back to article Tim Cook on pale, male Apple: 'As CEO, I'm NOT satisfied'

Apple has published its own employee diversity report – and the numbers aren't particularly different from those of other big tech firms. Apple's US employee race statistics The House That Jobs Built said it had some work to do in terms of diversifying a workforce that is largely white and male – particularly in its tech and …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well I am not happy with Cook.

    For one thing define White. It has changed quite a bit over the years. When I was growing up in Florida in the sixties if you weren't black you were white. All of a sudden there is a court ruling that said Hispanics were a minority. All of sudden in Florida you had a huge minority of Hispanics that didn't exist the day before. Funny, considering you had Hispanics there since the days of Ponce De Leon, but they were white up until that point.

    Any of you old folks remember RPN, AKA Reverse Polish Notation? It was a joke because every one said Poles were stupid. When Margaret Sanger started Planned Parenthood it was because she wanted to reduce the birthrate of the Eastern European immigrants who were considered sub human in the early part of the twentieth century. They are all white now.

    Occasionally in the Texas Media you will see the term non-hispanic white. WTF?

    I could go on with this rant for a long time. The fact of the matter is you hire people to do the job, not skin color, not gender, not gender preference. He is going to drive Apple into the ground.

    AC because employers check out posts.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Well I am not happy with Cook.

      It's called RPN because it was invented by Jan Łukasiewicz.

      IVY league colleges have already been accused of having an 'asian quota' just like they had a Jewish quota in the 30s - in the name of equality.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @ yet another anonymous coward

        You are correct. The fact the he was Polish was part of the joke. At that time period one of the bestselling books was the Polish Italian joke book.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Well I am not happy with Cook.

      The fact of the matter is you hire people to do the job, not skin color, not gender, not gender preference.

      That is the crux of the matter that now appears to be lost in the loony left push for diversity. It does not matter if you are a big headed, green, Martian midget, if you can do the job better than all the others then you get it.

      Rather than looking at the proportions of people types in the population they should look at the proportions of those with degrees in technical subjects especially when they are recruiting for the tech industry.

      1. Chris Parsons Bronze badge

        Re: Well I am not happy with Cook.

        Too bloody true. I worked for a well-known American company and some daft woman from HR called me up and said that she was not happy with the diversity of my team. I asked her who she wanted me to get rid of, and she said I wasn't being helpful. We live in an unreal world.

    3. NoneSuch Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: Well I am not happy with Cook.

      Sorry, I don't put up with this BS. Hiring someone for a job primarily on their skin color or religion is racist, period. Hire someone because of their qualifications. If they are not qualified, thanks for applying. If they are, hire them. It is that simple and these politically correct they must be 13% this color and 17% this religion is garbage.

      1. phil dude
        Boffin

        Re: Well I am not happy with Cook.

        Well you are in good company, because there is no scientific (i.e. objective) basis for "race".

        Last time I stated this I got downvotes.

        Let us raise the bar, and state there is no race, but there is plenty of "racism". See what I did there?

        Bigotry (broad meaning) is just that - judging someone based solely on some attribute that differs from the "normal".

        Mixing genomes that's what the sex is all about.

        Traits are the currency of natural selection.

        None of us are from some perfect family line.

        We are all mutants.

        P.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Well I am not happy with Cook.

        > Sorry, I don't put up with this BS.

        Would I be grossly mistaken in surmising that you are a) light-skinned, b) male, and c) have a "non-ethnic" name?

        Obviously I agree with your principle that people should be hired because of qualifications, but the problem does exist: consciously or not, people tend to rate those who "look" like them higher than those who look different, thereby creating the illusion that someone from your own group is more qualified than someone from outside your group.

        It is this bias that is in everyone's interested to avoid: after all, as a company you do want to hire the best people (that you can afford), whether they look like the rest of you or not.

        What in many cases seems to have failed so far is the process by which that bias is removed. Yes, the lazy solution for HR, PR, and politician types is to see that yearbook picture looks like a rainbow so that's what many companies have got up to. But the root problem does exist and is not bullshit, as you call it.

    4. jai

      Re: Well I am not happy with Cook.

      The fact of the matter is you hire people to do the job, not skin color, not gender, not gender preference.

      And from the stats that Apple released, it looks like that is exactly what they have done. If Apple were looking to even the stats at any cost, they would have done so already. Instead, they've stated that they are keen to avoid bias in their hiring, but so far, hiring the right people to do the job has led to a majority of white males.

      They are damned if they do and damned if they don't, but at least they are being honest and open about it.

