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Tim Cook 'not satisfied' with Apple's record on employee diversity

Apple's figures mirror its Silicon Valley peers and highlight the lack of representation of women and ethnic minorities in the tech sector

Apple chief executive Tim Cook has admitted he is not "satisfied" with the company's diversity numbers which show its workforce is still predominantly white and male.

According to Apple's diversity report, only 30 per cent of its global staff are female- in line with rivals Google and Yahoo- and only 28 per cent of its managers and executives are women.

In terms of racial diversity, Apple said 55 per cent of its staff in the US is white, followed by Asian (15%), Hispanic (11%) and African-American employees (7%). That disparity becomes even more pronounced in leadership roles where 64 per cent of managers and execs are white.

"Let me say up front: As CEO, I’m not satisfied with the numbers on this page," Cook said a a letter accompanying the figures. "They’re not new to us, and we’ve been working hard for quite some time to improve them."

Cook noted the company has hired or promoted a number of female executives in recent months, including Burberry's former boss, Angela Ahrendts, Lisa Jackson, Denise Young-Smith and, most recently, Sue Wagner, who was appointed to the board of directors in July.

Cool also wrote Apple's push for equal opportunities goes beyond race, gender and ethnicity to cover "personal qualities that usually go unmeasured, like sexual orientation, veteran status, and disabilities".


Apple's figures mirror its Silicon Vallery peers- including Facebook, Yahoo, Google, Twitter- and highlight the lack of representation of women and ethnic minorities in the predominantly white, male-dominated tech sector.

In May, Google admitted only 30 per cent of its staff are female and signalled there is a significant gap between employees of white and Asian descent versus Hispanics and African-Americans, who account for less than 3 and 2 per cent of its US workforce respectively.

At the time, Laszlo Bock, senior vice president of people operations at Google, conceded that the figures in the report "is not where we want to be when it comes to diversity".

Similarly, Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook, who has campaigned to ban the word "bossy" when referring to girls and women, recently told USA Today the tech industry has a long way to go and warned stereotypes about women "doing maths and science" are still prevalent.

"We are not on the path to get there", she added." If women are 18 per cent of the graduates, we are not getting to 50 per cent of the jobs. We have got to change that.

The 70/30 ratio when it comes to gender also applies to Facebook -women make up 31 per cent of its workforce while 69 per cent are male- and Yahoo which also revealed 37 per cent of its staff are female.