Apple’s first Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion recently told an audience at One Young World Summit in Bogotá, Colombia that diversity was for everyone. Denise Young Smith has worked at Apple for 20 years, and “will lead a team responsible for improving Apple’s diversity figures and ensuring the company’s hiring practices and retention is open and inclusive,” Quartz Media reported.
The audience shouldn’t conflate “diversity” with “race,” she said.
“Diversity is the human experience. I get a little bit frustrated when diversity or the term diversity is tagged to the people of color, or the women, or the LGBT,” she told the crowd. Twelve White men with blue eyes can be diverse because they “bring a different life experience and life perspective to the conversation,” Young Smith added.
Apple’s latest statistics show a more diverse pool of recent hires. While most new hires were people of color, White employees are still the majority of Apple’s workforce.
Young Smith was joined on the panel by Black Lives Matter activist DeRay McKesson, who wouldn’t let race be ignored in a conversation about diversity.
“White people say to me all the time like ‘DeRay, I worked really hard for this, I worked hard.’ You didn’t work hard for every band aid to look like you, for every baby doll to look like you, for the world to treat you as human, and everything as ‘other’ is not the result of your personal hard work—that’s what white privilege is,” he told the audience.
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