  2. Mitoo Bobsworth

    Corporate p.c. bollocks

    Would it not be more sensible to simply employ people based on capabilities, skills & talents appropriate to position, regardless of race, colour or creed? Rather fatuous announcement, Mr Cook, not well thought out.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Corporate p.c. bollocks

      Completely agreed @Mitoo.

      Hire on skill, talent, motivation and all that. Not the fact that some Excel doc needs more of a particular race or gender.

  3. qzdave

    Up the 9%

    I can't say anything nice about this, so I won't. But it's heartening 9% refused to respond with their ethnicity.

    1. Dr Scrum Master
      Headmaster

      Re: Up the 9%

      Ethnicity or race?

      Which leads me on to the misuse of the word "ethnic" to describe only people from ethnic minorities...

  4. This post has been deleted by its author

  5. Donkey Molestor X

    sssh. ssssshhh. boys. it'll be okay if you end up with 3 non-white or female co-workers instead of 1 or 0. 90% of you are probably writing error-laden bash scripts or filling in crontab entries backwards anyway. if a scary minority or icky girl distracts you at work and you forget to write down the cure for cancer be sure to come back to this thread and tell us all about it, okay?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Need to hire more aliens.

    "Ack! Ack Ack Ack!"

    Why can't we all just....get along?

  7. Pavlov's obedient mutt

    let me guess...

    with the exception of the first post (about the sudden and bizarre definition of races) - all posts so far above "let the best man win" have all be been made by white heterosexual males?

    Racism, sexism, etc is alive and kicking in all parts of the world.

    Affirmative Action doesn't appear, on the surface, to make any sense at all, and in most cases it's lip-service anyway, but "simply do nothing, it'll sort it self out" is also not a great option - unless, of course, you're a white heterosexual male (who's not too old)

    1. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

      Re: let me guess...

      Affirmative action/quotas to increase minority representation is, IMHO, just as bad as the discrimination that it's trying to counter.

      For a long time I was of the opinion that "let the best person win" was the answer. Then it was pointed out to me that small details can skew who even applies for your jobs. For example, do you only advertise jobs in Guardian (Often seen as politically left-leaning)?

      Then there's the general company attitude. Are people looked over for promotion because "they're not one of us" e.g. non white, heterosexual. (Look up the Macpherson report into the Met. Police)

      What can the tech sector do to shake off it's image as the preserve of white males? I don't know. I hope someone cleverer than me has some answers. Diversity is good and should be embraced.

      Disclaimer: I'm a white heterosexual male.

      1. BenR

        Re: let me guess...

        Wasn't it not so long ago that affirmative action lived under another name?

        And wasn't that name "positive discrimination"?

        "All discrimination is bad, but some discrimination is better than others" seems to be the message here.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: let me guess...

        I doubt that it will shake off the white male image of the tech sector but you could start with what we do here.

        Before anyone is offered a place they have to pass a test (the test varies depending on what job they are applying for). Managers have a double test - first can they do the work they are going to be managing and second how do they manage people.

        Our managers can and do step in and take the place of a worker in emergencies, even down to getting hands dirty out on the clients workshop floor.

        So far that has worked without problems - we have had to fire one person because they started coming to work drunk and would not accept the help offered first by their manager and later by the HR department.

        1. Dr Scrum Master
          Meh

          Re: let me guess...

          >I doubt that it will shake off the white male image of the tech sector but you could start with what we do here.

          Go to India or China and the white image certainly does not apply.

          In Singapore there is under-representation of Chinese in a population that is 80% racially Chinese...

    2. Anthony 13

      Re: let me guess...

      I agree Pavlov - as a white middle aged male (thankfully not too old yet) - I am sick of it too. Sadly, I don't have answers on how to fix it though - all I know is it will take a long time. As you say, affirmative action may not be ideal, but at least it's something.

      To be fair to others (and I don't think you deny this), "the best person for the job" is not a bad ideal - but there needs to be a realisation from people that although you didn't get hired "because you were a white guy", you were probably picked from a bunch of white guys because most non-white non-guys never got the same opportunities / treatment over the long haul. I suspect that may not be a popular view here, however...

  8. GrumpyOldBloke

    Walk the Walk

    Carly Fiorina is available and has experience in the tech industry. Do your bit for diversity Tim and step down. Feed your family at night with stories of leading from the front.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Walk the Walk

      Nope he doesn't have too. He has rather cleverly included himself as underrepresented in his own diversity measures.

      1. Ho Ho Hipster

        Re: Walk the Walk

        "He has rather cleverly included himself as underrepresented in his own diversity measures."

