Apple shareholder pushes for more racial diversity in the company’s upper ranks

Apple shareholders “could make history next yea” by deciding whether the company should be forced to increase the number of non-white executives and directors, with a vote on a proposal the company itself has opposed, reports Bloomberg.

A resolution submitted by an investor who lives in New York and London would require Apple to put more “people of color” in such high-profile roles to increase diversity. However, Apple told the Securities and Exchange Commission that it believes it doesn’t have to include the proposal in its proxy materials, contending it’s an attempt to “micromanage” recruitment. Apple also said that while it’s trying to attract minorities, “the company has no power to ensure that its recruits will accept offers.”

The proposal for an “accelerated recruitment policy” was submitted in September by Antonio Avian Maldonado II, who owns 645 Apple shares, notes Bloomberg. The board is “a little bit too vanilla,” said Maldonado, the creative director for Insignia Entertainment, a music company. “I want to nudge them to move a little bit faster.”

Apple argues in its Inclusion & Diversity report that “in the last 12 months, we’ve hired more diverse candidates than in any other year to date.”

“Last year we reported the demographics of our employees for the first time externally, although we have long prioritized diversity,” CEO Tim Cook said in a letter in the report. “We promised to improve those numbers and we’re happy to report that we have made progress. In the past year we hired over 11,000 women globally, which is 65 percent more than in the previous year. In the United States, we hired more than 2,200 Black employees — a 50 percent increase over last year — and 2,700 Hispanic employees, a 66 percent increase. In total, this represents the largest group of employees we’ve ever hired from underrepresented groups in a single year. Additionally, in the first 6 months of this year, nearly 50 percent of the people we’ve hired in the United States are women, Black, Hispanic, or Native American.”