Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Hey Mr Cook, Where are the Girls?

A hot topic in the US right now is what is called STEM Education. That's Science-Technology-Engineering-Mathematics for those of you without kids or a job at a local school. Basically the US is trying to deal with the fact that that there aren't enough kids learning what they would need to do to actually take the thousands of tech based jobs that open up every year with companies like Apple, Google and so on. So these companies have little choice but to recruit from out of the country. This deficit is also why Steve Jobs once told President Obama that tech products will never likely return to being produced in the United States. 

While Apple isn't really known for leading the pack in supporting STEM they do have one effort on their table and that's their scholarships to WWDC. While not open just to kids, those as young as 13 can apply for a free ticket  to the annual event which discusses not only the current state of iOS and Mac OS but previews the upcoming versions. For kids interested in making software for Apple gear it's a big deal. 

But imagine my disappointment when I saw the announcement page. Seriously Tim? THIS is the photo your company puts up. 

Five boys. Apparently Apple believes that only males code. This doesn't totally shock me when you consider the roster of top folks at Apple currently and over the past few years. 

Steve Jobs
Tim Cook
Eddy Cue
Craig Federighi
Jony Ive
Bob Mansfield
Scott Forstall
Ron Johnson
John Browlett

and so on. 

The only woman on the Board of Directors is listed as an advisor. Yes there are a couple of women in the press office and Sir J might have a woman on his team. But overall the company appears to be decidedly male slanted. A status quo they seem to be encouraging. 

Apple's been big with their environmental focus and their whole "no we aren't using no paid, depressed slave labor in China" efforts. So how about stepping up and actively encouraging girl coders? Designating those scholarships as 75 for boys and 75 for girls would have been a start. But that move will likely have to wait for 2014 if ever. 

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