Diversity and Inclusion: Apple’s Game changing HR policy
HR and HR policies both once used to be rooted in the backyard of strategy. The situation has changed in the new century. The last decade has been a very significant one in terms of HR related developments. Most of the megabrands have revamped their HR policies to suit the needs of 21st century. Years back, Apple was talked off for its high pressure environment where focus was more on productivity and less on employee well being. However, it seems Apple at last decided to change the perception. Google has already taken the lead in this area. Over last three or four years, things have changed a lot inside Apple. The brand has started focusing on its HR policies and on developing talent through inclusion and diversity. With time Apple’s focus on employee engagement is growing deeper. The tech-giant has adopted a look forward attitude and as it generally does in all areas. Apple’s internal environment has always been a high pressure environment. However, the contribution of employees to the brand’s success is big and Apple has after all decided to recognize it.
Apple measures diversity from a different angle. It has its own distinct measurements of diversity. It sees diversity as an enabler but not the way any general company does. Diversity is a part of its innovation plan, not simply something like including more people from diverse backgrounds. Apple believes that being the most innovative company also requires it to be most diverse. It is not just about empowering people but inviting diverse perspectives to create an ecosystem that is as diverse as the world around it. Apple thinks that innovative ideas come from diverse ways of seeing things.
Craig Federighi, Senior Vice President of Software Engineering at Apple says, “We need as many perspectives as possible so we can build products that are universal”. Diversity does not mean just being diverse in terms of gender, race or ethnicity. Apple focuses on creating a small ecosystem that is representative of the entire human experience. However, Apple’s progress is not just theory, it is real. The numbers too prove it. Globally, diversity inside Apple offices has increased and it is reflected in the data that shows how the participation of females and various ethnicities in its workforce has risen. The percentage of female new hires in US has kept rising consistently over the last three years. In 2013, the percentage of new female hires was at 31% only which increased to 35% in 2015 and then 37% in 2016. In this way, the percentage of the female new hires has kept rising over time. Apple’s workforce’s composition is going to grow richer this way. The percentage of new hires among the Under Represented Minorities is also increasing steadily. In 2014, the percentage of the Under-Represented Minorities stood at 21% only which increased to 24% in 2015 and then to 27% in 2016. The percentage of new hires in US from among the minority communities is 54%. Among its new hires there are 24% Asians, 13% blacks, 13% Hispanic, 46% whites, 43% multiracials and 1% other ethnicities. In the coming years, it would not be surprising to see Apple growing more and more diverse.
Over the last three years, Apple’s focus has been on many other things too. Its focus on Pay equity has also increased. Apple checked for the pay gaps among its US employees and filled the existing ones. Now, Apple’s focus is shifted towards its global workforce and it has decided to address the gaps it will find in the salaries of its employees. Apple will also ensure that it maintains pay equity across its offices globally. This will mark a sharp shift in how Apple has viewed its workforce and employee empowerment. The most appreciable step that Apple took was to bring pay equity among its male and female employees. It has ensured that both sexes are paid equally for equal work. It has done the same to bring equity among the Under Represented Minorities and the white employees. Apple has used the formula of diversity to create a culture of inclusion.
Apple clearly writes, “We see diversity as everything that makes an employee who they are. We foster a diverse culture that’s inclusive of disability, religious belief, sexual orientation, and service to country. We want all employees to be comfortable bringing their entire selves to work every day. Because we believe our individual backgrounds, perspectives, and passions help us create the ideas that move all of us forward”. Diversity is fueled by commitment and action. However, diversity cannot be brought without inclusion. So, Apple’s employees are also helping it address any kind of unconscious racial and gender biases or gaps inside it. Apple supports equality in all forms. It supports LGBT equality, invests in resources for the veterans and also explores new ways that it can support the employees with disabilities. It is using events and programs to support and strengthen its common bond. Apple has changed a lot during these three years. Its inside environment has grown much diverse and inclusive. Seems like there is a lot more innovation going on inside Apple than is visible. Well, let us wait for more good news!! Seems like Apple has decided to leave behind its old system to adopt one that is more humanistic and more representative of the human world.