Investor pushing Apple to hire ‘people of color’ in its top ranks

Diversity in the workplace was one of the big stories in tech in 2015, and the spotlight on the issue shows no sign of easing up. Apple now is facing a shareholder call to include more racial diversity in its top ranks — and the company has reportedly pushed back.

Antonio Avian Maldonado II, a shareholder who owns 645 shares of the world’s most valuable company, says the Cupertino company’s board is “too vanilla” and in September submitted a proposal for an “accelerated recruitment policy” of “people of color,” according to Bloomberg.

Bloomberg also reports that Apple told the Securities and Exchange Commission the proposal amounted to “micromanaging” recruitment and that it didn’t feel the need to include the proposal in its proxy materials. The SEC disagreed in a letter earlier this month, Bloomberg says, although it will be up to Apple to decide whether to let shareholders vote on the proposal in 2016.

Maldonado’s call comes amid a push for diversity in the tech industry this year, led by people such as the Rev. Jesse Jackson — who has focused on racial diversity and advocated for workers’ rights — and in the aftermath of Ellen Pao’s high-profile gender-discrimination case against venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

Apple’s latest diversity report shows the following racial breakdown in its leadership positions: 63 percent white, 21 percent Asian, 6 percent Hispanic, 5 percent undeclared, 3 percent black and 1 percent multiracial. Of the company’s eight-member board, two are non-white: Andrea Jung, who’s Asian-American, and James A. Bell, an African-American who was appointed in October.

CEO Tim Cook said on the diversity page of the company’s website that Apple boosted hiring of blacks and Hispanics in 2015 by 50 percent and 66 percent respectively.


Photo from AFP/Getty Images


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  • RegularGuy55

    Even when Silicon Valley embraces ‘diversity’, it means ‘people under 40’. We’re quick to jump on SV companies based on skin color and gender, but no one likes to talk about the age discrimination.

    • ThomasCollins1

      Companies should have the right to hire and fire whomever they want, for any reason, including no reason.

  • InconvenientTruthsYouHate

    The greater reality here is that there is far more age discrimination in the valley than there is gender or race discrimination. And even age discrimination is not even consistently an issue.

    People who are bothered that there aren’t more blacks getting CS degrees and qualifying for high-tech positions seem to be confused: That is not “hiring discrimination”; it is a problem with everything leading up to that point: the school systems, parenting, career counselors, etc. failing to get black kids interested and educated so they QUALIFY for high-tech jobs in the first place.

    On the other hand, there are many aging, highly-qualified people in the industry who are turned away at some doors for no reason other than their age. That *IS* discrimination.

    And lastly, “affirmative action” such as was “proposed” to Apple’s board, and is being shoved up its poopchute sideways by SJWs and the complicit media, is _very_much_ a textbook example of discrimination: aka the unequal treatment of people based on superficial demographic qualities (translation: giving jobs to people who aren’t qualified and didn’t earn them, merely to fill a quota)

    People need to learn what words mean before they go bandying them around and sounding ill-educated.

    • ThomasCollins1

      Discrimination comes immediately to mind. Discriminate means to use your mind, your judgement, not the bigotry that it is equated with today. What kind of government makes it illegal to use your mind? “Discriminate “against” is meaningless.

    • RegularGuy55

      The SV companies have found ways to skirt the age discrimination laws. They can’t ask you for a birthdate, but they can ask when you received your degree. Most times, people finish their undergrad around age 22-24. Do some simple arithmetic, and you get a good idea how old an applicant might be. If someone slips through because of a later-life degree, you can always weed them out from a face-to-face interview.

  • The truth – the cold, hard, stubbornly unyielding truth is, that hiring is a very personal thing, and while there may be willingness of the people at the bottom to rub elbows with the hoi polloi (as they see it), there is far less of that willingness at the executive level. Maybe when more of those executives are willing to live in racially mixed neighborhoods and associate with people of different races after work and on weekends, then things will change. In my city they have a saying – “NIMBY – not in my back yard”.

    • ThomasCollins1

      I get the same coming from Oakland. The “diversity” crowd is diverse from 9-5, then they go back to their vanilla-white neighborhoods.

  • ThomasCollins1

    “Antonio Avian Maldonado II, a shareholder who owns 645 shares of the
    world’s most valuable company, says the Cupertino company’s board is
    “too vanilla”…”

    You sure he’s not SHORT 645 shares?

  • Joseph Alexander

    it is a problem with everything leading up to that point: the school systems, parenting, career counselors, etc. Snapback Caps