Posted on September 6, 2012

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}


{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}