Amidst pressure from shareholders regarding a lack of diversity, Apple pledges to add more women and minorities to executive positions.
Shareholders Trillium Asset Management and the Sustainability Group recently expressed concerns that only one woman holds a seat on Apple’s eight-member board and one incoming woman on its executive team.
“There is a general problem with diversity at the highest echelon of Apple. It’s all white men,” said Jonas Kron, director of shareholder advocacy at Boston-based Trillium.
Andrea Jung, former CEO of Avon Products, is the only woman and person of color on Apple’s board. Angela Ahrendts, the former CEO of Burberry Group, is the only woman on the executive team.
In response, the iPhone maker has amended its charter to include language that pledges the company will consider women and minorities as candidates.
“The 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,” the charter now reads.
Shareholders have met with Apple representatives over the past few months to discuss the lack of women and minorities on the all-white male-led board. They will address further concerns and take a vote on February 28. Until then, most are satisfied with the amendment in the language.
“This is going to be a multiyear process. It is not going to change overnight. It will take some time for Apple to make the decisions they need to make and vet the possible candidates out there. But I think they are committed to doing that,” said Kron. He adds that he has been “pressuring a number of companies in different industries on the issue.”
Recently Twitter and Facebook were highlighted for the lack of diversity on their boards.