Apple releases updated diversity report, “a lot more work to be done” says Cook

Apple diversity

Apple has updated its diversity report with new data about gender, race, and ethnicity hiring at the company. The updated diversity report comes one day after Apple committed to sponsoring a minority-focused technology program and one year after releasing its first report on such data.

While the new data does not show dramatic diversity improvements compared with last year’s report, Apple does highlight some key changes in hiring over the last 12 months. The company is still mostly male with men accounting for 69% of Apple around the world, but that’s moved slightly from 70% a year ago.

The same is true for race, as whites make up 54% of the overall company in the United States, but the new report shows an increase in Asian (18% from 15%) and black (8% from 7%) employees from the previous year.

Apple’s report also breaks out gender, race and ethnicity of new hires over the last year, with 35% of new employees around the world being woman.and in the United States, 19% of US hires being Asian, 13% Hispanic, and 11% black. Apple’s diversity website further breaks out each group by sector, including tech and non-tech jobs, leadership, retail, and retail leadership.

Denise Young Smith, Apple’s VP of Worldwide Human Resources, sent the following memo to employees regarding the latest diversity report:

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For the past year, we’ve deepened our companywide conversation about inclusion and diversity at Apple. And as you all have seen, we just released demographic data about our employees showing that we’re making some progress in this area. I encourage you to visit our new Inclusion and Diversity page to read Tim’s message, view our workforce demographics update, and learn more about how we’re making impact with some of our biggest initiatives and partners.

In addition, many of you have talked to me personally about diversity, and hundreds of you contributed ideas and asked questions through In Your Voice, our employee feedback program. Today, I want to share some of the compelling stories we received, address your most common questions, and provide an update on highlights of the work we’ve been doing internally and externally to promote inclusion and diversity.

I want to encourage all of you to consider the ways you can make differences matter in your work day to day. And I want to invite you to keep the conversation going, both in personal discussions and through In Your Voice. If you have a concern to raise, an idea to contribute, or a story to tell, please let us know.

Thank you for your time, your thoughtfulness, and your commitment to making Apple better.


Young Smith provided even more data in an interview with Fortune, adding that 11,000 women were hired globally over the last year. That number is up 65% from the previous year.

And on, Tim Cook has published a message on diversity at the company:

A message from Tim Cook.

Apple has always been different. A different kind of company with a different view of the world. It’s a special place where we have the opportunity to create the best products on earth — products that change lives and help shape the future. It’s a privilege we hold dear.

Diversity is critical to innovation and it is essential to Apple’s future. We aspire to do more than just make our company as diverse as the talent available to hire. We must address the broad underlying challenges, offer new opportunities, and create a future generation of employees as diverse as the world around us. We also aspire to make a difference beyond Apple.

This means fostering diversity not just at Apple but throughout our entire ecosystem, from the customers we welcome in our stores to the suppliers and developers we work with. We are committed to fostering and advancing inclusion and diversity across Apple and all the communities we’re a part of. As one example, we’re proud that our spending on women- and minority-owned businesses exceeded $650 million last year.

We want every person who joins our team, every customer visiting our stores or calling for support to feel welcome. We believe in equality for everyone, regardless of race, age, gender, gender identity, ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation. That applies throughout our company, around the world with no exceptions.

Last year we reported the demographics of our employees for the first time externally, although we have long prioritized diversity. We promised to improve those numbers and we’re happy to report that we have made progress. In the past year we hired over 11,000 women globally, which is 65 percent more than in the previous year. In the United States, we hired more than 2,200 Black employees — a 50 percent increase over last year — and 2,700 Hispanic employees, a 66 percent increase. In total, this represents the largest group of employees we’ve ever hired from underrepresented groups in a single year. Additionally, in the first 6 months of this year, nearly 50 percent of the people we’ve hired in the United States are women, Black, Hispanic, or Native American.

As you can see, we’re working hard to expand our recruiting efforts so we continue hiring talented people from groups that are currently underrepresented in our industry. We’re supporting education with programs like the Thurgood Marshall College Fund to help students at historically black colleges and universities find opportunities in technology. ConnectED is bringing our technology to some of the most economically disadvantaged schools and communities in the United States, so more people have the opportunity to pursue their dreams. We’re also hosting hundreds of students at our annual developer conference, and we’re setting up new programs to help students learn to code.

We are proud of the progress we’ve made, and our commitment to diversity is unwavering. But we know there is a lot more work to be done.

