Apple’s vice president of diversity and inclusion will be stepping down at the end of the year after outrage over comments she made claiming white men can still bring diverse viewpoints to the workplace.
According to Quartz, at the One Young World Summit in October, Denise Young Smith spoke about her efforts to increase diversity at Apple. Instead of saying she specifically tries to recruit people based on their race and gender, Young Smith said, “I focus on everyone.”
“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 added.
She continued, “There can be 12 white, blue-eyed, blonde men in a room and they’re going to be diverse too because they’re going to bring a different life experience and life perspective to the conversation.”
Even though Quartz reports Young Smith’s remarks were met with applause, TechCrunch now reports she will be resigning from Apple at the end of the year.
In an apology email, Young Smith reportedly said she was “sorry” and that her comments “were not representative of how I think about diversity or how Apple sees it.”
She also said, “Our commitment at Apple to increasing racial and gender diversity is as strong as it’s ever been. I’m proud of the progress we’ve made, but there is much work to be done. I’m continually reminded of the importance of talking about these issues and learning from each other.”
An Apple spokesman reportedly told TechCrunch, “We deeply believe that diversity drives innovation” while announcing Christie Smith will take over Young Smith’s role.
TechCrunch notes Young Smith had been considering leaving Apple for some time. She will be leaving the vice president of diversity role after a mere six months.
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