        Uber-rich bar stewards are a minority.

        More VPs, for equality's sake.

        More CEOs, fewer Indians.

  9. deadlockvictim Silver badge

    Race

    Dear Mr. Cook,

    If you are so concerned about the percentage of non-Caucasians working for Apple, why don't you find a country which is populated by non-Caucasians, Botswana, for example, and set up Apple Africa there? Assist in training the local youth in programming by sponsoring Computer Science degrees from the local university if not enough expertise is available. God knows, Apple is awash in cash. It would be a win-win situation for all.

    1. Russell Hancock

      Re: Race

      I like that idea - i am one of the "white heterosexual males" listed above and i do believe in "may the best person get the job" so in America, Most of Europe & Australia that person will probably be white (that is by far the biggest ethnicity).

      If you set-up in India, China, Brazil or Botswana and then end up in the same place (mostly white males) then something is very wrong...

      Come on Apple - show us how much you really care and start a campus in Botswana and start training the next generation...

  10. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Headmaster

    0% semitic??

    Do I smell ... anti-semitism??

    1. Piro Silver badge

      Re: 0% semitic??

      Anti-Semitism is NOT the opposite of Semitism.

      Anti-Semitism was made up shorthand to describe Jew Hatred, which is still far more accurate.

      Anti-Semitism is has almost nothing to do with hating Semitic peoples.

      A Jew might be Semitic, but not all Semitics are Jews.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: 0% semitic??

        > A Jew might be Semitic, but not all Semitics are Jews.

        "Semitic" is an adjective. In the second instance you are looking for a noun, which would be "Semite".

        As for the definition of anti-semitism, etymologically you might be correct, but the term is used to refer exclusively to hatred of Jews.

        Anyway, the post you're replying to was a JOKE, in case you haven't noticed. :)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 0% semitic??

      Technically, wasn't Apple's late CEO of Syrian extraction, and therefore most likely a Semite?

      If so, it's hard to disagree with Mr. Cook that, since he took over, diversity at the top has totally taken a dive. :-b

  11. lglethal Silver badge
    WTF?

    Maybe I'm reading that last set of graphs wrong...

    But the Global Gender is 70% Male, 30% Female?

    To the best of my knowledge I would guess its much closer to 50-50, otherwise I imagine there wouldnt be very many single ladies living out there!

    If they mean Global Gender in Work around the world, I would have thought the figure would be even lower (considering how many woman are prevented from working due to various religious beliefs). So I'm really not clear on that graph. Seems a bit wishy-washy...

    1. Tom 38 Silver badge

      Re: Maybe I'm reading that last set of graphs wrong...

      It is global gender at Apple. So globally, 70% of people who work for Apple are male. This figure is then classified further, eg in tech positions.

  12. Andy E
    Unhappy

    I'm being discriminated against!

    I'm a white hetrosexual male with no military service or disabilities, which seems to put me at the back of the queue.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I'm being discriminated against!

      > I'm a white hetrosexual male with no military service or disabilities,

      Well, we can do something about that.

      Now where did I put my baseball bat?

    2. Hollerith 1

      Re: I'm being discriminated against! @Andy E

      So you've lost out on jobs? Are you unemployed now? Have you noticed non-whites or white women being promoted ahead of you or being chosen instead of you? Have you actually suffered on the job market? No? So what queue are you at the back of?

  13. returnmyjedi

    So Apple need to sack a few white people from their upper echelons, and slash their Asian workforce by 43% then, hire the remainder as women in the percentages given in the top chart and all will be right in the world?

  14. Nuke
    Facepalm

    FTFA :- "its [US] staff is 55 per cent white .. 15 per cent Asian. ... 11 per cent .. Hispanic, . 7 per cent .... black....

    According to America's 2010 census, 77.7 per cent ... white; 5.3 per cent is Asian; 17.1 per cent is hispanic..; and 13.2 per cent is black.

    So he must be ranting that there are too many Asians and not enough whites, unless that is a misprint.

    My former uni has banged on about getting more girls to apply ever since I've know it. They are now about 55% femail. Yet they still bang on about getting more girls to apply. It is beyond me what their agenda is, unless they see girls as ornaments.

    1. Ralph B

      Yes

      I came here to say that. (Well, your first comment, at least. After that it started getting a little misogynistic.)

      However, to be accurate, the target for Mr Cook - in order of priority to correct the mismatch with the US figures - should be "less asians, more blacks, more hispanics, more whites."

