Following pressure from shareholders, Apple has altered its corporate charter to include language about considering women and minorities for executive positions within the company. Before doing so, shareholders including Trillium Asset Management and the Sustainability Group had said that they would bring the issue to a vote in late February.
“There is a general problem with diversity at the highest echelon of Apple,” Jonas Kron, director of shareholder advocacy at Trillium, told Bloomberg. "It's all white men." The only woman on the eight-member board is Andrea Jung, and an overview of the executive roster that reports to CEO Tim Cook certainly backs up Kron's criticism. Former Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts will begin to head up Apple's retail operation this year.
Though it hesitates to set out a concrete goal or some sort of quota, the new wording in the company's charter states:
The nominating committee is committed to actively seeking out highly qualified women and individuals from minority groups to include in the pool from which board nominees are chosen.
Apple is just one of many Silicon Valley companies that have come under fire recently for having homogeneous executive boards. Twitter came under fire before its IPO for not having any women on its board, though it announced the hiring of Marjorie Scardino last month.