No Excuse for Apple’s Binders Full of Women Problem

That’s the title of my latest blog.  And yes, I’m miffed.  How many Apple customers does it take for them to have more than one woman on their board, the same woman who is their only minority board member?  It’s ridiculous.

Is it wrong to expect a company run by so many young people who were supposed to be less opposed to women’s advancement at work to not bring us back to the dark ages?  I wonder what Al Gore is doing as a member of that board.  Time for him to take a stand.

Women over the decades have worked tirelessly to help other women have less difficulty than they did in getting ahead in business.  And yet, here we are in 2014 expected to be happy that Apple might add another woman to their board, although they think it will take them a while.  Give me a break!  It is going to take me a while to buy another of their products.

Twitter recently got the message, having had no women on their board. It took a groundswell of anger to break that juggernaut.  It’s some sort of progress.  Certainly it’s not enough.

I can imagine what my former colleague, Betty Friedan, would be saying today.  She’d be appalled.  Truth be told, so am I as you can tell from the blog (below).



Big hoopla this week that Apple is open to more female representation on their board. They caution, however, that it may take a few years. Coincidentally, NASA just announced their intention to spur a young commercial space industry and solve astronaut complex health issues during four extra years given to them. Apple must be going to another galaxy and back looking for their next female board member.

Thanks to Apple shareholders, the company’s board nominating committee will now be “actively seeking out highly qualified women.” Which raises the question: What has the committee been doing for more than three decades? Apparently the same thing they’ve been doing about minorities, since the woman currently on the board is also its only member of a minority group.

Worse still, Apple finds it necessary to specify that such women must be “highly qualified.” The implication is that they’re hard to find or that the good ones are all taken. I could have a list, with bios, in 20 minutes. Who couldn’t?

This is more than a little reminiscent of Mitt Romney’s “binders full of women” comment that revealed how out-of-touch he was with the issue of women’s equality at work.

News flash for Apple: A woman as far back as 1993 to 1996 was NASA’s Chief Scientist. You might want to check her math and management skills. See if she’d be considered “highly qualified.” Then there’s NASA’s 2013 astronaut class, which is 50 percent women.

Of course, it’s Apple’s right as an American company to maintain a backward culture, to drag its feet on bringing women onto the board, to walk around blinded by their own ignorance, to make excuses that won’t stand the light of day so that they can keep hiring board members who “fit” the culture and make everyone already there feel comfortable. It’s our choice as consumers whether or not to help them do it.


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