But does this racial and gender boost reflect an influx of diversity in tech positions?
Apple’s latest diversity report shows that the tech giant is making strides in becoming less white and less male compared to its competitors. But change is incremental, and virtually nonexistent in leadership ranks.
The report found that 37 percent of the company’s new hires in 2016 were women, up 6 percent from 2014 and employees of color went up 3 percent, from 21 percent in 2014 to 27 percent. More specifically, Black employees are up from 7 percent to 9, and Latinos from 11 percent to 12 percent.
Over the past two years Apple has actively hired more women and other underrepresented people of color including African-Americans, Latinos, Native American, Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander employees. All in all, 54 percent of Apple’s new hires thus far in 2016 are non-white, which includes Asians who are overly represented in the tech industry, according to a report in Vox.com. But does this racial and gender boost translate into real diversity?
Apple may have more employees of color than Google and Facebook, but the scale is tipped given that Apple includes employees from 250 retail stores in its diversity data. These employees represent 29 percent of underrepresented minority employees; 27 percent of Apple’s non-tech employees are also of color.
In terms of Apple’s leadership ranks, the report shows that promoting and hiring people of color in these positions remains woefully low. Company leadership is still 72% male and 63% white, according to a report in USA Today.
Apple has a lot more work to do, starting with being more intentional about who and how they are hiring for coveted tech spots. But the problem is much bigger than Apple.
A 2014 USA Today report found that African Americans and Latinos are graduating with computer science and computer engineering degrees at twice the rate as they are being hired into these corresponding positions.