Apple CEO Tim Cook discusses tech diversity
It comes as no secret that women and several minority groups are underrepresented in the technology industry. Apple CEO Tim Cook recently addressed the issue that not enough women are working at tech firms around the world, and Apple is no exception. Cook proclaimed that no excuse is a good excuse.
According to its diversity figures, 35% of Apple’s workforce were female in 2021.
In an exclusive article with the BBC, Cook explained that without greater diversity in workforces, technology “will not achieve nearly what it could”.
As of 2022, women hold less than 30% of technology jobs. More senior roles have an even lower representation of women.
What does it come down to?
There’s often a misconception that women and girls don’t want to pursue STEM careers at school or at a more senior level. However, often its down to girls and young women never being shown the world of STEM, or access to this education.
if everyone was given the same opportunities from a young age, this might not be the case.
This gap isn’t a result of capability, so why does it exist? Many believe a way to fix the problem is to address the UK curriculum. Cook makes an excellent point when stating everyone should be required to take a coding course by the time they complete their studies. Or perhaps if secondary schools made coding or computer science compulsory until a later stage, it would almost ‘de-gender’ it.
Mathematics and English are compulsory at GCSE level. When looking at technology’s integral role to careers and economic progress, it doesn’t make sense as to why technology, or coding is not a core requirement of the curriculum.
It’s vital to remember that diversity is greater than equality. It’s about ensuring the presence different brains, ideas and approaches. Afterall, the future is technology, and the future cannot leave anyone behind.
It’s not about forcing women and other underrepresented groups into STEM subjects. Far from it. Technology is everywhere. If the people working on it don’t represent those using it, the technology won’t work as well as it could. This includes companies like Apple building health apps but missing out a period tracker due to having no women on the team. The technology industry must be representative of society.
Many girls and women might choose to work in the industry if they are given a better insight into it. Afterall, how can companies employ more women and girls in technology if they are not choosing to study technology-based subjects. If these subjects become mandatory, including IT or computer science, naturally, more girls will have the correct qualifications and insight into the technology industry. This will mean companies can stop using the lack of girls choosing to pursue such subjects as a cop out as to why girls and women are underrepresented in industry. As Cook pointed out: “We have to fundamentally change the number of people that are taking computer science and programming.”