Apple unveiled a new careers website today (Oct. 22), and punctuated it with the language of inclusiveness. One example: “Apple is open. We believe humanity is plural, not singular. The best way the world works is everybody in. Nobody out.” It’s a nice statement for a company working on its diversity statistics (it’s 68% male and 54% white, according to its last internal survey).
But then it showed this map of its offices, store locations, and other Apple facilities:
Apple calls itself a “worldwide company that reflects the whole wide world,” and yet, there’s a rather large hole in the middle of the map, where Africa is. Apple has no offices or stores on the continent, although it does work with local resellers and repair stores in many countries where it doesn’t have official presences.
That’s not to say there are no Apple employees in Africa—right now the company is hiring an app store manager in Johannesburg, South Africa, for example (though a quick search for openings in the 10 most populous countries in Africa other than South Africa revealed no current openings).
It’s easy to understand why Apple, which sells expensive luxury gadgets, might not want to invest everywhere. The overwhelming majority of Apple’s revenue comes from the Americas (which is mainly North America; note that the company has only six offices, stores, or other facilities in all of South America, versus the 500-plus in North America), along with Europe and China. The Americas, Europe, and China together accounted for 86% of Apple’s revenue in the last quarter it reported. The company’s doesn’t even list Africa as a region it sells in, on its earnings statements.
An Apple spokesperson wasn’t immediately available to comment on the particulars of the map. But if you’re going to say that your company “reflects the whole wide world,” you probably shouldn’t make it so obvious that you’re missing a rather large chunk of it.