During a speech at “One Young World Summit”, Denise Young Smith Apple’s VP of Inclusion and Diversity, tried to suggest that their is diversity besides skin color diversity. People, have diversity of thought and experience, and that is also important. However, when Smith expressed this point she nearly lost her job.
“And I’ve often told people a story — there can be 12 white, blue-eyed blonde men in a room and they are going to be diverse too because they’re going to bring a different life experience and life perspective to the conversation,” said Smith. This is the line that made people angry. She was forced to apologize for suggesting such a thing.
“Last week, while attending a summit in Bogota, I made some comments as part of a conversation on the many factors that contribute to diversity and inclusion. I regret the choice of words I used to make this point. I understand why some people took offense. My comments were not representative of how I think about diversity or how Apple sees it. For that, I’m sorry,” she wrote in an email to apple employees.
“More importantly, I want to assure you Apple’s view and our dedication to diversity has not changed. Understanding that diversity includes women, people of color, LGBTQ people, and all underrepresented minorities is at the heart of our work to create an environment that is inclusive of everyone,” she wrote.
“Our commitment at Apple to increasing racial and gender diversity is as strong as it’s ever been. I’m proud of the progress we’ve made, but there is much work to be done. I’m continually reminded of the importance of talking about these issues and learning from each other,” she wrote.