12 white dudes in room is totally diverse, says Apple VP of Diversity

Apple is pledging to do more on the diversity front.
Apple is pledging to do more on the diversity front.
Photo: Apple

diversity at Apple isn’t just about making sure more people
of color get added to the mix, according to the exec put in
charge of creating a more diverse and inclusive culture at
the iPhone maker’s offices.

Denise Young Smith, Apple VP
of Diversity and Inclusion, was part of a recent panel
discussion on fighting racial injustice where she talked
about her mission at Apple. White men currently account for
56% of Apple’s workforce, but Young Smith says that doesn’t
mean the company isn’t diverse.

“There can be 12 white, blue-eyed, blonde men in a room and
they’re going to be diverse too because they’re going to
bring a different life experience and life perspective to the
conversation,” said Young Smith during the
panel discussion at the One Young World Summit
Bogotá, Colombia

at Apple

denise young smith
Apple’s new VP of Diversity and Inclusion, Denise Young
Photo: Apple

years, Investors have
criticized Apple for not being diverse enough
. Its board
of directors and leadership board was filled with mostly old
white men during most of Steve Jobs’ tenure as CEO. Tim Cook
has made some significant additions in recent years, but says
company still has work to do

was asked whether she would be focusing on one group or area
to help boost Apple’s diversity, like black women. The
20-year Apple veteran said that she focuses on everyone.

“Diversity is the human experience,”
explained Young Smith. “I get a little bit frustrated when
diversity or the term diversity is tagged to the people of
color, or the women, or the LGBT.”

per position at Apple was only created earlier this year,
Young Smtih pointed out that she’s been playing this role for
a long time. She is, after all, a black woman in Silicon
Valley, an area not known for putting women of color in
prominent roles often.

Smith said she sees the problem at Apple as one of
“representation and mix.” Creating a work environment that
brings all the voices that “can contribute to the outcome of
any situation” is her main goal at Apple she says.