Apple has announced today that it will be donating more than $50 million to a selection of nonprofit groups with the aim to improve diversity in the tech industry.
In an interview given exclusively to Fortune, Apple states that it will work with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, which gives support specifically to students from historically black colleges and universities. It will also be working with the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT), which is working to boost the number of women in technical positions in the industry.
Apple isn’t the only industry leader donating to these organizations though, in fact, Microsoft, Google and Symantec got there first and are already working on diversity with the NCWIT and the Thurgood Marshall College Fund receives large grants from Wal-Mart and the NBA.
Young Smith, Apple’s head of Human Resources told Fortune that Apple isn’t looking at the dollar amounts, it is more focused on the approach and of course, in true Apple style it won’t be the same as the rest – it will be “thoughtful.” Young added:
We wanted to create opportunities for minority candidates to get their first job at Apple. There is tremendous upside to that and we are dogged about the fact that we can’t innovate without being diverse and inclusive.
It is interesting that Apple is acknowledging this because it’s own corporate diversity has shown an overwhelmingly white male dominance in the past, which led Tim Cook to state that it was not satisfactory.
While this plan appears to focus on the inclusion of different races and women in particular, it remains to be seen whether Apple will extend its diversity plans to include different lifestyles and orientations.