Apple's VP Of Diversity Believes '12 White, Blue-Eyed Blonde Men' Are A Diverse Group Of People
"I get a little bit frustrated when diversity or the term diversity is tagged to the people of color, or the women, or the LGBT," says Young-Smith.
October 12, 2017 at 6:14 pm
Back in May Apple announced that Denise Young Smith would be its first ever Vice President of Inclusion and Diversity.
Since joining Apple in 1997, Young Smith has played many key roles in the Human Resources department, and was part of the leadership team that helped the company's retail business to spread worldwide.
Business Insider reports that Young Smith recently participated in a panel about fighting racial injustice at the One Young World Summit in Bogotá, Colombia.
Apple is currently eight percent black.
When Young Smith was asked if she planned to focus on increasing diversity within her company, the VP said, "I focus on everyone."
Young Smith argued, “Diversity is the human experience. I get a little bit frustrated when diversity or the term diversity is tagged to the people of color, or the women or the LGBT.”
Young Smith reminded everyone that "I’ve been black and a woman for a long time," and then delivered what might be called the minority report about diversity in tech.
"There can be 12 white, blue-eyed, blonde men in a room and they're going to be diverse, too, because they're going to bring a different life experience and life perspective to the conversation."
Activist DeRay Mckesson shared the stage with Young Smith, and brought up the importance of recognizing white privilege when it comes to diversity and representation:
“White people say to me all the time like ‘DeRay, I worked really hard for this, I worked hard.’ You didn’t work hard for every band aid to look like you, for every baby doll to look like you, for the world to treat you as human, and everything as ‘other’ is not the result of your personal hard work — that’s what white privilege is.”
Young Smith explained that her plan at Apple will be to find "allies and alliances," and to ask “those who have platforms or those who have the benefit of greater representation to tell the stories of those who do not.”
She did not explain why those who do not have representation can't be the ones to tell their own stories.
According to Young Smith, those that have platforms telling the stories of those who do not is a “win for everyone.”
If things continue on at Apple as they have, those that are over-represented will have to continue telling the stories of minorities.
According to its 2016 diversity report, Apple has only made small gains in hiring female and minority talent.
Apple has a workforce of 80,000 people in the U.S. In 2016, the number of Latinx workers grew to 12 percent, up one percent from 2015; black employees made up 9 percent of the company.
Women comprise only 32 percent of Apple’s worldwide workforce of about 125,000. As far as leadership roles, black managers only make up 3 percent of Apple's U.S. leadership team, while women make up 28 percent.