Apple reiterated its commitment to diversity — but it made little progress in the last year and is still predominantly white and male

Apple CEO Tim Cook, right, with Eddy Cue, the company's senior vice president of internet software and services.

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Apple CEO Tim Cook, right, with Eddy Cue, the company’s senior vice president of internet software and services.
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Drew Angerer / Getty Images

  • Apple released its latest diversity report Thursday.
  • Among the company’s leadership and tech-worker ranks, women made only a slight gain while underrepresented minority groups actually lost ground.
  • Still, the company noted that half of the people hired overall in the last year were either women or members of such underrepresented groups.

Apple released its latest diversity report on Thursday, showing that, despite its stated commitment to diversifying its workforce, the iPhone maker remains predominately white and male.

The proportion of women in its leadership ranks only rose slightly in the last year and among its tech workers, didn’t change at all. Underrepresented minorities made no gains among Apple’s leadership since last year, and actually lost ground among its tech workers.

Overall at the company, the proportion of women remained unchanged and the percentage of underrepresented minorities barely nudged.

“Meaningful change takes time,” the company said in its report. “We’re proud of our accomplishments, but we have much more work to do.”

A company representative did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

Worldwide, only 29% of Apple’s leadership – a term it didn’t define – is female, according to the report. Apple has raised that proportion just one percentage point since 2014, and the increase just happened in the last year.

In terms of ethnic diversity, Apple’s leadership ranks also barely changed. Whites constitute 66% of Apple’s leadership, down just 1 percentage point from last year. Although the proportion of Asians in its leadership rose from 21% to 23% in the last year, the percentage of blacks, Hispanics and multiracial people didn’t change at all.

Apple’s leadership page offers a good indication of the company’s lack of gender and ethnic diversity at its top. Of the 19 senior executives shown on the page, only five are women, and just two are black. Among the 11 people in Apple’s top executive ranks, only one is a woman, and none are black.

Apple’s tech workforce also has a long ways to go to be truly diverse; currently, it’s 52% white and 77% male. Last year it was at 55% white and 77% male. The proportion of underrepresented minorities – blacks, Hispanics, and multiracial people – actually declined in the last year from 18% to 17%.

The company did have some successes to point to, in terms of diversifying its workforce. Half of the people Apple hired between July 2016 and July 2017 were from groups traditionally underrepresented in the tech industry, including women, blacks and Hispanics, according to the report. It also said that the proportion of workers under 30 who are women or members of underrepresented minority groups were higher than the company’s overall average for such groups.

However, Apple didn’t say what kind of jobs it was hiring those members of underrepresented groups to do. Traditionally, the workers in its retail stores have been much more diverse than those in its leadership ranks or among its tech employees. Those retail employees also tend to be paid significantly less than Apple’s managers or tech workers.