Denise Young Smith, Apple’s now-former Vice President of diversity and inclusion, has been fired over implying that diversity includes white people.
She was fired after a slew of backlash that followed what she said which is more strange considering she was doing it right!
Apple has appointed Christie Smith to take her place in this role. She’ll report to VP for People at Apple, Deirdre O’Brien.
In a statement about this, Apple said: “We deeply believe that diversity drives innovation,” an Apple spokesperson said in a statement to TechCrunch. “We’re thrilled to welcome an accomplished leader like Christie Smith to help us continue the progress we’ve made toward a more diverse workplace.”
“Last week, while attending a summit in Bogota, I made some comments as part of a conversation on the many factors that contribute to diversity and inclusion….I regret the choice of words I used to make this point,” said Smith in the memo.
Denise Young Smith, who was named vice president of diversity and inclusion in May, made controversial comments last month during a One Young World Summit in Bogotá, Colombia.
“There can be 12 white, blue-eyed, blond 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,” the inaugural diversity chief said.
“Diversity is the human experience,” she said, according to Quartz. “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.”
Her comments appeared to defend Apple’s overwhelmingly white and male leadership at a time when the company’s makeup is markedly uneven.
The 20-year Apple veteran, who previously served as the company’s head of worldwide human resources, later apologized for her remarks, telling the staff that they “were not representative of how I think about diversity or how Apple sees it.”
“For that, I’m sorry,” she said in an email. “More importantly, I want to assure you Apple’s view and our dedication to diversity has not changed.”