Apple Donates Over $50 Million to Increase Diversity in the Tech Industry

Apple LogoApple's annual shareholders meeting is currently underway at the company's headquarters in Cupertino, California, and one big item on the agenda, according to Apple’s human resources chief Denise Young Smith, is a plan to partner with a few non-profit organizations on an effort to bring more women, minorities, and veterans into the tech industry (via Fortune).

The deal is said to be a multi-year effort worth $50 million, and to start off, Apple is partnering with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, a non-profit which focuses on supporting students enrolled in "historically black colleges and universities."

The two will work together in expanding the role of minorities in the field, with Apple planning to donate over $40 million to the organization.

“Historically, other organizations have provided scholarship dollars or focused on whatever area matters most to them,” says Johnny Taylor, president and CEO of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund. “What differentiates this partnership with Apple is that it hits on everything that we do—it is the most comprehensive program ever offered to an HBCU organization.”

The company will partner with a separate, female-focused non-profit, the National Center for Women and Information Technology, to help with increasing the presence of women in the field. Apple will donate $10 million to the fund, with a four year plan to double recipients of the organization's scholarships and internship programs.

Tim Cook will allow Rev. Jesse Jackson a few moments to speak during the shareholder meeting taking place today, and USA Today met with Jackson beforehand. He noted that the start of a more diverse presence in the tech field, most notably in Silicon Valley, is just beginning.

"President Obama said in Selma (Ala.) this weekend 'the march is not yet over,'" Jackson is scheduled to say in a statement. "In Silicon Valley, the march for diversity and inclusion is just beginning. Several companies are implementing new diversity and inclusion strategies, most notably Intel's landmark $300 million diversity Initiative.

"Apple and this thriving Silicon Valley are solving the world's most challenging and complex problems. Diversity and Inclusion is a complex problem — if we put our collective minds to it, we can solve it, too. (Apple CEO) Tim (Cook), with Apple and your creative leadership, sensitivity and commitment, we know it can be done."

Jackson has worked with Apple in these regards for over a year now, and has attended the shareholder meetings of other companies like Google, Hewlett-Packard, Facebook, Verizon and eBay, in a similar capacity to what he has planned today during Apple's meeting.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

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71 months ago
Diversity huh.. I'd argue that anyone hired increases diversity. Doing it on the basis of arbitrary physical considerations seems moot to me.
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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71 months ago
In before the "That's nothing compared to how much they make in profits" comments. Just remember, not donating =/= not advertising that you donated. However, to be fair, why advertise this, and not everything else?

As far as diversity is concerned, I'd like to see people of all genders, religions, races, sexualities and whatever other characteristic, have the opportunity to learn tech skills and get into the field. However, I am against hiring anyone based on anything other than their merits.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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71 months ago
The best way Apple can increase diversity is to fund education. I'm sure when people get their jobs, they want to know they were hired because of their merits rather than a quota.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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71 months ago

White people are currently enjoying the remnant benefits of actual SLAVE labor that built the US economy. People complain about China's "slave" labor, but black people in America were actual SLAVES.

Black people were systematically oppressed and now they're at an economic disadvantage.

It is time to forcibly fix that imbalance.

The correct action would be to pay reparation to families of slaves. That means the 20 acres and a mule that were promised to slaves after the emancipation, but were taken away, should be paid with interest.

That'll do a lot to repair their economic disparity.

There are plenty of white people whose families were not in the United States until well after slavery was abolished, so there can't be any economic benefits of slavery for them to enjoy. The aristocrats who benefited from slavery are most likely in the minority, actually.

And I don't see how any black person born in the U.S. and a descendant of slaves is disadvantaged compared to non-black immigrants who come here with nothing and can hardly speak English (whose ancestors may have been enslaved in foreign countries too). I would never use "my family was enslaved many generations ago" as an excuse for anything.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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71 months ago
I'm probably going to get attacked by people representing the far left for this as usual, but I personally don't like to see favoritism no matter who it favors. My idea of equality is to offer everyone equal opportunities and then hire people based on their skills, motivation, experience, past achievements and teamwork skills, not their gender, sexual orientation or their ethnic background.

I don't mind working with minorities or women, I have worked with both and never had an issue because of gender or ethnicity, but diversity for the sake of diversity is as dumb as separation based on gender, ethnicity or sexual orientation. The way you should hire people is by getting the best people you can find no matter what gender, age, race or sexual orientation they represent. Plenty of people have tried convincing me that diverse groups provide the best results, but all the evidence I've been presented has been anecdotal at best.

At the risk of sounding like a conspiracy theorist, the feeling I get from the modern successors of the feminist and civil rights movements is that they've basically progressed to a point where it's no longer about getting equal opportunity, that was (for the most part) achieved decades ago, but how much MORE can they get in the name of equal opportunity.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
71 months ago

White people are currently enjoying the remnant benefits of actual SLAVE labor that built the US economy. People complain about China's "slave" labor, but black people in America were actual SLAVES.

Black people were systematically oppressed and now they're at an economic disadvantage.

It is time to forcibly fix that imbalance.

The correct action would be to pay reparation to families of slaves. That means the 20 acres and a mule that were promised to slaves after the emancipation, but were taken away, should be paid with interest.

That'll do a lot to repair their economic disparity.


Wow, seriously wow. They are at an economic disadvantage of their own making. There is nothing stopping ANYONE from going to college and getting a good job. It's the same with any minority. But any means of forcing advantages to any minority, is just plain wrong. It's called Affirmative Action, and that has basically been ruled as illegal in pretty much every situation where it has been brought to court. Want to get past your perceived disadvantage? Work for it, don't wait for the handout.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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