Apple’s retail stores helped its employee diversity stats, but it still employs a lot of white guys

Apple - Generic

As promised last month, Apple released figures describing the diversity of its workforce to the public on Tuesday. The letter from CEO Tim Cook on Apple’s website follows a period in which Google, Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, LinkedIn and several other major tech companies released diversity statistics after facing public criticism over a lack of female and minority representation in the tech industry.

The numbers show that Apple has the same problems with staff diversity as other tech companies. Like Google and Facebook, Apple is largely made up of white men. Of Apple’s 98,000 employees, 55 percent of its American workers self-identify as white, 15 percent of Apple employees are Asian, and seven percent identify as Black. In terms of gender, seventy percent of Apple workers are male — which is exactly the same proportion that Google and Facebook recently reported.

Those top-level figures include Apple’s vast network of retail stores, which distorts them: a retail workforce is going to be demographically different than a group of employees who work at a Silicon Valley technology firm. When you drill down and look at non-tech workers, 35 percent are women, but in tech roles — the kind of positions which generally come with higher pay  — only 20 percent are.

Leadership, which includes store managers, is whiter and more male than the company as a whole: 64 percent of Apple leadership is white, with Asians in second place at 21 percent. 72 percent of managers are male. Black and Hispanic people make up less than 10 percent of leadership.

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After facing criticism last year for having an executive staff comprised solely of white men, Apple added a woman to high level management, former Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts. Cook also pointed out in his letter that Sue Wagner joined the Apple board of directors in the past year.


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