Apple has more black and Hispanic workers than other tech companies

Apple employees walk between buildings at Apple headquarters in Cupertino, California.

Apple employees walk between buildings at Apple headquarters in Cupertino, California.

Apple has released its first diversity report, following companies such as Google and Facebook that have also issued data on workforce demographics.

On one level, the numbers aren’t that surprising; like its peers, Apple is dominated by white employees and men. But a closer look reveals that there are far more blacks and Hispanics working at Apple than you might expect.

Fifty-five percent of Apple’s US-based workforce is white. That’s comparable to other tech companies, where the figure ranges from 50 percent to 60 percent. Apple seems unique, though, in that its Asian population is far smaller, 15 percent, compared with 30 percent at Google and 39 percent at Yahoo.

The difference is made up of blacks and Hispanics, who together account for 18 percent of Apple’s US workforce. Although Apple’s numbers are not high, those demographics at other tech companies add up to only about 5 or 6 percent.

The disparity between Apple and other tech companies can likely be attributed to the company’s substantial retail workforce. That conclusion is supported by Apple data showing that blacks and Hispanics are more highly represented in non-tech positions.

Despite the good news about minority employment, chief executive Tim Cook acknowledged that Apple has further to go.

“I’m not satisfied with the numbers on this page,” Cook wrote in a note accompanying the report. “They’re not new to us, and we’ve been working hard for quite some time to improve them.”

It’s clear that, like many of its peers, Apple has work ahead. But this is the company with a penchant for presentation — the one whose former chief executive kept revealing “one more thing” to the public for more than a decade with dramatic flair.

In keeping with that style, Apple delivered its report along with a glossy video that aims to show how diversity inspires Apple from the inside out.

“Our definition of diversity goes far beyond the traditional categories of race, gender, and ethnicity,” Cook wrote. “It includes personal qualities that usually go unmeasured, like sexual orientation, veteran status, and disabilities. Who we are, where we come from, and what we’ve experienced influence the way we perceive issues and solve problems. We believe in celebrating that diversity and investing in it.”


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