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Apple Inc. (AAPL) Shows Needed Improvement in Workplace Diversity

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Apple Inc. released new figures yesterday that show the gains it has made towards creating a more diverse workforce. Apple follows in the footsteps of other tech companies who have been providing figures that show how diverse their workforces have become. Apple was able to report small gains in its workforce diversity.

Apple, Inc (AAPL) WorkPlace Diversity Improves

CEO, Tim Cook while writing about the firm’s diversity report said, “Some people will read this page and see our progress, others will recognize how much farther we have to go. We see both.” The fact is that Apple has a long way to go in making its workforce truly diverse. The firm has a larger talent pool; it has almost twice as many workers as Google. Globally, Apple has about 110,000 employees (half of which work in its retail stores).

Diversity by the numbers

Apple reported that its overall number of females in its workforce has increased by 1% to 31% in 2015. There’s a minor change in the ethnic and racial make of U.S. workers at the tech giant. For instance, the number of whites in its payroll dropped 1% from 55% to 54%. The number of Asians increased by 3% from 15% to 18%, the number of Hispanics remained unchanged at 11% and the number of Blacks rose from 7% to 8%.

The firm also reported minor gains in its tech workforce. The number of women in tech jobs at Apple rose from 20% in 2014 to 22% this year. The number of Asians increased from 23% to 25%, the number of Hispanics and Blacks recorded a 1% increase to 8% and 7%. Same as Facebook, Apple didn’t make any changes to its management pool. The number of women in management was unchanged at 28%, Asians held their 21%, Hispanics maintained their 6% and Blacks couldn’t rise above 3%.

Apple can’t ignore the rest of the world when hiring

Apple is the most visible player in the global smartphone market; the firm makes 92% of profits in the global smartphone market. Yet, Apple doesn’t have more than 11% of the global smartphone market. The firm has made it clear that it is not interested in making the remaining 90% of the global smartphone market buy its iPhones. In fact, Apple has avoided competing with the likes of Samsung in the low-end smartphone market.

However, the issues surrounding a diverse workplace are bigger than Apple and it can’t afford to play the indifferent card. Apple is bigger and different, while the rest of the tech firms can boast about 1% gains; Apple needs to take bold steps for more diverse new hires. In rounding up the letter, Tim Cook said, “our commitment to diversity is unwavering. But we know there is a lot more work to be done.”

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Victor Alagbe is a seasoned business and finance writer with a specialty in writing about how to invest for the long-term in healthcare, pharmacology, energy and tech stocks. His long-term focus is on stocks that provide a nice mix of growth and income. For the short term, he passionately writes about trading stock options for the excitement and leverage that stock options offer.

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