Apple Ups Its Diversity Hires In 2015 — But Is It Enough?

Photo: Richard Drew/AP Photo.
Last year, many of the biggest names in tech issued reports to hold themselves accountable for the lack of diversity in Silicon Valley. Now that 12 months have passed, we can see how well (or poorly) those companies stuck with their goals. Apple, it seems, has been making at least some progress.

According to Apple's latest stats, the company has so far hired 66% more Latinos, 65% more women, and 50% more African Americans than it did last year. Facebook, by comparison, hired roughly the same percentage of women and minorities this year as it did last year, despite more than doubling its overall head count.
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Image: Courtesy Apple.
"We are proud of the progress we’ve made, and our commitment to diversity is unwavering," Tim Cook wrote in a letter on Apple's website. "But we know there is a lot more work to be done.

While Apple made improvements in new-hire diversity, overall, the company doesn't look much different than it did a year go — especially when you consider how many women it employs. In 2014, Apple was 70% male; now, it's 69% male. In 2014, 55% of Apple's workforce was white, 15% was Asian, 11% was Hispanic, and 7% was Black; now, it's 53% white, 25% Asian, 8% Hispanic, and 7% Black. In technical-related disciplines, Apple did increase the percentage of women slightly from 20% last year — to 22% this year.

Meanwhile, Google's 2015 diversity stats look fairly similar in terms of male to female employees. But in tech jobs, its employees are 59% white, 35% Asian, 2% Hispanic, and 1% Black.

Change in the industry is coming around slowly — more slowly than many would like. Organizations like Hack The Hood and Black Girls Code are helping by inspiring underrepresented groups to learn and pursue technical disciplines, but it will still take years for those individuals to trickle (and then, flood) into these companies. For now, it's somewhat heartening to see that tech giants are at least still reporting their diversity numbers, even if those stats aren't as progressive as we would like them to be.
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