Rep. Barbara Lee calls on Apple to release federal hiring diversity data after meeting with Tim Cook


Congressional Black Caucus member and California Congresswoman Barbara Lee has called on Apple to release federal data on the diversity of its workforce, following a meeting with Tim Cook to discuss the issue, reports USA Today.

Apple is one of a number of tech companies that issues its own reports on employee diversity, but refuses to release data from its federally-mandated filing. Companies are required by law to file the information, but are not obligated to make it public … 

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Lee said that while Apple was “very committed” to workplace diversity, it needs to demonstrate this by releasing the data.

Apple seems to be moving in the right direction. Tim Cook wants his company to look like the country and I think they are very committed to doing everything they can do [but] if they believe in inclusion, they have to release the data so the public knows that they are being transparent and that they are committed to doing the right thing.

While Apple has made no public statement about its reasons for not releasing the data, it has previously been reported that tech companies feel that the job classifications on the government’s EEO-1 form are a poor match for the tech industry, and that the data doesn’t show the true picture.

Update on Thursday, Aug. 6th:

Screenshot 2015-08-06 09.23.48

Representative Lee has confirmed her visit via a Tweet to Apple’s headquarters and meeting with Tim Cook.

CEO Tim Cook has noted on several occasions that he is “not satisfied” with the company’s workforce diversity. Its first report showed that its employees are 70% male and 55% white. Global human resources head Denise Young Smith last month said that Apple had seen “some movement” since that report was published, and promised “more transparency” in a second report to be released later this year.

Previous company initiatives include employee awareness events and scholarships for minorities.

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  1. hodar0 - 8 years ago

    Why is Tim sabotaging his own company? If you want to be the best, you hire he best. You don’t look at gender, you don’t look at race – you sit down and pick the best people out of your pool of candidates. Yes, it’s truly that simple.

    When you have a disinterested 3rd party telling you that you must pick ‘x’ from each category to fulfill some “feel good” quota; you wind up with all the productivity we enjoy at the local Post Office or Drivers License bureau. Sorry, but there is a reason why “world-wide” some races excel at STEM and others do not. Hiring those who cannot perform, and then setting special standards for those who cannot perform is not fair to those who have shown that they can perform. I am all for equality – but to be equal – you must be color-blind. And I assure you, the Gov’t standards are the opposite of “color-blind”.

    • tmrjij718 - 8 years ago

      @hodar0 “Sorry, but there is a reason why “world-wide” some races excel at STEM and others do not.”
      Race has nothing to do with skill level. That sentence right there is kinda contradicts your first paragraph. :P

    • jupuddles - 8 years ago

      Wow this is the most ignorant comment on this page. I honestly can’t craft a proper response to this one. You’re just a racist idiot, sorry if I offended you but seriously like get your life in order. Like what’s your problem bruh?

    • Don Smith - 8 years ago

      Actually Hodar0….great comment….I feel the same…hire the best, regardless of race, color, sexual orientation, or gender…..if you don’t, then you run the risk of hiring for ‘quota’ instead of value.

  2. Yaroslav Nechaev - 8 years ago

    So now if you are a white straight male you have less opportunities to work in major tech companies. Good work, America! “Diversity” is becoming a new excuse for gender, skin color and sexual orientation based discrimination.

    • Howie Isaacks - 8 years ago

      Absolutely right! This politically correct B.S. hurts everyone. I’m so glad I work for a small business that doesn’t have to put up with this crap.

      • PhilBoogie - 8 years ago


      • PhilBoogie - 8 years ago

        @Howie Isaacs: sorry about my reply. It was meant for Rogifan, but for some reason it got posted beneath your post. Second time for me this has happened, it may be the new site that’s been acting up.

      • Rich Davis (@RichDavis9) - 8 years ago

        Yeah, being a successful company puts you in the radar of being targeted any way they can. Sometimes they have a valid reason and many times they don’t. For profit companies have to hire the best talent because they have competition and in order to remain competitive, they have to hire the best talent they have access to. For government and non-profit organizations, they aren’t in competition so they aren’t reliant on always having the top talent. They just need bodies to process the paperwork and as long as someone has SOME background and education in a task, that’s all they really need. Maybe that’s the reason why non-profit don’t make a profit, and governments are always losing money. they DON’T always hire the best talent, but rather to meet a quota.

      • jupuddles - 8 years ago

        Wow can you guys literally hear yourselves. Explain to me how this hurts anyone, and even for the small amount of people that it may possibly hurt but won’t. It does a much greater good for our society. I personally think that is a good thing, sometimes making a decision isn’t just about the big picture, but the individuals affected by those decisions. Try to think about all the people this initiative will actually help. Because I without doubt think it will help more than hurt. Maybe I am just naive, but I think you are all crying like babies about an issue that doesn’t even impact your life in any way.

    • jamessmooth - 8 years ago

      “Diversity” means thinning out opportunity for “white” males. Can we just start calling it what it is? Totally agree with you. I’d love to hear the argument for why this crap is ok.

