Apple installs diversity czar. Update: Wow

From Michal Lev-Ram’s “Exclusive: Apple hires Intel’s Barbara Whye as its new head of diversity” posted Thursday in Fortune:

Whye, who made this year’s Fortune Most Powerful Women list for the first time, has set a high bar for heads of diversity during her time at Intel, which she first joined in 1995. Unlike most other tech companies, the chipmaker set—and met—a goal of reaching representation within its employee base: the racial and gender breakdown of its nearly 111,000-person workforce mirrors the breakdown of the “skilled” labor market in the United States. Under Whye’s leadership, the company reached this goal two years ahead of schedule…

Apple has made incremental but consistent progress in diversifying its workforce. According to its diversity website, 24% of the company’s U.S employee base in 2018 was composed of “underrepresented minorities. But in that same year, 53% of new U.S. hires were from underrepresented groups. (The company is in the process of updating these figures.)

It’s no wonder, then, that Apple came knocking at Whye’s door.

My take: Knowing a little about how these things work, I suspect it was Lev-Ram (a former colleague of mine at Business 2.0 and Fortune) who nominated Whye for this year’s Fortune Most Powerful Women list. Good call, Michal.

UPDATE: Techmeme’s collected  tweets

@merriew:   I watched, I listened, I learned from ⁦@barbarawhye⁩ as she brilliantly led 100k people thru a true transformation. I’m so excited to see her next adventure at Apple. Congrats! https://fortune.com/…

Eric Rodriguez / @erodrigz:   So proud of @barbarawhye , bringing her leadership and vision to another great company in Apple. This is a testament to the journey we have been on at @intel , the impact Barb has made inside and outside the industry. The mission and the work continues 💪🏾 https://fortune.com/…

Julie Shin Choi / @juliechoi:   Congrats @barbarawhye on your new mission! I’m looking forward to all you will do to make @Apple the most inclusive and diverse company in the world. https://fortune.com/…

Minea Moore / @mineamoore:   Congratulations, Big Sis!! Apple picked a good one. Can’t wait to see the results of your impact. We all know it’s going to be huge. Love ya! 💕🤗 Exclusive: Apple hires Intel’s Barbara Whye as its new head of diversity – Fortune https://fortune.com/…

Ryan Carson / @ryancarson:   I’m 0% surprised that @Apple just appointed @barbarawhye as their head of Inclusion and Diversity. She’s talented, hard working, experienced, charismatic and has tremendous integrity. @tim_cook you’re lucky to have Barb join your team! https://fortune.com/…

Sonja Gittens Ottley / @sonjaottley:   This is HUGE. @barbarawhye I cannot wait to see what you do @apple. They’re lucky to have you! https://twitter.com/…

Michelle Johnston Holthaus / @mjholthaus:   Congrats to my brilliant friend and colleague @barbarawhye. Looking forward to seeing you continue to change the world for the better. ❤️❤️ Exclusive: Apple hires Intel’s Barbara Whye as its new head of diversity – Fortune https://fortune.com/…

Coach Kandace / @heykandace:   Great pick up by Apple and well deserved! Congrats @barbarawhye! Exclusive: Apple hires Intel’s Barbara Whye as its new head of diversity – Fortune https://fortune.com/…

Carolina Milanesi / @caro_milanesi:   This is so amazing! @tim_cook is very very fortunate to have such a great leader. So looking forward to seeing what @barbarawhye does at #Apple https://twitter.com/…

Lisa Spelman / @lisaspelman:   ⁦@Apple⁩ might think they’re getting the best. They are actually getting the best of the best of the best. I will miss ⁦@barbarawhye⁩ as an outstanding colleague & friend #Apple hires Intel’s Barbara Whye as its new head of diversity – Fortune https://fortune.com/…

My second take: Wow.

2 Comments

  1. Kirk DeBernardi said:
    Just a thought —

    Before the Apple shareholder meetings moved from the Infinite Loop campus to the new spaceship campus, I would wait in line early in the February mornings, shiver and wait for the eventual complimentary coffee and pastries a cadre of smiling Apple employees would graciously hand out.

    I remember commenting to someone standing in line that, “Even the Apple coffee hosts seemed to have doctorates.” — LOL.

    A subjective observation, no doubt, but everyone there just SEEMS so sharp at first glance — and they are diversified.

    Apple Stores are yet another example that they don’t suffer fools in their hiring and respect the plain fact that diversity is not only proper — but it just makes damn good business sense.

    2
    November 20, 2020
  2. Bart Yee said:
    Congrats to Ms. Whye on joining Apple’s team. Her body of work and resume makes her hire another strong addition to Apple management as well as affirming her vision and plan execution for diversity expansion in tech companies. Looking forward to seeing how Apple grows from here.

    1
    November 21, 2020

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