A proposed diversity plan for Apple, which would have pushed the company to hire more minorities for its board of directors and senior management, was rejected by shareholders on Tuesday.
Silicon Beat reports that this is the second year that the proposal has been put forward and the second year that it has been denied. The proposal calls for an “accelerated recruitment policy” to introduce diversity within the ranks of Apple’s senior management and board of directors. Supporters of the policy noted that due to the proposal receiving less than six percent of votes from shareholders this year, it can be blocked from appearing on next year’s proxy ballot.
Tony Maldonado, the Apple investor who submitted the proposal, discussed its rejection, saying, “Apple successfully duped investors and the public into believing that diversity is not something that should be a priority. As a shareholder, I’m disappointed because I know that Apple’s shocking lack of diversity leads to a weaker return on my investment.”
Pat Tomaino, an associate director at Zevin Asset Management and co-sponsor of the proposal, said, “We’re at a critical juncture in the life of Apple – where it needs to pivot from the iPhone and the Mac to captivate consumers again. How can Apple be sure it knows its customers well enough to build the smartest web services and AI assistants when its executive ranks still don’t reflect the diversity of key markets?”
The proposal was nearly unanimously rejected, however, receiving only 4.91% of shares voting in favor of the policy and 95.09 shares voting against it. Silicon Beat states that Apple did not respond to a request for comment but did previously urge investors to vote against the proposal in the proxy statement sent to investors in January.
Apple stated that they were already taking measures to promote diversity within the company:
Apple already provides detailed information about our core values and our most significant charitable contributions on our website at apple.com/diversity/creating-opportunities and apple.com/product-red. Apple’s largest charitable contributions, which are made only following extensive internal vetting and approval from one or more of our executive officers, focus on some of the most important issues facing our communities today.