Apple reports little progress in workforce diversity efforts

Apple more than doubled the number of women, blacks and Latino workers hired in the last year, according to a report released Thursday, but the result was only an incremental improvement in its overall workforce diversity figures.

The iPhone maker’s global female workforce was 31%, up one percentage point from the previous year. It increased its percentage of black and Asian workers 1%, bringing the overall figures to 8% and 18%, respectively.

The company also provided a breakdown of its hires from the past year: 35% of global hires were women and, in the U.S., 19% were Asian, 13% Latino and 11% black.

“Last year we reported the demographics of our employees for the first time externally. … We promised to improve those numbers, and we’re happy to report that we have made progress,” Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook said in a statement published to Apple’s website. “We’re working hard to expand our recruiting efforts so we continue hiring talented people from groups that are currently underrepresented in our industry.”

Workforce diversity has been a hot issue in the tech industry, with companies copping flack for hiring mostly white and male workers. Last year, tech firms such as Google, Facebook and Pinterest started reporting their diversity figures to offer transparency about their workforce.


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