By : Michal Lev-Ram –
A flashy new smart watch isn’t all Apple has up its sleeve. The company is donating more than $50 million to organizations that aim to get more women, minorities, and veterans working in tech.
It’s a big week for Apple. On Monday the iPhone-maker unveiled the latest addition to its ecosystem of devices, a smart watch whose price will range from $350 to $18,000. On Tuesday, the company kicks off its annual shareholders’ meeting in Cupertino, Calif.
But there’s more. In an exclusive interview with Fortune, Apple’s human resources chief Denise Young Smith said the company is partnering with several non-profit organizations on a multi-year, multi-million-dollar effort to increase the pipeline of women, minorities, and veterans in the technology industry—and, of course, at Apple.
“We wanted to create opportunities for minority candidates to get their first job at Apple,” said Young Smith, who took over as its head of HR a little over a year ago. (Before her current role, the longtime Apple exec spent a decade running recruiting for the retail side of the business.) “There is tremendous upside to that and we are dogged about the fact that we can’t innovate without being diverse and inclusive.”
Young Smith likes to say that diversity extends race and gender—Apple wants its employee base to also reflect different lifestyles and sexual orientations. (Last fall, CEO Tim Cook publicly acknowledged that he is gay—the firstFortune 500 chief executive to do so while holding the title.) But, at least for now, its diversity initiatives are mostly focused on expanding its pipeline of women and minorities.
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