Some people will read this page and see our progress. Others will recognize how much farther we have to go. We see both. And more important than these statistics, we see tens of thousands of Apple employees all over the world, speaking dozens of languages, working together. We celebrate their differences and the many benefits we and our customers enjoy as a result.

Tim Cook
CEO, Apple Inc.

In a first, Apple also published its most recently filed Federal Employer Information Report EEO-1 online, which includes data from July 2014, but adds that it will share its 2015 form once it’s filed with the federal government. The move comes after Young Smith recently promised greater transparency in its diversity reporting and others pressured Apple to release its federal hiring diversity data.

Apple notes that it believes its data from Apple Human Resources is more reflective of its efforts, however, declaring that the EEO-1 form “has not kept pace with changes in industry or the American workforce over the past half century.”

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  1. Kudos to Apple for releasing the information.

    It would be interesting to see demographics of applicants and differences in turnover by demographic.

  2. Andrew - 7 years ago

    Excellent. So white males looking to get into the industry have a significantly lower chance of getting hired! Diversity is great. Discrimination of any kind (even if it’s reversed) is not. Simple fix: hire the right person for the job regardless of race, gender, age, etc.

    • Andrew Messenger - 7 years ago

      White males are going to have it so hard now. :(

      • robertsm76 - 7 years ago

        would you say the same thing if you lost your job tomorrow to a minority so your company could fill a quota? Didn’t think so

      • arwynnfcffxiv - 7 years ago

        I agree, I think the best person should get hired regardless of their race or ethnicity. The fact that they even need to have quotas like this is sad. Just because the right person for the job just so happens to be white shouldn’t limit their ability to get the job or it makes it just as bad if you were doing it to a non-white person.

    • nelson1112233 - 7 years ago

      I’m European and Portuguese.

      If I file an Application to work for an US company, I’m going to say that I’m Hispanic. LOL.

      It’s true, I’m from the region the Romans named Hispania.

  3. bhayes444 - 7 years ago

    Yeah, because having a racially and securely diverse workforce means good products. If companies really want to improve their diversity, they need to look a decade down the road and actually invest time and resources in encouraging all varieties of people to be experts in the technological field. Don’t just seek to hire a more diverse workforce, seek to create a diverse pool that you can draw from. That way the best people still get the job, and the diversity will be there.

    • taoprophet420 - 7 years ago

      I think that’s the man thing getting a diverse workforce. To do that tech schools need to appeal to all people. Have to change the education and training before companies can have a diverse workforce. To try to balance out ethnicities and gender in the workforce to what it is in society will lead to under qualified workers getting jobs.

      The best thing now is to hire the best workers for the jobs and trying to get more diverse people going to tech schools.

  4. Jesse Nichols - 7 years ago

    I would also be interested in seeing demographics of applicants. There’s been a huge push for women in the tech industry, but it will likely be a few more years before we see these stats balance out. Many of today’s young women are really interested in this field, but it could be awhile before a significant amount enter the work force (especially when you consider that the interest from young men hasn’t waned).

    Has anyone here ever been to a coders convention? In my experience… It’s like 70-80% guys. The women that are there are fantastic and just as smart/capable/etc. as the men. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t be keeping track of these numbers, but I also don’t want to see a company make bad hiring decisions to fill a quota. If 10,000 people apply for 100 jobs and 7,000 are men and 3,000 are women, it’s not crazy to think that about 70% of those jobs could go to men. There will obviously be variances and outliers, but statistically there will be a similar proportion of standouts from both genders which would lead to a skewed number of hires from each gender. If the numbers come out to 50/50, then it would probably have rejected more capable men in favor of women simply for the sake of hiring the right demographic.

    On the other hand, if 5000 men and 5000 women applied for 100 jobs… I would expect it to be roughly 50/50. Just my perspective…

    • Jesse Nichols - 7 years ago

      For a great example of those coder’s conventions I referenced… Take a look at the article just a few below this one about Code2040 and look at how “diverse” the genders are in that picture. There is a pretty good representation of multiple ethnicities, but you’ve got to really look hard to find any women in that picture…

    • “If 5000 men and 5000 women applied for 100 jobs…. I would expect it to be roughly 50/50”.

      I would expect those 100 jobs to be filled by the 100 most capable people, male OR female. By making sure you hit quota’s then by default you are discriminating against people who MAY be more capable than others for a particular role.

