Women and inclusivity in the Apple community

There were no women on stage during WWDC 2014 keynote or at the State of the Union address that followed it. Kim Vorrath was given a shout-out, women from both Apple and the community presented sessions and gave talks during the week, Apple scheduled a Women in Technology get-to-gether, and Apple does an excellent job promoting inclusivity and diversity on their website and in their ads. However, when the lights were on and the cameras were recording, the stage was anything but diverse. Brianna Wu of Giant Spacekat talks about how that feels to women in the Apple community, but also what can be done to effect change. From Macworld:

When I was a teenager in the 90s, I had few female role models to look up to in computer science; it's simply not acceptable for this to still be the case in 2014. Next year at WWDC, I want to see at least one woman in a public speaking role during the WWDC keynote. There are many bright, smart, well-spoken female Apple engineers; let's put them on stage and be role models for their peers and our daughters. Or Apple's Angela Ahrendts, who may not be a developer, but her business savvy and presentation skills seem like they would be well-utilized at next year's keynote. And I want to see more women and minorities at WWDC next year. We're a small crowd, but we do exist, and having more of us at the conference will emphasize this.

I'd love to see Ahrendts on stage at the next event, handling the Apple Store while Tim Cook focuses on the "this is what we believe" core-value segment he does so well. It would certainly raise the profile of the discussion, and raise awareness.

Both raising awareness helps and being proactive helps, and not just for Apple but for everyone. It's a struggle. It's hard. We will, all of us, fail spectacularly and embarrassingly at times. But we will pick ourselves up. We'll do better. Because it needs to be done. Because when we include more people, we become more inclusive. When we have greater diversity, we benefit from greater diversity of thinking.

Exclusion is a vicious, self-perpetuating cycle. Luckily inclusivity is a virtuous one. And it's one that, ultimate, benefits us all.

Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

  • In the "everyone can do better" department, we're actively working to get more women involved with iMore and Mobile Nations, and greater diversity in general. That goes for guests too. We've been lucky enough to have Brianna on both Iterate and Debug in the past, and she and her partner Amanda are back on Debug next week as well. We also just had back-to-back women as guests on Vector, Georgia Dow and Serenity Caldwell. I didn't realize that until looking back at the guest list, but I thought it was cool, and then regretted that having two women on in a row was cause to think cool. Last week Ally Kazmucha joined us a permanent host for the iMore show as well. We need to do more. Much more. But at the very least we're actively working on it now.
  • "In the "everyone can do better" department, we're actively working to get more women involved with iMore and Mobile Nations, and greater diversity in general." What specifically do more women and "greater diversity in general" (whatever that means) add to the conversation? Do women (and "diversity") provide a different perspective on the experience of using phones, tablets and Macs? If so, I can certainly understand and support this statement. If not, this idea of "inclusivity" seems like window dressing or "diversity for the sake of diversity." I'm not sure what problem that solves.
  • To me it serves to show that world of technology, mobile or otherwise, isn't just run and admired by pimply faced uber nerds. I would like to think there are more women interested in it than care to say anything because of the social stigmas attached to gender bias. All it takes is enough strong women (and minorities of any sort) to be put in the forefront giving those in like situations the courage to believe they can do it too and change the face of expectation. Posted via iMore App
  • It absolutely does. Life experience is, ultimately, the guiding force in anyone's writing. Get people with different life experiences and they cover a wider array of topics that speak to a wider array of people.
  • "Life experience is, ultimately, the guiding force in anyone's writing. Get people with different life experiences and they cover a wider array of topics that speak to a wider array of people." I agree with this. imore & Mobile Nations might benefit from contributions from writers in Asia, where the tech market is very different, or a rural place in America like Idaho or Montana, where uses of tech might be different (think ranching or other outdoor activities/professions). I think the point is "diversity" of life experiences is (or should be about) more than one's gender or the color of someone's skin.
  • +1
    When it comes to creativity, perspectives matter. Gender AND ethnicity. You never know where the next big idea will come from.
  • It is great it is being talked about, but I think we need to include minorities in This discussion. In tech blogs to tech companies there is a general ignorance of minorities in tech. I am African American; enjoy tech and know lots who do, but so far the community does not have representation in either tech companies or those covering tech. Yes we should not 'include' for the sake of 'doing the right thing' but ignoring that it is not just women that are not represented, but minorities as well. Let us talk about inclusivity beyond the ' white male in tech' Vs women to all people. That should be the end game.
  • Agreed. I'd argue it's about opportunity.
  • And encouragement (which I think this article offers) to step up and put themselves out there. It would be tough and you will be held at a higher standard, but just know you would be making a difference. Shout out to Georgia; you are my role model for hanging tough and staying true !
  • Thank you so much. Not sure if I deserve such a wonderful comment but I appreciate it
  • Mac, I disagree. There is representation of minorities in tech. I have watched several youtubers that were of different races and they discussed tech. But I will concede the point that you may not have seen them. I'm not sure if the % of tech personalities matches the % of races in the USA, but I know that they are represented... well, I'm Cherokee and I haven't noticed any Cherokee tech people, but still. I would list one of the better youtubers but I'm not certain on iMore's policies on that.
  • MKBHD covers it pretty well and has a huge following, not to mention has been recognized by the big wigs in companies and he is an African American. It would be interesting to see the ratio of "minorities" in tech compared to women and also if it is just a thing of in the case of women, it's not a field they show huge interest in. Certain fields have more ratio of one group of individual compared to other fields,, and maybe tech is the same way.
  • The apple world is largely represented by white males so I'm glad to see this being discussed.
  • LOL will see some more white faces, thats all !!
  • Not to sound rude or anything, but I think imore would benefit more from writers that work in areas other then technology or media. I don't work from home, or use my apple tech the same way you do, and sometimes I feel like your opinions are not representative of the mass muggles out in the real world. We just have a way different use cases. Also don't get so hung up on diversity, hire someone if they are qualified and if they have a different prospective on tech then you.
  • That's s good point. Maybe having more writers who aren't full time and can't buy every piece of tech, and have other jobs that they work at. The "common" person to get a better grasp on the majority of users
  • Personally, I would love to see Angela Ahrendts appear on stage, if nothing more than just to get a better idea of what her personality is like. Seems like an interesting person, and I'd like to see her in action. At the same time, I can't see how having Angela being the only woman on stage at an Apple event wouldn't just be reinforcing a negative stereotype. Okay, we're at a technology conference and the only woman who appears is the one who deals with shopping? If this is all about appearances, how is this anything but condescending? Sent from the iMore App
  • Why is nobody doing anything to get more women working in the sewage processing industry? I notice this is a predominately male oriented/occupied industry with no effort to get more women interested and employed there?
  • did this article get removed from the website?
  • Nope, it's still here. You just commented on it?
  • I had to find it via Google (after recommending it for someone to read). Now I see it back on the list.
  • Ugh. Ping me if you have any trouble finding it again.
  • Positive discrimination quotas ? Merit , Merit Merit . . . Is the only thing that matters. I don't care what organism is on stage as long it has better ideas than the current shower at apple, who seem to be running blind. Sent from the iMore App