Apple Diversity in the Hands of a Black Woman

Published On May 24, 2017 | By Tom Huskerson | News and Analysis

Denise Young Smith

Apple has named Denise Young Smith, Apple’s Global Head of Human Resources  to Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion. The newly created position will be responsible for opening up Apple’s work place to more women, minorities and the LGBTQ community.

Smith is a twenty year veteran of Apple and because of her new role will have direct access to Apple CEO Tim Cook who is also gay.

Apple’s latest diversity report reveals it’s workforce is 68 percent male and 56 percent white. Apple’s workforce breaks down as follows, 12 percent identify as Hispanic and only 9 percent as black or African-American. Smith’s primary challenge is to improve those numbers. As VP of diversity she will examine Apple’s hiring practices and culture with a focus on ensuring Apple is not losing potential employees early in the hiring process.

Smith’s job will not be easy. Silicon Valley tech companies are stubbornly white and male dominated. Diversity appears to be an intractable problem for many major technology companies. Human resource experts point to the talent pipeline and the lack of outreach to black colleges as one source of the diversity problem. Companies like Google have attacked this problem by bringing HBCUs into the fold. Google has recently teamed with Howard University to create Howard West on the Google campus.

Smith is a graduate of Grambling State University and previously headed up the global HR team. Smith also ran HR for Apple’s global retail operation.

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About The Author

Tom Huskerson Bio Born in Richmond Virginia Tom Huskerson is a military veteran who settled in California after his discharge. He attended Santa Barbara City College where he began his writing career as a campus reporter. He worked as an intern news reporter for the Santa Barbara News-Press writing feature stories before moving on to San Francisco. At San Francisco State University Tom studied broadcast communications and began to focus on the Internet. He completed his graduate thesis on Internet advertising. Tom was the first student to ever focus on the Internet as a graduate student at San Francisco State University. After graduation he went to work for Zona Research in California’s Silicone Valley. As a research associate Tom supported senior analyst writing on the latest developments in the Internet industry. During the dot com boom Tom worked for several web businesses as a market researcher and analyst. As a writer and researcher Tom has authored various technical works including a training program for Charles Schwab security. Other projects included professional presentations on workplace violence and hiring security contractors. Tom has returned to focus on writing both fiction and non-fiction works and blogging for a travel website. He has published two books of short stories and completed two novels. Tom is the owner of Scribe of Life Literature and EbonyCandle. Most recently Tom has launched the blog African American Cyber Report. The blog is the result of his desire to inform the African American community of the dangers and benefits of the cyber age. In his blog Tom reports on information security, new and analysis, scams and hoaxes, legal happenings and various topics that arise from the age of information. Tom believes that technology is a necessary tool for black people and they should know what is happening. Tom writes believing that techno speak is for the professional and that valuable information can be communicated using plain language. As a result he has embraced the motto, Less Tech, More Knowledge.

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