Apple asks SEC for permission to exclude new shareholder proposal regarding diversity figures

Apple has asked the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for permission to exclude a new shareholder proposal on tying diversity figures for its executives to CEO performance as a way to improve diversity in the company, reports Silicon Beat. The proposal involves Apple’s diversity efforts, or lack thereof, especially regarding senior management positions.

Apple Vice President of Corporate Law Gene Levoff wrote to the SEC on Oct. 9, seeking exclusion on the grounds that the same issue has been proposed twice before in the past five years and received less than 6% of the shareholder vote in its last election, the article adds. Per SEC rules, any proposal that didn’t make the 6% mark can be left off the proxy materials for the next shareholder meeting.

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The proposal asks Apple to consider “integrating sustainability metrics, including metrics regarding diversity among senior executives, into the performance measures of the CEO under the Company’s compensation incentive plans.”

According to Apple’s 2016 diversity report, 67%  of its leadership positions were white, a combined 10% were Hispanic and black, and 28% were female. Regarding its entire work force, 56% of its employees were white, 21% combined were Hispanic and black, and 32% were female.

But when focused on the top 107 executives, the diversity figures skewed more to being more white and male-dominated. According to Apple’s 2016 Equal Employment Opportunity Act report, 73 of the 107 were white men and only five were Hispanic and black.