Tim Cook: 'No Good Excuse' For Lack Of Women In Tech


Apple chief executive Tim Cook says there are still "not enough women at the table" at the world's tech firms - including his own.

In an exclusive interview with the BBC, Mr Cook said technology "will not achieve nearly what it could achieve" without a more diverse workforce.

He said there were "no good excuses" for the lack of women in the sector.

Apple has just launched its founders' development programme for female founders and app creators in the UK.

"I think the the essence of technology and its effect on humanity depends upon women being at the table," Mr Cook says.

"Technology's a great thing that will accomplish many things, but unless you have diverse views at the table that are working on it, you don't wind up with great solutions."

He said while companies including his own had made progress on diversity, there were "no good excuses" for the tech sector not to employ more women.

Apple had 35% female staff across its global staff in 2021, according to its own diversity figures.

It launched its original Apple Health Kit in 2014 without a period tracker - which led to accusations that this was an oversight due to male bias among its developers.

Deloitte Global estimate large global technology firms will reach nearly 33% overall female representation in their workforces in 2022 on average - with 25% occupying technical roles.

One challenge facing the sector is the lack of girls choosing to pursue science, tech, engineering and maths subjects at school.

"Businesses can't cop out and say 'there's not enough women taking computer science - therefore I can't hire enough'," says Mr Cook.

"We have to fundamentally change the number of people that are taking computer science and programming."

His view is that everybody should be required to take some sort of coding course by the time they finish school, in order to have a "working knowledge" of how coding works and how apps are created.

Apple has also created its own programme language, Swift, along with content for learning how to use it.

He also said he thought Augmented Reality (AR), and the concept of the Metaverse, were "profound."

"In the future people will wonder how we lived without AR," he says. "We're investing a tonne in that space."

Augmented Reality is a mixture of digital content and the real world - a very simple example might be using the phone on your camera to insert virtual furniture before you buy it, to see how it might look in your house.

The metaverse is the concept of entire virtual worlds - and big tech is investing heavily in it, not least Meta, formerly Facebook, which re-branded itself to reflect its new priority.



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