bold steps to make Apple better, and leverage his leadership to make the whole industry better.”
Apple has been an outspoken champion for diversity since Cook succeeded the late Steve Jobs as CEO nearly three years ago. The company has trumpeted the phrase, “Inclusion inspires innovation,” as a rallying cry. Cook has reinforced that message on his Twitter account during the past two months with periodic posts supporting gay rights in the workplace.
As CEO, Cook also promoted Cuban-American Eddy Cue to Apple's executive team and hired a woman, Angela Ahrendts, to oversee its stores. The Cupertino, California-based company also added a second woman, Sue Wagner, to its eight-person board of directors last month. Even with those moves, 72 percent of Apple's leadership is made up of men.
Including non-tech jobs, Apple appears to be doing a slightly better job employing blacks and Hispanics than its peers. That may have to do with the thousands of sales jobs at its 427 stores around the world, including 254 U.S. locations. Overall, 11 percent of the employees in Apple's U.S. workforce are Hispanic and 7 percent are black. By comparison, 3 percent of Google's U.S. workers are Hispanic and 2 percent are black. At Facebook, 4 percent of its U.S. workers are Hispanic and 2 percent are black.
Technology executives generally have traced the scarcity of women, blacks and Hispanics in computer programming and engineering to flaws in the U.S. education system. Apple, Google and others are financing efforts to steer more women and minorities to math and science in high school.
Marketing matters: from IBM to Kyndryl
Prior to joining Kyndryl as Chief Marketing Officer, Maria had a 25-year career at IBM, most recently as the tech giant’s CMO where she oversaw all marketing professionals and activities across North America, Canada and Latin America. She has held senior global marketing positions in a variety of disciplines and business units across IBM, most notably strategic initiatives in Smarter Cities and Watson Customer Engagement, as well as leading teams in services, business analytics, and mobile and industry solutions. She is known for her work with teams to leverage data, analytics and cloud technologies to build deeper engagements with customers and partners.
With a passion for marketing, business and people, and a recognized expert in data-driven marketing and brand engagement, Maria talks to Business Chief about her new role, her leadership style and what success means to her.
You've recently moved from IBM to Kyndryl, joining as CMO. Tell us about this exciting new role?
I’m Chief Marketing Officer for Kyndryl, the independent company that will be created following the separation from IBM of its Managed Infrastructure Services business, expected to occur by the end of 2021. My role is to plan, develop, and execute Kyndryl's marketing and advertising initiatives. This includes building a company culture and brand identity on which we base our marketing and advertising strategy.
We have an amazing opportunity ahead at Kyndryl to create a company brand that will stand apart in the market by leading with our people first. Once we are an independent company, each Kyndryl employee will advance the vital systems that power human progress. Our people are devoted, restless, empathetic, and anticipatory – key qualities needed as we build on existing customer relationships and cultivate new ones. Our people are at the heart of this business and I am deeply hopeful and excited for our future.
What experiences have helped prepare you for this new opportunity?
I’ve had a very rich and diverse career history at IBM that has lasted 25+ years. I started out in sales but landed explored opportunities at IBM in different roles, business units, geographies, and functions. Marketing and business are my passions and I landed on Marketing because it allowed me to utilize both my left and right brain, bringing together art and science. In college, I was no tonly a business major, but an art major. I love marketing because I can leverage my extensive knowledge of business, while also being able to think openly and creatively.
The opportunities I was given during my time at IBM and my natural curiosity have led me to the path I’m on now and there’s no better next career step than a once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity to help launch a company. The core of my role at Kyndryl is to create a culture centered on our people and growing up in my career at IBM has allowed me to see first-hand how to prioritize people and ensure they are at the heart of progress in everything Kyndryl will do.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I believe that people aren't your greatest assets, they are your only assets. My platform and background for leadership has always been grounded in authenticity to who I am and centered on diversity and inclusion. I immigrated to the US from Chile when I was 10 years old and so I know the power and beauty that comes from leaning into what makes you different from other people, and that's what I want every person in my marketing organization to feel – the value in bringing their most authentic self to work every day. The way our employees feel when they show up for themselves authentically is how they will also show up for our customers, and strong relationships drive growth.
I think this is especially true in light of a world forever changed by the pandemic. Living through such an unprecedented time has reinforced that we are all humans. We can't lead or care for one another without empathy and I think leaders everywhere have been reminded of this.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
When I was growing up as an immigrant in North Carolina, I often wanted to be just like everyone else. But my mother always told me: Be unique, be memorable – you have an authentic view and experience of the world that no one else will ever have, so don't try to be anyone else but you.
What does success look like to you?
I think the concept of success is multi-faceted. From a career perspective, being in a job where you're respected and appreciated, and where you can see how your contributions are providing value by motivating your teams to be better – that's success! From a personal perspective, there is no greater accomplishment than investing in the next generation. I love mentoring younger professionals – they are the future. I want my legacy as a leader to include providing value in work culture, but also in leaving a personal impact on the lives of professionals who will carry the workforce forward. Finding a position in life with a job and company that offers me a chance at all of that is what success looks like to me.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
I've always been a naturally curious person and it's easy for me to over-commit to projects that pique my interest. I've learned over years of practice how to manage that, so to my younger self I’d say… prioritize the things that are most important, and then become amazing at those things.