Apple Commits More Than $50 Million to Diversity Efforts

Michal Lev-Ram, Fortune, March 10, 2015

A flashy new smart watch isn’t all Apple has up its sleeve. The company is donating more than $50 million to organizations that aim to get more women, minorities, and veterans working in tech.

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{snip} In an exclusive interview with Fortune, Apple’s human resources chief Denise Young Smith said the company is partnering with several non-profit organizations on a multi-year, multi-million-dollar effort to increase the pipeline of women, minorities, and veterans in the technology industry–and, of course, at Apple.

“We wanted to create opportunities for minority candidates to get their first job at Apple,” said Young Smith, who took over as its head of HR a little over a year ago. (Before her current role, the longtime Apple exec spent a decade running recruiting for the retail side of the business.) “There is tremendous upside to that and we are dogged about the fact that we can’t innovate without being diverse and inclusive.”

Young Smith likes to say that diversity extends race and gender–Apple wants its employee base to also reflect different lifestyles and sexual orientations. (Last fall, CEO Tim Cook publicly acknowledged that he is gay–the first Fortune 500 chief executive to do so while holding the title.) But, at least for now, its diversity initiatives are mostly focused on expanding its pipeline of women and minorities.

To that end, the company is partnering with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, a non-profit that supports students enrolled in public, historically black colleges and universities (known as HBCUs). These schools include North Carolina A&T State University, Howard University, and Grambling State University (where Young Smith earned a bachelor’s degree in communications and journalism in 1978). All told, there are 100 HBCUs across the country–47 of them are considered public–and collectively they graduate nearly 20% of African-Americans who earn undergraduate degrees.

“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.”

According to Taylor, it is also the largest: Apple is committing over $40 million to the fund, which will use the money to create a database of computer science majors at HBCUs, train both students and faculty and offer scholarships. Apple will also create a paid internship program for particularly promising students.

“People are at Harvard and MIT looking for their students,” says Taylor. “But Apple said, there are some really talented individuals at these [HBCU] schools.”

Apple is also partnering with another non-profit, the National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT), to help create a broader pipeline of female technology workers. According to Lucy Sanders, CEO and co-founder of the organization, this isn’t the first time the device maker is teaming up with the non-profit, but this latest round has much broader ambitions and represents the largest single investment NCWIT has received to date–to the tune of about $10 million, which will be doled out over the course of four years. {snip}

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Of course, Apple’s not the only heavyweight pouring significant dollars into these organizations–NCWIT, for example, is also funded by Google, Microsoft and Symantec, and the Thurgood Marshall College Fund has received significant grants from the likes of Wal-Mart and the National Basketball Association. There’s also Intel, which announced it will devote $300 million to science and technology education, primarily for girls and minorities, earlier this year.

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  • All that will happen is that AAPL will puff up its HR bureaucracy with dead weight NAMs.

    • propagandaoftruth

      I think I get it now…

      This diversity racket is just another shakedown. The average negro is so utterly lacking in capacity vis-à-vis the average White that Marxist negro worshippers and their mulatto kids must constantly figger out new ways to soak the productive members of their society.

      It was too obvious.

      • TruthBeTold

        I think it’s less a shakedown than what I refer to as Preemptive PR.

        They’re buying off blacks on their own terms before they’re forced to submit to outrageous demands from blacks.

        • propagandaoftruth

          Yeah, part of the big pic shakedown…lol.

    • TruthBeTold

      It’s there money. Let the spend it as they want.

      I like to think of this as a doomed social experiment.

      Apple is only doing this for PR reasons. Maybe they think they might help a few minority kids along the way but the vast majority will show little to no improvement.

      In a few years, they’ll find one black kid who succeeded and prance him around telling us the program was a success.

      The number of failures will be hidden from the public; like Head Start for college kids.

      • Tim_in_Indiana

        It’s actually a smart move on the part of Apple. Of course, it is a total waste of money, and will have no beneficial effects whatsoever. However, it’s a good way for Apple to say they are addressing the “lack of diversity” without having to actually hire any incompetent minorities themselves. Of course it’s a form of extortion, but in today’s insane climate there’s not much they can do.

        • TruthBeTold

          That’s why I refer to it as Preemptive PR.

          By doing this, and doing it on their own terms, Apple is able to head off most racial criticism.

          Yes, it’s still a form of extortion because Apple knows they’re being targeted but this gives them some control.

