Last year, Apple CEO Tim Cook declared that his company wasn’t doing enough when it came to employee diversity. “We’ve been working hard for quite some time to improve [the numbers],” he announced. “We are making progress.”
One year later, has Apple indeed made progress? To a certain extent, yes: In its latest diversity report, the company claims that it’s hired 65 percent more women than last year, along with 50 percent more black employees and 66 percent more Hispanics.
“In total, this represents the largest group of employees we’ve ever hired from underrepresented groups in a single year,” Cook wrote in a statement accompanying this new data. “Additionally, in the first 6 months of this year, nearly 50 percent of the people we’ve hired in the United States are women, Black, Hispanic, or Native American.”
Given Apple’s enormous size, however, that rate of hiring hasn’t shifted the overall numbers very much. Last year, for example, the company’s global ranks were 70 percent male and 30 percent female; this year, it’s 69 percent male and 31 percent female. In 2014, some 55 percent of the company’s U.S. employees were white; this year, that number has declined to 54 percent.
Apple’s current leadership is 72 percent male, 63 percent white, and 20 percent Asian; its tech ranks are 79 percent male, 53 percent white, and 25 percent Asian. Again, those numbers represent only incremental shifts from 2014.
According to Cook, Apple has expanded its recruiting efforts “so we continue hiring talented people from groups that are currently underrepresented in our industry.” That’s in addition to supporting programs at historically black colleges, and hosting students at the company’s annual developer conference. But if he wants the company’s demographics to undergo a substantial shift, it will take significantly longer than a year or two.