Apple Ready to Double Down on Diversity

Apple CEO Tim Cook says the lack of diversity in the tech market is everyone's fault, and he's working to change that. Mr. Cook hinted that we'll see some of his efforts during this morning's Worldwide Developer Conference keynote presentation will include more women.

Apple CEO Tim Cook commits to improving diversity in the tech marketApple CEO Tim Cook commits to improving diversity in the tech market

When Mashable asked Mr. Cook yesterday about how rarely we see women during WWDC keynotes, he replied, "I totally agree with you. You'll see a change tomorrow."

He added that we need more female role models in the tech world, and that Apple as well as other companies haven't done nearly enough to make that happen.

"I think it's our fault—'our' meaning the whole tech community," Mr. Cook said. "I think in general we haven't done enough to reach out and show young women that it's cool to do it and how much fun it can be."

We've already seen a change in how Apple perceives the developer community, and this year's WWDC hasn't even started yet. Each year Apple gives developers something wearable when they pick up their event badged, and this year it was a jacket—for the first time available in women's sizes, too. App developer Julie Johnson noted on Twitter,

They had conference jackets with female-specific sizing for the first time at registration. So I’m expecting big things.

As part of its push for greater diversity, Apple expanded its WWDC scholarship program to include STEM programs, such as Jean MacDonald's App Camp for Girls. Her program teaches middle school age girls iOS coding skills and currently is running an Indiegogo campaign to raise the funds it needs to become a self sustaining organization.

Mr. Cook said Apple is looking beyond women as it works to improve its diversity, too. Growing beyond the old-school white make demographic is critical for Apple, according to Mr. Cook. "It's the future of our company," he said.

We'll get to see some of those efforts in action this morning during Apple's WWDC keynote presentation, set to start at 10AM pacific time today. The Mac Observer is on location, and we'll be covering the event live, so be sure to join us for our latest news and analysis.