    • jupuddles - 8 years ago

      I’m sorry you are so insecure about your abilities and your possibility to be hired. You should maybe reconsider what you are doing if you are really afraid of a little diversity in the work place.

  3. rogifan - 8 years ago

    Why is Tim Cook meeting with people like Barbara Lee? Tim if you want to be a politician than do so and let someone else run Apple!

  4. Howie Isaacks - 8 years ago

    Diversity is great, but government should not be involved. Ever. And Apple should not try to be diverse just for the sake of being diverse. They should instead hire the best qualified people, and not pay attention to their race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disabilities, etc. That’s how you give everyone a fair shot. I wouldn’t feel good about being hired just because a company had a quota to meet. Would you?

    • bhayes444 - 8 years ago

      The only thing is that people would argue that by not giving less qualified candidates a shot, then that is “limiting” their potential. Which is complete BS as they would just need more experience and then reapply. It also doesn’t take into account the fact that certain areas of the industry happen to be appealing to people of different races, genders, etc. than others and if you want anything to change then you should encourage people at a younger age to learn these skills, so they can later work for companies like Apple. Also, it’s entirely possible that men or women are less likely to work in certain areas because their genetic makeup makes it less likely that they enjoy that line of work, not to mention the societal norms placed on people. As a guy I wouldn’t want to work as a hair stylist because I suck at being creative and cutting hair, and at a young age I was encouraged by our societal norms to believe that was more of a womanly area of work. I know it’s not, but that doesn’t defeat the fact that I was never encouraged to do this line of work while young and much more impressionable than I am now.

    • Rich Davis (@RichDavis9) - 8 years ago

      Yeah, a private or publicly traded company has the right to hire who they feel is the most qualified because they are running a for profit business and it’s very competitive and in order to remain competitive, you must hire the best talent.

      With Government, they aren’t in competition with anyone and they are using tax payer money and since it’s highly political, they have been forced to hire meeting certain diversity levels because certain racial groups became political about it. Now, maybe that’s partly the reason why our government always wastes money since they aren’t being forced to hire the best talent and they aren’t in competition to do so.

  5. jamessmooth - 8 years ago

    I hope hope hope that one day years in the future we will look back on stuff like this and wonder what the hell we were doing. Lee is simply bullying apple into releasing data that they don’t need to release. The entire idea of these diversity reports is asinine. I think most level headed people agree.

    • jupuddles - 8 years ago

      I’m quite certain that Apple has been trying to be more transparent as a company and its a larger trend that is occurring throughout the industry. All companies are becoming more transparent. And for Apple to be the most valuable company in the world, it becomes important that they set an example for the rest of the companies throughout the world.

  6. David Kaplan - 8 years ago

    I always hate reading these stories. I don’t care what race or gender the employees are we need the best employees at Apple. It’s a complete innovation killer to pass over a capable white male because a black female is less qualified but looks better in diversity figures. With that said if the black female is better equipped to do the job hire her obviously.

    • jupuddles - 8 years ago

      Why do you think a white man will get passed over? I think that is a stupid comment. Where is your evidence that this will happen. I understand that you may be insecure about your abilities but you have to get over that or your life will never be fulfilling

      • David Kaplan - 8 years ago

        how do you know it won’t happen? There are only so many spots.

  7. Jake Becker - 8 years ago

    Disgusting individual. Rapping on the door of the most successful company in the world and backhandedly claiming they’re turning away blacks at the door. That’s what it boils down to, and yes only blacks, she has zero motivation towards any other race, so at once her whole overhead is flawed in yet another way.

    Maybe Ms. Lee could possibly spend some of her elite time putting thought and funding into educating and informing cultures within other races which she feels lack it. Maybe she could study why there are more blacks than whites within certain professional sports, something which, again, boils down to culture. Or maybe she could ask her sons, who are enjoying successful careers, just how they got to the positions they’re in? It probably wasn’t because they were a certain color.

    Politicians are scum.

    • jupuddles - 8 years ago

      You are a racist ignorant individual and should really think about what you have to say. Like why are you so opposed to something like this anyway. I fail to understand how this effects you.

  8. jupuddles - 8 years ago

    I don’t understand how diversity doesn’t = success. Like you all sound like a bunch of insecure babies. Of course it wouldn’t matter to any of you anyway. You all seem so insecure about your ability to secure a job which must mean you all suck. But it’s ok I don’t think you are racist just because you think diversity means less qualified workers. Like I don’t understand where that ideology comes from. Can someone explain that to me please before you go off making comments about a Private company that has nothing to do with you. I don’t think the lack of diversity has anything with minorities being less qualified for work, and you should really go on a journey of self reflection as to why you associate the two together.

  9. Don Smith - 8 years ago

    Sounds like corporate affirmative action….which NO ONE needs….either you can get the job on merit, or you do not get the job. Companies are not running a charity….they are there to make a profit first and foremost. When busy bodies get involved and try to push an agenda that has some ‘quota’ like qualities….no one wins


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Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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