Advice to Apple’s Diversity Investment is More Than Money


March 18, 2015

By Dr. Tyra Oldham, LANDsds Sustainable Voice News


The push for diversity is a complex challenge. Other sectors still have not mastered Inclusion and now it’s technology turn for a turn-around remedy to mitigate the inequities within technology. The story is “Apple commits more than $50 million to diversity efforts” announced at the annual shareholders’ meeting in Cupertino, California this week. The opportunity is to produce socioeconomic change in the technology ecosystem.

The interview with Fortune revealed, “Apple’s human resources chief Denise Young Smith said the company is partnering with several non-profit organizations on a multi-year, multi-million-dollar effort to increase the pipeline of women, minorities, and veterans in the technology industry—and, of course, at Apple.”

Smith said, “We wanted to create opportunities for minority candidates to get their first job at Apple,” said Young Smith, who took over as its head of HR a little over a year ago. (Before her current role, the longtime Apple exec spent a decade running recruiting for the retail side of the business.)”

I have led and been apart of diversity initiatives over the last twenty years in manufacturing, construction, education, government and more. The lens on diversity as an initiative is different from a strategy or restructuring. Consider Inclusion as important  as safety, security and efficiency.  When diversity is “not” hard-wired into the organization it becomes marketing scheme.

To effect change, diversity is integrated through the supply chain and ecosystem. Next, inclusion are outcomes are measured  for good and bad data using analytics to make continuous changes. Diversity is a system engineered to produce organizational change.  Diversity is not a HR focus. Diversity is viewed as a human resource specialization. I do not discount HR need but Diversity is not just about people it’s about vision, systems and operations. Success and failure comes not through HR but led from the top and embraced from the bottom to align resources and engineering systems that drive results. Diversity is hard-wired just as computers, printers, desks and the building — you get it.   The issue is not throwing money at the issue but identifying the need for change.

Diversity is not just about people– it is about vision, systems and operations integral to the organization’s ecosystem. By Dr. Tyra Oldham

When organization construct need assessment and models that identify the ROI and intelligence gained from inclusion it then becomes not a soft but a hard science for transformation. Organizations change by education, training and creating systems that feedback the goal. This goal beyond jobs but gaining the intelligence and innovation needed for sustainability.

The opportunity is to operationalize systems and deliver organizational change that supports the ideals of change is the beginning of diversity. Diversity is the hope and Inclusion is the outcome. Diversity is no longer a pitch but an economic and societal reality impacting innovation and infrastructure just as energy.

Let’s move from ideals to instrumentation to implementation.


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