    • Jesse Nichols - 7 years ago

      Note: This was still working off of the assumption that “statistically there will be a similar proportion of standouts from both genders”. My point was that the numbers will begin to even out over time as more women enter the tech field. It will likely never be 50/50 due to variation and outliers. But, it would most likely be pretty close from a statistical point of view. This of course is assuming that you believe that men and women are equally capable of succeeding in the tech field. =)

  5. taoprophet420 - 7 years ago

    Hispanic numbers seem low especially considering California has over a 37% Hispanic population.

    I think Apple needs to find the best people for the jobs and not worry about the race or sexual preference of the worker. I don’t buy Apple products or services because of diversity. I buy them, because I expect great products.

    Apple product rollouts and software keeps having more problems then they used to. The software team definitely needs more workers,across iOS, OSX, CarPlay and various other platforms. I don’t care what they look like or or they want to have sex with just get more and better software teams.

  6. Jesse Nichols - 7 years ago

    On a side note… I worked at an Apple Store. The plus side of the push for diversity is that our store was very ethnically diverse which made for a rich culture within the store. On the other hand… There were times when we saw GREAT candidates turned down for more “diverse” candidates that turned out to be incompetent and/or complete idiots. But, you have to fill that quota! ;)

    • jamessmooth - 7 years ago

      Wait so you’re saying you have first hand knowledge of Apple discriminating against applicants based on their race? That’s a pretty heavy accusation…
      Then again I guess it isn’t discrimination of its against a white male.

  7. stickyicky97 - 7 years ago

    I wonder when they are going to go after the NFL and NBA and force them to keep white players just for the sake of diversity? It seems only fair that teams should have to keep a less talented or skilled white player over a black to maintain their diversity. But we all know it doesn’t work like that. It’s only unfair and a problem when whites are the majority.

  8. Robert Dupuy - 7 years ago

    I find these race discussions to be disgusting, but since 9to5Mac is somewhat racial in their thinking – lets address it.

    “Whites” are over 70% of the population in the United States – but only 54% of Apple’s Employees.

    Asians are 4.8% of the population, but now up to 18% of Apple employees – and Apple wants to continue their attack on diversity.

    I find all this racial talk odious, but we must examine the gender and race bigotries that drive companies like Apple.

    The fact is that 80% of primary school teachers are female, but when you ask these same bigots about that problem – they say that isn’t a problem, because men can get hired at a school district. Well, sometimes they can, but the environment is hostile to men. A company that isn’t hostile to anyone, is Apple – anyone of any gender or race can get hired at Apple – but that doesn’t stop some from demanding Apple decrease “diversity” meaning – hire less white males.

    There is no other definition to fit what they are doing. How can increasing one races participation 3x greater than representative be good, while driving down an under represented group not be considered bad?

    It’s because it isn’t about diversity at all, as the people behind this, don’t believe in diversity at all. If they did, they’d care about our public school system.

  9. This is racism. Hire the best person.

  10. jadefa (@Scott_J_A) - 7 years ago

    I expect the quality of Apple products will decline at around the same rate so called ‘diversity’ increases as they fill racial and gender quotas. This is becoming a national problem, giving job candidates preference points based on race and gender is as wrong and un-American as any of the blemishes in this countries history.

  11. jasonianorg - 7 years ago

    For the record, “Black” is capitalized. I don’t know why you’d capitalize every other racial descriptor, but not this one.

    • Jesse Nichols - 7 years ago

      There are two points to address here. First, there is your own hypocrisy. The word ‘whites’ wasn’t capitalized either (in the same sentence). I find it interesting that ‘whites’ doesn’t qualify as one of the “other racial descriptor[s]”, yet ‘black’ does.

      More importantly, ‘African-Americans’, ‘Hispanics’, ‘Arabs’, and similar descriptions are considered nationalities (or dual nationalities), while ‘black’ and ‘white’ are the more commonly used terms for the Negroid and Caucasian races. While some people may choose to capitalize ‘black’ and ‘white’ due to personal, emotional, or even quasi-logical reasons, it is grammatically incorrect and not considered proper within the MLA and AP format (the standards to which most writers yield).

      Your comment is invalid.

  12. Aur Lobke Milanisa - 7 years ago

    So basically Asians are overrepresented and white, hispanics and black underrepresented.


Avatar for Zac Hall Zac Hall

Zac covers Apple news for 9to5Mac and hosts the 9to5Mac Happy Hour and 9to5Mac Watch Time podcasts.