According to Apple’s newroom, the company added more gender diverse emojis in its upcoming iOS 10 operating system that is expected to be released in Sept.
As per the company’s website, more than one hundred new and redesigned emoji characters will be available to iPhone and iPad users this fall with iOS 10.
This exciting update brings more gender options to existing characters, including new female athletes and professionals, adds beautiful redesigns of popular emoji, a new rainbow flag and more family options.
Interestingly, this pursuit of diversity is not quite showing up in the company’s leadership ranks.
According to data filed by Apple with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 2015, of the company’s 103 executive and senior management positions, 1 percent were Hispanic/Latino, 3.9 percent were black, 11.7 percent were Asian and 83.5 percent were white. Six of the eight Apple directors were white.
These numbers have improved somewhat this year but still a far cry from where a brand such as Apple should be at.
Apple has always remarked that it is a very diverse company and values diversity. We can even see some of its values in the company’s latest video “ The Human Family”. If you conduct a careful analysis of Apple’s diversity claims to success, the inferences are not as what it may seem on the surface.
The company’s diversity figures include a high number of low-wage retail positions. If one discounts low-wage Apple Store positions and concentrates solely on upper and senior executive positions, Apple becomes overwhelmingly white and male.
The challenge of having a leadership that is not diverse is not just a problem with Apple. Other technology big names have had similar issues in the past. Infact, Facebook recently blamed stalled diversity on the lack of available talent. Vanity Fair’s Maya Kosoff provided a coverage on this so called challenge that Facebook is experiencing.
According to the report,
“Last year, Facebook’s U.S. employees were 91 percent white or Asian; in 2016, that number ticked down to 90 percent. The percentage of its U.S. employees who are Hispanic and black has remained unchanged since 2015, at 4 percent and 2 percent, respectively.”
In the case of Facebook, the company plans plans to donate $15 million to Code.org, which seeks to increase access to coding/computer science classes for women and minorities, over the next five years.
Apple has embarked on similar programs to make science based programs more broadly available. In fact, its new SWIFT programming course on iPad, introduced at this year’s WWDC makes it easier for folks to learn programming.
This does not however go a long way in establishing leadership diversity at the company. What can companies such as Apple do to improve diversity i their leadership ranks?
One hopes that “Think Differently” has more value and meaning to Apple’s board and leadership than merely creating diverse emojis to support diversity in the future.