          Better this than being forced to hire large number of unqualified minorities and paying off Jackson and Sharpton.

          Of course they never should have been forced, coerced, manipulated, or intimidated to fund such a program but if it takes the wind out of Jackson and Sharpton attacks and stops them from getting cash payouts it’s a half-win.

          Caulk it up to the cost of doing business in todays’ political climate.

      • Fr. John+

        It’s not THEIR money, It’s OUR money which we paid to get a product for our own personal use, not fund their cockamamie fa-ggot worldview failures!

    • Realist

      And stupid whites will pay more for the overrated products.

  • Lion’s Mane

    This is racial discrimination in full force.

    • Alden

      Apple and the other tech companies have discriminated against the White men who invented computers,programming and the rest of tech for decades .

      • listenupbub

        They really have, by getting cheap Indian labor.

  • Anglokraut

    I’m going to look into my crystal ball, and predict that after Apple takes a bath on this boondoggle, Denise Young Smith will be quietly paid to quit, and the CEO will be out as well.

    • I’d like to think that the whole project will come to an impending and disastrous crash.

      Unfortunately, there are lots and lots and lots of iCultists who will pay anything for the latest overrated iCrud. Those margins will cover for a lot of dead weight make work NAM AA HR bureaucrats.

    • Blackfish

      Apple earned a profit of $39.5 billion on revenues of $183 billion in 2014. This is chump change for them

  • These “donations” are really a hidden tax that tyrannical Leviathan imposes on big and medium sized businesses. Question Diversity in his comment is correct. There’ll be more dead weight in these businesses as they hire the blacks and browns. There’s going to be a big push to use Mexicans instead of blacks in filling racial quotas.

    At the University of Texas at San Antonio, they hired one Mexican VP. I was talking to his Mexican secretary one day and she confided in me that he hadn’t shown up to work for two months and she had no idea where he was. Another secretary told me her Mexican boss day traded stocks all day at work. Both of these a**es earned over $100,000 each. I shudder to think how many more there were.

    • Proud Blacks and Latinos don’t actually have to show up for work. Or to do much actual work if they do. They got the job; that’s quite enough.

      • Blackfish

        They’re hired to be statistics.

  • LHathaway

    Government, corporations, non-profits and individuals need to spend more money promoting Historically Black colleges, those who attended them and their ideologies. That way, every other college in the country can wring their hands about a critical lack of diversity, respond to this by increasing enrollment of persons of color born overseas, and also promote the ideologies pushed at Historically Black colleges. It’s all part of their fight ‘against’ racism.

  • Chip Carver

    One has to wonder what kinds of behind the scenes machinations are going on to make things like this happen. LOL

    • listenupbub

      An idiot gay CEO who wants to take out his hostilities for traditional America might be one of them.

  • baldowl

    I have a fire pit in my back yard. I could have burned that money for them. It would provide the same benefit to society.

    • Blackfish

      And you won’t strain your elbow patting yourself on the back as Apple’s executives are doing!

  • Magician

    Bill Gates made a one-time donation of $1B USD once, only for black students, in 1999

    I consider Microsoft to be a significantly bigger enemy to white Americans than Apple, Google or IBM will ever be.

    • Robert Smith

      If diversity is a strength it should pay not cost.

      • archer

        Blacks and Latinos are more able to get race based preference in college admissions and probably student loans also, how is the extra money going to help if they have a much higher drop out rate than whites in the sciences. Point is they would already be at Apple, Intel etc. if they could qualify.

  • JohnEngelman

    White and Oriental men dominate high tech because for genetic reasons we have more aptitude for this kind of work. Any effort to hire more women and non Asian minorities will reduce the quality of high tech workers, and discriminate against white and Oriental men who can do the work.

    • Magician

      and it will reduce the quality of the products. I have been very pleased with the way Google and Apple beating Microsoft up very badly for the past several years.

      Back in late-90s whenever Microsoft released a new Windows, it received tremendous and flattering coverage from all the mainstream media around the world. People spent hundreds of dollars to be the first one to put their hands on the newly released product from MS.

      Left – Microsoft store
      Right – Apple store

      youtube[dot]com/watch?v=hpLBEZVqbe8

      • Magician

        Microsoft should force its female employees to wear short shorts and it might stand a chance against Apple stores.

    • George Moriarty

      John,
      You are our resident expert on north Asian matters. Can you tell us if Samsung will be matching Apple in this money throw-away?

