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Old Jan 6, 2014, 09:23 AM   #1
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Apple Updates Corporate Bylaws on Diversity Following Criticism Over Lack of Female Leaders




Apple has come under criticism from major shareholders Trillium Asset Management LLC and the Sustainability Group over the absence of women on its board and throughout its top-level rankings, reports Bloomberg.
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"There is a general problem with diversity at the highest echelon of Apple," said Jonas Kron, director of shareholder advocacy at Boston-based Trillium, which manages $1.3 billion. "It's all white men."
According to the report, the shareholders met with Apple representatives several times over the past few months to address the company's lack of female executives. The shareholders intended to bring the issue to a vote at Apple's shareholder meeting on February 28, but backed off once Apple agreed to address the issue through new language in the company's corporate charter [PDF link].
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Apple is now adding the following language to the charter of the board's nominating and governance committee: "The nominating committee is committed to actively seeking out highly qualified women and individuals from minority groups to include in the pool from which board nominees are chosen."

While the statement was included in the company's proxy for the past several years, it hadn't been part of the company charter, a governing document. Apple also vowed to continue discussions with shareholders about ways to improve diversity, Ruoff said.
Currently, the only woman serving on Apple's board is former Avon CEO Andrea Jung, who was elected to the position in 2008. The company is also set to add Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts to its executive team in the spring, as she will become Apple's Senior Vice President of Retail and Online Stores.

Apple's 2014 Annual Meeting of Shareholders will take place at the company's 1 Infinite Loop headquarters on February 28, 2014 at 9:00 AM Pacific Time, where votes on eleven proposals related to director reelection, compensation, and more will be held.

Note: Due to the nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Article Link: Apple Updates Corporate Bylaws on Diversity Following Criticism Over Lack of Female Leaders
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Old Jan 6, 2014, 09:25 AM   #2
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I don't even get it. Why not just pick whos best for the job? I can see the point if two people are equally qualified, but they keep picking older white males.

Why not try to pick who is best, before commenting on gender or other factors.
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Old Jan 6, 2014, 09:29 AM   #3
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Stories like these make me so ****ing angry! It's like they want Apple to get cooties!
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Old Jan 6, 2014, 09:29 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by impulse462 View Post
I can see the point if two people are equally qualified, but they keep picking older white males.
You are assuming that the best in those field are not older white males.

Diversity is something that has to be changed from the bottom to upside, not the other way around. Are there qualified members of minorities to fill the positions within Apple? If yes, and they are better than those currently there, those individuals should be employed by Apple.

If not, however, Apple should not be forced to hire unqualified people just to fill some kind of "token minority" quota. In my country, for example, few women apply for engineering courses, so it's expected that there are more great engineers of the male gender than the female gender - simply because there are more male engineers than female engineers.
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Old Jan 6, 2014, 09:29 AM   #5
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Tim Cook needs to focus on SHAREHOLDER VALUE and get the dismal stock performance corrected.
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Old Jan 6, 2014, 09:29 AM   #6
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isn't Eddy Cue of Mexican descent?
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Old Jan 6, 2014, 09:31 AM   #7
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The problem with "Diversity" is there may not be anyone else qualified to fill the position. The only thing worse than not having diversity, is having diversity for diversity's sake, regardless of skills. There may be qualified people to fill roles at Apple, but they may not have any interest, or for some other reason, they aren't in those positions. Forcing diversity has never helped anyone.
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Old Jan 6, 2014, 09:34 AM   #8
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Proof that free markets combat inequality better than government legislation.
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Old Jan 6, 2014, 09:35 AM   #9
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How about just looking for the most qualified person.

Didn't Apple just hire a high ranking female?

Diversity for the sake of diversity is not a good thing.
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Old Jan 6, 2014, 09:38 AM   #10
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I too disagree with this forced equality lark. I firmly believe that every company should hire the best person for the job, regardless of age race religion gender or sexual preference.
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Old Jan 6, 2014, 09:38 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by TEG View Post
The problem with "Diversity" is there may not be anyone else qualified to fill the position. The only thing worse than not having diversity, is having diversity for diversity's sake, regardless of skills. There may be qualified people to fill roles at Apple, but they may not have any interest, or for some other reason, they aren't in those positions. Forcing diversity has never helped anyone.
Very true. Especially when government tries to force diversity with laws that end up hurting minorities instead of helping them.

However, it's nice when major stockholders demand diversity, since diversity can and does often lead to better profits, and makes good business sense. This is why free markets combat inequality better than government legislation. Free markets punish discrimination (as businesses who discriminate will miss out on the valuable asset of a diverse workforce). Legislation, on the other hand, encourages discrimination by increasing the liability associated with hiring minorities.
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Old Jan 6, 2014, 09:39 AM   #12
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They always look for the highly valuable target to push the agenda. Why are these racists so focused on skin color? It is like saying, "Oh no, we only have 2 people with blue eyes here." Talk about irrelevant. Just because THEY focus on skin color doesn't mean that the rest of us our racist like them.

