Apple’s head of diversity Denise Young Smith apologised to staff in an internal email after comments she made at a conference last week, TechCrunch reported.
“There can be 12 white, blue-eyed, blonde men in a room and they’re going to be diverse too because they’re going to bring a different life experience and life perspective to the conversation,” Young Smith said on-stage at the One Young World Summit, held in Bogotá, Colombia.
“Diversity is the human experience,” she said. “I get a little bit frustrated when diversity or the term diversity is tagged to the people of colour, or the women, or the LGBT.”
TechCrunch reported on October 13 that Young Smith sent an email to her team at Apple earlier that day in which she apologised for her comments at the conference.
“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,” Young Smith wrote.
“I regret the choice of words I used to make this point. I understand why some people took offence. My comments were not representative of how I think about diversity or how Apple sees it. For that, I’m sorry.”
Here’s the full email, via TechCrunch:
I have always been proud to work for Apple in large part because of our steadfast commitment to creating an inclusive culture. We are also committed to having the most diverse workforce and our work in this area has never been more important. In fact, I have dedicated my twenty years at Apple to fostering and promoting opportunity and access for women, people of colour and the underserved and unheard.
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 offence. My comments were not representative of how I think about diversity or how Apple sees it. For that, I’m sorry.
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 colour, LGBTQ people, and all underrepresented minorities is at the heart of our work to create an environment that is inclusive of everyone.
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.