Apple, Intel Improve in Workplace Diversity

The numbers of women, African-Americans and Hispanic employees working at Apple over the past year have all increased by double digits, although the company's U.S. workforce remains predominantly white and male -- a trend that holds true across large swaths of the tech sector.

"We are proud of the progress we've made . . . But we know there is a lot more work to be done," noted CEO Tim Cook when he revealed Apple's latest diversity figures this week. Apple first publicly reported its employee demographic figures last year.

Intel has also increased its hiring of underrepresented groups, according to its mid-year diversity report released Wednesday. Intel said it has made a lot of progress toward its goal of full representation of women and underrepresented minority groups in its workforce by 2020, although the company acknowledged that "many challenges remain."

A number of recent developments -- such as former Reddit interim CEO Ellen Pao's failed gender discrimination lawsuit against the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers -- have prompted a growing number of technology companies to begin publicly reporting their efforts to hire more women and minority groups. Advocates of greater inclusion have argued that as the overall U.S. population becomes more diverse, so, too, should the workforces at the world's leading tech firms.

Tech Less Diverse than General Population

The nation's population is 50.8 percent female and 49.2 percent male, as well as 16.6 percent Hispanic, 12.6 percent African-American and 4.9 percent Asian, according to the most recent figures from the U.S. Bureau of the Census. The employee population at large technology companies, however, tends to look dramatically different.

A 2014 analysis of nine tech firms by Fortune, for example, found that most had far lower representations of women, African-Americans and other minority groups in their workforces. Those...

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