Apple Under Pressure to Hire Non-White Executives and Directors

According to a report by Bloomberg, Apple shareholders may force the company to increase the number of non-white executives and directors next year. A resolution submitted by an investor who lives in New York and London, would require Apple to put more “people of colour” in such high-profile roles to increase diversity. Apple has however told the SEC that it believes it doesn’t have to include the proposal in its proxy materials, notes the report.

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Apple says that while it is trying to attract minorities, “the company has no power to ensure that its recruits will accept offers”. The SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance has replied that the agency doesn’t agree with the company. Now it’s up to Apple whether to bring the matter to a vote at the 2016 annual meeting or not. The source says that if Apple decides not to include the matter in its proxy, it could bring an enforcement action by the SEC.

The proposal for an “accelerated recruitment policy” was submitted in September by Antonio Avian Maldonado II, who owns 645 Apple shares. He said he was spurred to act after looking at photos of the directors with his teenage son, who asked him why nearly everyone was white.

The board is “a little bit too vanilla,” said Maldonado, the creative director for Insignia Entertainment, a music company. “I want to nudge them to move a little bit faster.”

The SEC’s response to Apple’s objection, he said, “proves I’ve been saying something correct.” He said he was “a little bit shocked” at the company’s response to his proposal. “What do you mean it can’t be done?”

Diversity has been a hot issue in Silicon Valley in recent years, with activists focusing on hiring of minority and female engineers and executives in big tech companies.

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  • awkpain

    I’m always split on this. On one hand, the best person for the job should have the job no matter the race or gender. On the other hand, what proof is there that race or gender was not a factor when choosing.

  • BigCat

    Diversity is a good thing, but true diversity is something that takes both time and education.

    It’s just kind a ironic that this proposal would come from an investor that has benefited from the current mix of executives at Apple.

    I have personally worked for a company that made it a goal to actively promote women and minorities. The Human Resources Department worked hard to achieve the targets, which resulted in devastating results.

  • Tim Stewart

    The included graph from the Bloomberg article is quite misleading given that it’s heading is “Apple Faces Calls to Increase Leadership Mix”, but the graph is indicating the U.S. Leadership Mix as a whole.

    My issue here is with the concept that a company NEEDS to be more diverse at any level. Not should, but needs…

    Do I believe that every organization should reflect the makeup of our society? Sure, why not, that would be awesome. But is it really a need in any other way than for warm and fuzzy PR purposes such as the one quoted in the Bloomberg article? Not really.

    If they find and hire the best person for the job right now, then why the issue with letting them do the job until they move on or they find someone better?

  • m Arch Tom’s on Bar N Ass

    latest news around apple global operations and latest comments by apple, don’t make US believe there is any such a problem with leadership mix. Regardless of their ethnical background, apple directors and leadership come across like they were raised in africa and with a african background already. ( as a result for being all equals and to confirm apple equal opportunities employer statements, QEII ” made ” all irish born and raised in rep. of ireland equally african and ” made ” all catholics in EU equals to afro-british or to africans born and raised in britain, at least. Maybe in canada is about the same ! All catholic and irish migrants equally afro-immigrants and equals to afro-background community of south-america ) DRAFT

  • Ashley Mann

    The colour pigment of your skin, I do not care. All I want is a bigger battery.

  • m Arch Tom’s on Bar N Ass

    it’s so hilarious someone’s still using wording such as ” men of color / person of color ” . we personally believe it’s more offensive than using appropriate words such as afro-american or afro-british, i guess it’s an all italians fault contaminating with their catholic hypocrite expressions and to attempt making others being comfortable with themselves however, unlikely achieving the goal.

  • johnnygoodface

    Let’s not go there, will you “investor”…

  • raslucas

    I am also slightly conflicted on this, I think just because opinions can easily be misunderstood. I don’t think a company should be compelled to hire or promote any person for any other reason that they are the best at their job. I honestly do not think that most of the people working at Apple are specifically not promoting minorities, they just aren’t the best candidates. I can’t imagine any person that would either not want to be hired, or actually specifically getting hired for a job because of their race or gender. I actually think it’s an appalling thought. It’s almost like a new age of racism/sexism, where “white people” still consider minorities or females to be inferior and so they need help, or being propped up. Not unlike Canada’s history dealing with Native Americans as well.

    It should always be the best person for the job, and we should spend our time just making sure every person gets a fair shake at that job.

  • xxxJDxxx

    Hiring based on race is racism. Sounds like this ‘investor’ is the one being racist. As is any race based hiring policy.