Gender diversity at Apple: Pro and con

August 16, 2014, 9:03 AM UTC

I can’t claim that this column had anything to do with it, but the day after it pointed out that only one of the 10 faces on Apple’s executive profiles webpage was a woman’s, the company redesigned the page.

Now it shows five vice presidents along with Apple’s senior vice presidents. And because two of those vice presidents are women, female representation on Apple’s official “leadership” team increased, overnight, from 10% to 20%.

Judging from the “Inclusion inspires innovation” message Tim Cook posted Wednesday, diversity in all its forms — racial, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, veteran status, disability — is something Apple’s CEO cares deeply about.

Not all of Apple’s customers feel the same way.

Representing another point of view, I offer you the e-mail I received Friday from reader John Garner:


I’m afraid that your diversity article is a bunch of politically correct BS. Consider the problem as it really exists to businesses. As the owner of multiple businesses, I face this daily.


  • Roughly a third of women stay at home and therefore aren’t really in the work force to begin with. (So instead of 50% of the population, you’ve only got a 35% possibility to begin with. In other words, for Apple to be at 30% [total employees worldwide] is really not so bad.)
  • Unemployment (as defined by the government) amongst black males is probably 35-40%.
  • Female representation in the technical fields, e.g., engineering, are terrible. Despite 40 years of effort, almost no good engineering school is achieving more than about 25% enrollment of females in those studies consistently (without lowering standards substantially.) There’s no real barriers except what women create themselves. (I know three women who were literally the first female engineering student in their school, and/or the only one in their class. They all tell me that there are no real barriers to women in technical fields now, and never really were! All tell many, many humorous tales of being overwhelmed with willing male tutors. Male students seldom got much “help.” But it doesn’t really fit the feminist propaganda stereotype does it.)

Frankly, I was shocked that Apple has actually managed to do as well as it has on the female technical side. Try and find a female power engineer sometime, let alone a top-notch female programmer.

But perhaps equally important is what’s happening in the education system. One of the biggest debates now occurring in education is the gender over-reaction towards females and the implications that’s having on males!!!

And yes, you can quote me.

Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter at @philiped. Read his Apple (AAPL) coverage at or subscribe via his RSS feed.