Apple Updates Corporate Bylaws on Diversity Following Criticism Over Lack of Female Leaders

apple_logoApple has come under criticism from major shareholders Trillium Asset Management LLC and the Sustainability Group over the absence of women on its board and throughout its top-level rankings, reports Bloomberg.

“There is a general problem with diversity at the highest echelon of Apple,” said Jonas Kron, director of shareholder advocacy at Boston-based Trillium, which manages $1.3 billion. “It’s all white men.”

According to the report, the shareholders met with Apple representatives several times over the past few months to address the company's lack of female executives. The shareholders intended to bring the issue to a vote at Apple's shareholder meeting on February 28, but backed off once Apple agreed to address the issue through new language in the company's corporate charter [PDF link].

Apple is now adding the following language to the charter of the board’s nominating and governance committee: “The nominating committee is committed to actively seeking out highly qualified women and individuals from minority groups to include in the pool from which board nominees are chosen.”

While the statement was included in the company’s proxy for the past several years, it hadn’t been part of the company charter, a governing document. Apple also vowed to continue discussions with shareholders about ways to improve diversity, Ruoff said.

Currently, the only woman serving on Apple's board is former Avon CEO Andrea Jung, who was elected to the position in 2008. The company is also set to add Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts to its executive team in the spring, as she will become Apple's Senior Vice President of Retail and Online Stores.

Apple's 2014 Annual Meeting of Shareholders will take place at the company's 1 Infinite Loop headquarters on February 28, 2014 at 9:00 AM Pacific Time, where votes on eleven proposals related to director reelection, compensation, and more will be held.

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Top Rated Comments

impulse462 Avatar
134 months ago
I don't even get it. Why not just pick whos best for the job? I can see the point if two people are equally qualified, but they keep picking older white males.

Why not try to pick who is best, before commenting on gender or other factors.
Score: 39 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Teste Avatar
134 months ago
I can see the point if two people are equally qualified, but they keep picking older white males.

You are assuming that the best in those field are not older white males.

Diversity is something that has to be changed from the bottom to upside, not the other way around. Are there qualified members of minorities to fill the positions within Apple? If yes, and they are better than those currently there, those individuals should be employed by Apple.

If not, however, Apple should not be forced to hire unqualified people just to fill some kind of "token minority" quota. In my country, for example, few women apply for engineering courses, so it's expected that there are more great engineers of the male gender than the female gender - simply because there are more male engineers than female engineers.
Score: 38 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TEG Avatar
134 months ago
The problem with "Diversity" is there may not be anyone else qualified to fill the position. The only thing worse than not having diversity, is having diversity for diversity's sake, regardless of skills. There may be qualified people to fill roles at Apple, but they may not have any interest, or for some other reason, they aren't in those positions. Forcing diversity has never helped anyone.
Score: 35 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Technarchy Avatar
134 months ago
How about just looking for the most qualified person.

Didn't Apple just hire a high ranking female?

Diversity for the sake of diversity is not a good thing.
Score: 30 Votes (Like | Disagree)
sputnikv Avatar
134 months ago
diversity for diversity's sake is always a bad idea
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AngerDanger Avatar
134 months ago
Stories like these make me so ****ing angry! It's like they want Apple to get cooties!
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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