The Unbearable Whitemaleness of Apple’s Executive Team

Matthew Yglesias, Slate, September 4, 2012

Apple promoted a couple of people recently and rejiggered the senior executives page on their website, leaving us with the above tableaux of white dudes. {snip}

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{snip} Obviously nobody’s going to be as reckless enough with a multibillion dollar enterprise to hire someone at the senior vice president level simply because you want to add a woman to the team. You want to hire the best possible candidate. But if you start with an all-male team of senior executives in an industry that’s dominated by men, then like magic nine times out of 10—if not 99 times out of 100—you’re going to discover that the best possible candidate just so happens to be a man. To get serious about breaking the cycle, you do need to find some specific space where you say, “guys we need to pick more women.”

A great place to start, in my opinion, is with the board of directors. That’s because nobody has any idea what makes someone qualified to serve on a board of directors and nobody knows how to measure board of directors’ performance. At a failing company, board slots can become important pawns in investor power struggles. But the board of a successful firm is just a mix of whimsy and patronage. Absolutely nothing is stopping you from adding women to your board other than a lack of desire to add women to your board. Apple currently has eight directors of whom two are women. It would be child’s play to shift that to 50/50 if you wanted to. {snip}

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