      • Korean guy

        All Samsung products are designed and developed in South Korea. At the moment there are very few black residents in South Korea. There are some black international students visiting South Korea for several years, but they do not pursue careers in South Korea. Samsung does not have to be concerned with the ethnic composition of its workforce. It is more than 99% South Korean.

        • Jason Lewis

          I was in S. Korea from 92-93 in the Army. Koreans had a amazing work and education ethic. Yes very few blacks. The ones in my unit complained of being stared at off post all the time and having their skin touched. Koreans didnt know what to make of them. lol

          • model1911

            “Koreans didn’t know what to make of them.” Neither do I.

      • JohnEngelman

        I have not heard anything yet. I doubt Toyota, Honda, and Sony are making efforts to attract a more diverse work force. I doubt they can think of any benefit that could come from a more diverse work force.

  • dukem1

    1. This is just heading off various shakedown/blackmail schemes at the pass –
    2. How much do they spend lobbying to loosen the regs on H1-B visas and that sort of thing?
    3. I am just too tired tonight to properly express the level of cynicism all such efforts by these corporations create.
    Here’s my simple idea: Why doesn’t Apple, and its fellow travelers, create a good aptitude/

    IQ test for high schoolers that would ID the best and brightest of them all and pay for them to go to college and then hire the best and brightest of these to further their goal of world domination?

    • Alden

      The EEOC and other federal agencies outlawed job aptitude tests decades ago.

      • Spikeygrrl

        Disparate impact, donchaknow.

    • archer

      In a sane world we would help the brightest not the dumbest with preferences such as cheap loans or even free education in the sciences or medical profession, instead we are throwing millions if not billions down the diversity rat hole. Let’s all applaud America’s race to the bottom.

      • Anglokraut

        Applaud, and have an exit-strategy.

  • RacialRay

    I am glad for its investors that Apple is so flush with cash that they can literally dump a pile of it down into the black hole of diversity without negatively affecting their bottom line. Lord knows its not going to improve it.

    • Usually Much Calmer

      Why are you glad for investors? What could have been a dividend becomes a write off.

    • GeneticsareDestiny

      It may actually improve their bottom line if it prevents Apple from becoming a victim of racial discrimination lawsuits. I’m pretty sure that that is why they’re wasting $50 million.

      It also gives them positive press coverage and helps them to avoid having tons of news stories written about how “racist” Apple is for hiring mostly white and Asian men.

    • Race Heretic

      A “black hole”?! That’s racist!

  • John Smith

    I’m okay with women and veterans.

  • DJRicin

    Ah yes, because Apple and Google and other big tech companies have been so unsuccessful without blacks and Hispanics up until this point, right?

    • Whitetrashgang

      The blacker the berry the sweeter the juice, or is it the blacker the hole the bigger the smell?

  • Daniel Schmuhl

    It really seems like we’re reaching an anti-white singularity now.

  • AndrewInterrupted

    What Wall Street calls: “…throwing bad money after bad”.

    Apple does this because they are presently flush with cash and have ardent cultural Marxist/Left coasters stinking up the executive suites.

    • Susan

      Probably government is forcing this.

      • AndrewInterrupted

        Yes, the EEOC is squatting on all the white tech companies flush with cash. The parasites I call MUGgers, meaning Minority Underlying Government. Peter Brimelow originally called it the minority occupation government, but I like the acronym my hybrid creates. Revolution is a process, not an event.

  • superlloyd

    The money would be better spent on a share buyback if Apple cannot invest in research. Apple is rotting.

  • Jason Lewis

    They have to give that much money for diversity efforts? It’s not like the government, school system and mainstream media indoctrination isnt enough? The amazing thing is with all this indoctrination, most of us know it’s bull. You don’t have to push a good product.

  • Korean guy

    Apple’s quarterly revenue was $74.6 billion dollars and its profit was $18 billion dollars. $50 million dollars is roughly 0.27% of the quarterly profit that Apple made.

    • Flaxen-headed Strumpet

      You forgot to include the costs of cleaning up the messes that these “Jesse hires” will be making. (assuming Apple even allows them to attempt any challenging work of major impact) Some will make a mess anyway, even if they are just put in some corner and told to do test watches of World Wide Hip Hop and porn sites on prototypes of stupid new e-gadgets.

