Apple is calling a shareholder call for increased diversity among higher management "unduly burdensome" and unnecessary. In an official statement issued earlier this month in preparation for an upcoming February 26 shareholder meeting, the company claims it has already demonstrated how committed it is to inclusion, and as such it needn't adopt any measure designed to de-whiten the ranks of its senior management.
The proposal, submitted by a shareholder named Mr. Antonio Avian Maldonado, is short and to the point.
"Shareholders request that the Board of Directors adopt an accelerated recruitment policy requiring Apple Inc. (the “Company”) to increase the diversity of senior management and its board of directors, two bodies that presently fails to adequately represent diversity (particularly Hispanic, African-American, Native-American and other people of color)."
Questions relating to diversity, or a lack thereof, in the tech industry are now becoming more frequent. In 2014, Facebook released data detailing the diversity breakdown of its company around the same time that Twitter announced it's predominantly run by white guys.
Apple, for its part, says that the company "[believes] that the proposal is unduly burdensome and not necessary because Apple has demonstrated to shareholders its commitment to inclusion and diversity, which are core values for our company."
It doesn't need to adopt the diversity resolution, the argument goes, because the company is already so inclusive. Got it.
The Greenlining Institute, a policy and research organization working on issues of racial justice, calls out Apple's move in a blog post highlighting the hypocrisy of a company so outwardly dedicated to inclusion formally opposing a move to increase internal diversity.
"Since the company released its diversity numbers in 2014, it’s constantly pledged a deep commitment to increasing the representation of women and people of color in the workforce," it reads. "Apple’s website features beautiful language on the benefits and significance of diversity like, 'This means fostering diversity not just at Apple but throughout our entire ecosystem, from the customers we welcome in our stores to the suppliers and developers we work with.'"
Greenlining calls bullshit.
"Apple, let me make sure I fully understand," the post continues. "Inclusion is important throughout your entire ecosystem, but diversifying decision-makers is too hard and unimportant?"
It seems that diversity is to be celebrated when it comes to emoji, but for those in charge of actually running the company, well, that's apparently an entirely different story.