After Feeling The Squeeze From Shareholders, Apple Promises To Diversify Its Board

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January 6, 2014 ‐ By Kimberly Gedeon
jkirsh / Shutterstock.com

jkirsh / Shutterstock.com

Apple, under pressure from shareholders, is giving its board of directors team a much-needed face lift. The tech giant pledges to revamp its corporate charter to be more inclusive of women and minorities — two of the most underrepresented groups in Fortune 500 executive positions, Time reports.

Currently, Apple’s governing committee is predominantly white. The board members consist of seven Caucasian men over the age of 50; Andrea Jung — former CEO of Avon — is the only woman and person of color on the team.

Adding a splash of color and some feminine perspective can only widen the scope of innovative ideas that will appeal to a broader range of consumers.

“We live in an increasingly complex global marketplace, and the companies that can hire, attract and retain women and people of color are better equipped to capitalize on global opportunities and avoid missteps that may not be apparent to a more homogeneous group,” said Larisa Ruoff, director of shareholders at the Sustainability Group.

The Sustainability Group has taken a proactive stance to expedite Apple’s transition into a more diverse, inclusive corporation. Playing no games, the group sent a letter to Apple back in August and asked the company to “make adding women and people of color a priority, and to report back to investors on how it’s making those changes,” Bloomberg reports.

Also co-signing with The Sustainability Group are shareholders Trillium Asset Management LLC. “There is a general problem with diversity at the highest echelon of Apple,” added Jonas Kron, director of shareholder advocacy at Boston’s Trillium. “It’s all white men.”

Over the past couple of months, both groups had several talks with Apple representatives to variegate their executive team. The multi-million dollar corporation caved in and vowed to amend their board’s bylaws:

“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.”

Apple seeks to solidify this amendment to their charter with a February 28 vote among the tech giant’s shareholders.

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