  • Bon, From the Land of Babble

    Until now, predatory companies like Microsoft and Apple have been allowed to do pretty much anything they want since there are no special regulations controlling computer hardware or software.

    Should American computer companies be strictly regulated by the government? Should the government be allowed to tell companies like Apple, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo who they can and cannot hire?

    Has this freedom from government regulations in the computer (and cell phone) industry been beneficial to the consumer?

    Computers that cost $8,000 in the early 90s can now be bought for under $1,000 and are immeasurably faster and easier to use for the average citizen.

    The high tech industry is now under tremendous pressure to “diversify” – if diversity were a benefit in the dog-eat-dog computer, it would have happened already.

    Apple is doing this to stave off the Feds who have been busy looking into Apple’s business practices:

    “Apple may be required to pay billions of dollars in back taxes because it sheltered its revenues in Ireland… Apple has previously been accused of avoiding up to $9 billion a year in taxes because of the way it arranges its cash in international jurisdictions.”

    And:

    “The lawyer overseeing an Apple antitrust order is a political hack who has run roughshod over the judicial process during ten visits to the company’s Cupertino headquarters…. Bromwich, who is billing $1,100/hour, has no background in antitrust law, and that he is a friend of the judge. It also claims he has exceeded his authority, and conflated the role of the prosecution and the judiciary.”

    If it becomes too difficult to turn a profit, or hurts Apple’s bottom line, Apple will relocate overseas, as so many other companies have.

    Don’t like Apple? Don’t buy it!

    Such is the beauty of the free market (what’s left of it) that gives us consumers choices in computers and cell phones.

  • listenupbub

    “There is tremendous upside to that and we are dogged about the fact that we can’t innovate without being diverse and inclusive…

    People are at Harvard and MIT looking for their students,” says Taylor.
    “But Apple said, there are some really talented individuals at these
    [HBCU] schools…

    These schools include North Carolina A&T State University, Howard University, and Grambling State University (where Young Smith earned a bachelor’s degree in communications and journalism in 1978)”

    Yeah, I’ve lived in NC, near NC A&T. Every year at their homecoming, their are massive fights, robberies, and shootings. All the local business owners complain and fret for weeks leading up to it.

    What a joke.

    • MikeofAges

      Yeah, there might be some talented people there. A few. But what about everybody in between the Ivys and MIT and the HBCU’s? Oops, I forgot. That would increase the percentaqe representation of white American males, making diversity goals harder to achieve. Furthermore, the white elites are offended by the presence of others of their color not similarly advantaged in the way they are..

      Some, by the way, have speculated as to what will happen to affirmative action when whites are no longer the majority of the population. The truth is out there. They’ll double down on it. They’re doing it already.

    • Don’t miss “Alabama State Lunchtime” on YouTube

      • Robert Smith

        I’ll make sure to tell my Starbucks barista about this.

  • De Doc

    Is Apple looking for new doormen at their Cupertino HQ?

  • Alden

    This is a very lengthy euphemism for:
    “We surrendered to their extortion demands”.

  • bubo

    They won’t see any return. If I was to guess I’d bet they don’t expect a return. This is just guilt money. Apple should pay that to the families of Chinese teenagers who kill themselves after working 120 hour weeks to put their products together, not to black college administrators to line their pockets with.

  • Light from the East

    $50 million to lower competitiveness. A good news to Apple’s opponents.

  • Robert Smith

    Diversity, as it is sometimes used, is just a euphemism for affirmative action with the added barb that it is a moral imperative. While affirmative action is unfair, lacking diversity is a sign of racism that must be corrected.

  • Realist

    “Apple pours millions into black colleges.”

    This is a great idea. It will improve black genetics…..LOL.

  • WR_the_realist

    I sold my Intel stock before they announced they were going to squander $300 million on diversity. (It’s now well below what I sold it at.) Apple was a good trade for me — I bought it very late it the game but I still have better than a double. Should I dump that one too?

  • Back in 1992, I refused an office computer since it would be an Apple. I am always happy about that. In Australia, I was expected to maintain the office computers, and I refused to have anything to do with Apples. One of the machines here still runs DOS 6.22. I liked UNIX in college, and I still prefer a command line instead of being a “voting member”.

    • WR_the_realist

      Well the only realistic alternative to Apples for most business and real world applications is Microsoft Windows. And that OS is just as dumbed down. Apple’s OS is built on top of Berkeley Unix, which you can still get to if you pry under the pretty GUI.