The Worldwide Developers Conference is one of the most exciting tech events of the year for technology enthusiasts or anybody who wants to keep tabs on what Apple — the world’s biggest technology company — is doing. There are awesome new product announcements, in-depth previews of new features, musical guests, and for a long time, a homogeneous quality to the speakers on stage.

As with many areas of the tech world, the WWDC has a history notably absent of diversity, but that has changed in recent years. Across the board, the presenters have historically been Caucasian males. This isn’t just a representation of a conference, however: The speakers are generally high-ranking members of the Apple corporate team. Of the current top 11 Apple executives, nine are male and two are female. Of those 11, there are zero black or Hispanic members. If there were more women and non-white men on the board, you can bet there would be more diversity on stage at the World Wide Developers Conference.

The highest ranking employees at Apple.
A staggering lack of minorities and women populate the Apple executive board.

In 2014, journalist Joe Kukura reported that between 2007 and 2014, only two women spoke at the 16+ hours worth of conferences: Stephanie Morgan in 2009 and Jen Herman in 2010. The stage at the WWDC is a constant parade of speakers, showcasing countless new pieces of Apple swag. At the same eight conferences, 57 men spoke on stage. In the years since 2014, the majority of speakers are still majority male, leaving only a handful of women and minority speakers. In 2015, Gizmodo writer Alissa Walker ran down a list of all the women Apple had put on stage up to that point.

In 2017, Cook told students at his alma mater of Auburn University that he had learned to not only appreciate cultural differences but to celebrate them. “The world is intertwined today, much more than it was when I was coming out of school,” Cook said. “Because of that, you really need to have a deep understanding of cultures around the world.”

Cook offered a broad definition of diversity in that talk last year:

“We believe you can only create a great product with a diverse team,” Cook said. “And I’m talking about the large definition of diversity. One of the reasons Apple products work really great – I hope you think they work really great – is that the people working on them are not only engineers and computer scientists, but artists and musicians.”

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