Apple executives don’t often make appearances at tech industry events, but the company’s Global Human Resources Chief Denise Young Smith this week sat down for a discussion at the Fortune Brainstorm Tech conference.
During the interview, Smith talked mostly about diversity at Apple and noted the company would release its second report disclosing data on the subject later this year. Smith’s role expanded to head of human resources for the whole company back in February last year after previously leading HR for Apple’s retail operations, and since has been the face of many of Apple’s diversity related initiatives and announcements. Last August, Apple for the first time released diversity data while stepping up initiatives to include employee events celebrating and promoting diversity. It also announced $10K Inclusion and Diversity scholarships last year for minorities in tech.
Smith noted that Apple has noticed “some movement” in hiring of women and minorities since last checking in. Expect to see an increase in new Apple employees that are women, now up to around 35% of new recruits, as well as an increase in new African-American and Hispanic hires. Smith said the next Apple diversity data report will include “more transparency,” but it’s unclear exactly how it will differ from last year’s.
CEO Tim Cook has also put a big focus on diversity at Apple in recent months. In an interview last month, Cook pointed out that the company has made an effort to integrate more female employees into its press events, something it delivered on at its WWDC event the next day. Still, at the time of its first diversity report in August, Cook said he was “not satisfied with the numbers” and that Apple plans to do more to improve them.
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