Do they really think that there are all these stupid people out there who want to reward someone because they are a white guy when they could get someone better who had a different skin color or eye color?
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Old Jan 6, 2014, 09:39 AM   #13
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isn't Eddy Cue of Mexican descent?
I believe he's Cuban. And Cook of course is rumored to be gay. Is that not considered diversity?
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Old Jan 6, 2014, 09:40 AM   #14
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diversity for diversity's sake is always a bad idea
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Old Jan 6, 2014, 09:41 AM   #15
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They are still looking for the best person, they simply said that they will actively bring more women and minorities into the pool, not that they will give them preference. It's like the Rooney rule in football, you have to interview at least one african american for any head coaching job. No football team is going to hire a less capable black man over a white man, but since this has gone into effect we now have had some black head coaches.

I guarantee you that there are some very capable women out there who haven't been seriously looked at for these kinds of jobs. This only gets them in front of the company to show what they can do, if they aren't the best, they won't get hired, but Apple may have missed out on some of the best because they didn't actively include them in the pipeline.
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Old Jan 6, 2014, 09:42 AM   #16
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They say there is a 'general problem with diversity'. That is an inherently wrong statement.

Diversity is a 'state of being' and has no issues. The 'problem' part only exists because someone is judging the 'level' of diversity against some kind of expectation. This person at Trillium should not be speaking for others in my opinion. If they don't like the level of diversity, they should sell their shares.
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Old Jan 6, 2014, 09:46 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teste View Post
You are assuming that the best in those field are not older white males.

Diversity is something that has to be changed from the bottom to upside, not the other way around. Are there qualified members of minorities to fill the positions within Apple? If yes, and they are better than those currently there, those individuals should be employed by Apple.

If not, however, Apple should not be forced to hire unqualified people just to fill some kind of "token minority" quota. In my country, for example, few women apply for engineering courses, so it's expected that there are more great engineers of the male gender than the female gender - simply because there are more male engineers than female engineers.
I totally agree.
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Old Jan 6, 2014, 09:47 AM   #18
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Please apple, focus on hiring the most qualified person. Gender and race should not have any effect on the hiring process. Ideally women/minorities will earn their positions based on their qualifications not just because they aren't white men. Apple needs to focus on making great products and services not political correctness.
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Old Jan 6, 2014, 09:47 AM   #19
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I don't think it is particularly serious to say that western society isn't still sexist.

Why exactly is "film starring strong female" a separate (and frankly pretty limited) category on Netflix? Shouldn't roughly half of all films have a strong female lead?

And shouldn't some serious number of those not involve lesbians?
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Old Jan 6, 2014, 09:48 AM   #20
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FYI, there is research that shows that having women on boards increases a company's reputation and research that shows that boards with a woman on them make better decisions than all male boards.

Group think (where everyone thinks the same because they are from similar background and demographics) can be very detrimental to making good decisions.

http://blogs.hbr.org/2012/06/why-boa...ed-more-women/
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Old Jan 6, 2014, 09:48 AM   #21
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There's a difference between sexism and a lack of qualified candidates. If a male candidate is better qualified, hire him. If a male and female candidate are equally qualified, and you pick the woman because she's a woman, isn't that also sexism?
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Old Jan 6, 2014, 09:49 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by TEG View Post
The problem with "Diversity" is there may not be anyone else qualified to fill the position. The only thing worse than not having diversity, is having diversity for diversity's sake, regardless of skills. There may be qualified people to fill roles at Apple, but they may not have any interest, or for some other reason, they aren't in those positions. Forcing diversity has never helped anyone.
Yep. Look no further then our federal government that forces this into everything.

Have you ever seen the companies that pop up because of requiring minorities to have a say. They are inept, incompetent individuals and companies that get to charge an arm and a leg and consistently fail at their job.

Diversity is complete BS.

Hire the best person regardless of skin color.
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Old Jan 6, 2014, 09:49 AM   #23
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Annoyingly, everyone will assume that the next non-white or female leader hired will have been hired as a result of this policy change, and not on their individual merits.

If it's culture that's holding people back then fix the culture (not the bylaws). Don't force some artificial mix because of perceptions from the outside.
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Old Jan 6, 2014, 09:51 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Nunyabinez View Post
FYI, there is research that shows that having women on boards increases a company's reputation and research that shows that boards with a woman on them make better decisions than all male boards.

Group think (where everyone thinks the same because they are from similar background and demographics) can be very detrimental to making good decisions.

http://blogs.hbr.org/2012/06/why-boa...ed-more-women/
Good, then Apple can get rid of Al Gore and replace him with a more qualified woman or minority.
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Old Jan 6, 2014, 09:52 AM   #25
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I'm not sure about this. In principle, sure, I'll vote for more diversity.

But be careful, Apple! Put more females in the boardroom could create distraction and tensions (if there is more than one females, they'd compete sometimes); just look at the HP for the last decade or so for all the dramas they created...
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