The announcement comes just days after Smith posted a memo, apologizing for the way she addressed diversity at a conference in Bogota, Columbia. Her position as VP will be taken by Christie Smith.
In the memo, the departing CEO mentions the reasons why she may now have to pack her things. When one reporter asked her in Bogota whether she would focus more on black women as diversity chief since she is a black woman herself, Smith criticized instances when diversity is used as a label.
I get a little bit frustrated when diversity […] is tagged to the people of color or the women or the LGBT,
Smith’s Views on Diversity Met with Criticism
She thinks that the current usage of the term ‘diversity’ forces people to carry the label around “on [their] foreheads.” Plus, she gave an example of diversity which probably made things worse. She imagined a scenario in which a dozen “white blue-eyed blonde men” are standing in a room.
That room is full of diversity, in Smith’s view, because every single man in the room has a different life perspective and experience and he can enrich the conversation.
Her remarks were met with criticism, and earlier this month, she announced she would be joining Cornell Tech in January.
It is worth noting that even though Apple is putting a great deal of effort in the empowerment of the black workforce, this year’s diversity report shows that the number of black women working for the company hasn’t increased since last year. The representation of black female workers in the tech industry currently stands at 7%, a slight drop from last year’s levels (8%).
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