Last month Denis Young Smith, Apple's VP of human resources talked about diversity at Apple. Smith noted that the problem didn't happen overnight and so it's not going to be changed overnight. Smith later articulated the point that "diversity" shouldn't be viewed as a tech problem but rather a talent strategy. Today Apple released their latest report regarding their employment diversity program and a personal message from Apple's CEO Tim Cook.
A Message about Diversity from Apple's CEO 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.
CEO, Apple Inc.
For more details on diversity at Apple click here. Just yesterday chip-making giant Intel doubled the number of women and under-represented minorities it hired in the United States over the past six months, after its CEO announced a plan to reach full representation of those groups by 2020. You could read more about Intel's diversity plan here and here.