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      > My former uni has banged on about getting more girls to apply ever since I've know it. They are now about 55% femail. [sic]

      And you complain???

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      narrative more important than the facts

      Outside leadership (which I assume is a relatively small component of workforce), the proportion of 'white' Apple employees appears basically what you would expect. This meme of an unfairly white workforce seems especially resistant to facts.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If Cook feels that strongly about it maybe he should lead by example and stand down to let someone who ticks all the boxes take his position.

  16. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  17. David 138

    So if your a black female lesbian and you get a position at Apple then you can rest assured its because it's ticking boxes not that you are right for the position? diversity in a company should not matter, It should be the best person for the job even if that means it has 0 diversity. Its like the BBCs policy of having more women on chat shows. Nothing wrong with women being on the shows, but surly they will always wonder if they are the token woman.

    Its horrible that they would turn someone away because of colour, sexuality or race.

    1. joeW

      a black female lesbian

      As opposed to a black male lesbian?

    2. ItsNotMe
      Happy

      Not really @David 138

      "So if your a black female lesbian, and you get a position at Apple then you can rest assured its because it's ticking boxes not that you are right for the position?"

      Ahhh...I'm afraid not quite. You'll need to be a non-white...non-US citizen...military veteran...of undetermined sexual orientation...with a permanent disability.

      ""Our definition of diversity goes far beyond the traditional categories of race, gender, and ethnicity. It includes personal qualities that usually go unmeasured, like sexual orientation, veteran status, and disabilities," the Apple chief said."

      For anyone who fits all of those criteria...then feel free to give Tim a call. He's got a job for you.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I live and work in a predominantly "white" part of the UK. An Afro/Caribbean candidate for a position at a previous place of employment turned down the job offer because the firm was mostly white and he didn't want to be the only one...

    No doubt if the reverse had been true and a white person turned down the job in a mostly "non-white" place of employement they'd be accused of being racist.

  19. Wiibloke

    Organic Staffing

    I don't agree with the principal of fixing the problem. What ends up happening is you shoe horn people into roles just to meet your cultural %, the result is hiring people for roles who are not the best candidate based on their skills but based on this ethnic origin. Every role should be filled with the candidate with the best skills for the job regardless of race or gender.

  20. Truth4u

    WTF?

    Running a tech company is not a competition to see whose workforce most accurately reflects the ethnic makeup of the globe. That is just as stupid as saying Windows has a 90% market share and Mac has 10 so you have to have 10% of your machines as Macs because otherwise, you would be racist.

    And anyway, isn't this all just a PR exercise to distract from the fact that by 2020 all human workers will have been replaced by robots? They will be taking a permanent redundancy and no one is going to care if they're white or not.

  21. Craig 2

    The article, and most of the comments read like an Onion story. It's getting harder to determine parody from reality these days.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    But do they know what diversity is?

    It's about so much more than having quotas of women, and people with dark skin. If Apple are producing a diverse looking group if people who are all identical company men and women on the inside, then all they're doing is ticking boxes. I hope diversity of thinking is included in Apple's plans....

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Apple is based in the US. The US is 70% white. Apple employs only 55% white people. Apple needs to apply some affirmative action to increase their white employee population.

    For the oversensitive, that's sarcasm. Affirmative action is always wrong, and so is suggesting that a company is racist based on nothing more than their employment numbers. I'd be willing to bet a fair amount of money that Apple is turning away huge swath of qualified white and Asian male technology pros just for being white or Asian men to get those numbers. As I've mentioned before, that's illegal. Why the victims being a majority group makes it apparently OK is beyond me.

    All these tech CEOs who are focusing on 'diversifying' do so at the expense of their companies. How much talent are you going to turn away because you don't want your workforce to be too much of one color when almost all of the pool of qualified tech workers is basically white and Asian?

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Its easy to see: Apple has failed to bring in any new groundbreaking and innovative products in the last 5 years. In the technology industry, that is a recipe for disaster.

    Compare that with Microsoft who has realized the Surface Pro 3 this year. Now that is an achievement, and a wonderful one.

  25. Midnight

    Over the last few days the bidding on this card has gone up from $80,200 to $1,309.

    It seems that Mr. Sung was unable to confirm that many of the higher bids were serious so he cancelled them.

  26. Goat Jam

    I wont be satisfied

    until everything is done by females. Everything. Then, after the collapse of civilisation back into prehistoric barbarism I will attain my rightful place as ruler of the world.

    And if you don't think the collapse of western civilisation wouldn't happen within a year then you are completely delusional.

    All Woman Workplace

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