Mashable has conducted an interesting interview with Tim Cook on the eve of WWDC, one of Apple’s largest events of the year. Although WWDC is known for its product announcements, Apple will announce the next versions of iOS and OS X as well as a streaming music service, the interview revolved around Apple’s efforts on company employee diversity.
Asked about the lack of women at keynotes, Cook says “you’ll see a change tomorrow”. This suggests that women will indeed feature more prominently at Apple’s presentation. In the last ten years, the number of women at Apple’s events comes in at the low single digits, most recently Christy Turlington Burns. Apple’s developer sessions have better gender diversity in their speakers but these are viewable only by registered developers, not the general public.
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Cook says improvements in diversity are the ‘future of our company’. He says that diverse groups of employees produce better products.
And that future, according to Cook, should be diverse: “I think the most diverse group will produce the best product, I firmly believe that,” he says. Even without taking its values into account, Apple is a “better company” by being more diverse.
Apple is working on outreach programs to high schools and colleges to find talented women. For WWDC, Apple expanded the scholarship program to target groups like the National Society of Black Engineers, App Camp for Girls and La TechLa. It’s latest diversity report was not stellar and it is clear Cook wants to change this. Apple’s own software features more diverse emoji since iOS 8.3.
As has become customary with WWDC, Tim Cook met the scholarship winners a day before the show kicks off, for photos and signatures. In the interview, Cook says “I view these people that I talk to today as the future generations of the company”.
Watch all the events as they happen on Apple.com with the video livestream. Stay tuned to 9to5Mac for coverage of all the announcements as they happen and readup on what to expect in our comprehensive roundup.