Apple CEO Will Work Directly With New VP, Denise Young Smith, to Make Serious Diversity Improvements

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Longtime Apple employee, Denise Young Smith, has moved from Global Head of Human Resources to Vice President of Inclusion and Diversity. Her new position had been vacant since Jeffrey Siminoff left Apple for Twitter in 2015.

In her new role as VP, Young will report directly to Apple CEO, Tim Cook. This chain of command shows true commitment to improving diversity on Apple’s part, being that best practices for corporate diversity show that a CEO’s direct involvement in inclusion efforts lead to effective initiatives throughout the organization.

At their annual meeting in February, shareholders pushed for more diversity within the company’s board and senior management.

This will be no small task considering Apple’s consistently scarce employee diversity in both ethnicity and gender. Since Apple began annually reporting on employee diversity in 2014, the numbers have had little change. Young Smith is one of only two women of color among Apple executives.

According to Young Smith’s quote on the company’s diversity page, “Diversity is more than any one gender, race, or ethnicity. It’s richly representative of all people, all backgrounds, and all perspectives. It is the entire human experience.”

That attitude, paired with Tim Cook’s belief that diversity is a “readily solvable issue,” seems to promise that their efforts to make Apple a more inclusive workplace will be genuine and thorough.


Walker's Legacy is a growing global women in business collective founded to establish networks of empowerment and access for women of color in business.