Apple CEO Tim Cooke: Lack of Tech Diversity is Our Fault. Spending More Time at HBCUs & Recruiting More Women Too.

Apple CEO Tim Cooke: Lack of Tech Diversity is Our Fault. Spending More Time at HBCUs & Recruiting More Women Too.

Apple’s first diversity report, released last year, showed that it isn’t exactly there yet….as far as its diversity numbers. The company is 70% male, for one thing. So how can Apple — and the tech industry at large — do a better job with gender & race equality?

Cooke took the blame and doesn’t buy into that moniker that “not enough people from diverse backgrounds want to work at Apple.” “I think it’s our fault — ‘our’ meaning the whole tech community,” he says. “I think in general we haven’t done enough to reach out and show young women that it’s cool to do it and how much fun it can be.”

One way to solve that? More female role models. “I think mostly people look up and see, ‘you know, I’m like that person and I see what they can do,'” Cook says. He acknowledges that Apple and the tech industry at large haven’t done a good job with having more diverse role models available.

To improve on that, Cook says Apple is now making outreach efforts to junior high, high school and college women. He also says the company is spending a lot more time with historically black colleges.

“Some of this costs money some of it doesn’t. Mostly it’s a way of thinking. And so if you believe as we believe that diversity leads to better products, and we’re all about making products that enrich peoples lives, then you obviously put a ton of energy behind diversity the same way you would put a ton of energy behind anything else that is truly important.”