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Only one female executive spoke today at Apple’s event

Apple Senior Vice President of Retail, Angela Ahrendts, speaks during a product launch event.
Stephen Lam/Reuters
Holding her own.
  • Karen Hao
By Karen Hao

Junior Data Scientist & Contributor

Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has admitted before that the company needs more diversity. Yet during Apple’s most high-profile showcases, women rarely take the stage, and when they do it’s not for long.

The company’s latest event, hosted today (Sept. 12) at the Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino, California, was no different. Only one female executive—Angela Ahrendts, Apple’s senior vice president of retail—presented, alongside an otherwise completely male cast. The only other women to even make an appearance were Deidre Hollars Caldbeck from the product marketing team—she called in from a paddle board during the Watch series 3 demo—and… Siri, who scored a fleeting cameo.

That poor showing was notably worse than WWDC 2016 and 2017, as well as Apple’s September event last year.

Apple has long faced criticism for its lack of on-stage female representation, as well as the diversity of its employees worldwide. As of June 2016, 32% of the company’s workforce was female, and 22% were US-underrepresented minorities, according to data published by Apple. Although the tech giant has made a push in recent years to hire more diverse talent, the homogeneity among its top leadership—and during its most visible events—leaves something to be desired.

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