Eve wasn’t invited: Integrating women into the Apple community


When you look at an Apple ad, it makes an effort to include women. Apple and its employees talk to us like human beings, and not girls who know nothing about technology. It’s important to me, and it’s why Apple has my business and (I suspect) the business of countless other women.

But it’s very hard for me to reconcile this consumer-facing Apple with the development company that put no women on stage this year for either the 2014 Worldwide Developers Conference keynote or the more-technical State of the Union. It’s difficult to connect this Apple I know and trust with the endless sea of white, male faces I saw at Yerba Buena Gardens during this year’s WWDC Bash. Women buy Apple products. We develop on Apple hardware. But we’re still not yet well-represented in Apple’s developer community.

It’s a shame this issue keeps coming up but there’s a reason why it does. Outside of “The Usual Suspects”, other groups, races, genders, etc., simply aren’t well represented in Tech. Some will be annoyed by this piece but it serves as a reminder that we still have a long way to go.

  • Napabar

    That makes an assumption that women in general are interested in programming, engineering, etc. I know this offends some people’s liberal sensibilities, but the truth may be that a majority of women aren’t interested in the back-end of tech.

    • The majority of men aren’t interested in it either.

      • James Hughes

        I’m not sure if it is a lack of interest or difficulty in attaining the same positions in computing technologies. But for whatever reason, there are less women in the field and seemingly less women interested. At least according to some statistics I found.


        More recent information may be available that show different statistics.

      • Herding_sheep

        Men make up the majority of the culture, however. There’s really no way around that. You see more men, because men outnumber the women entering this field.

        I don’t think its really correct to represent women for the sake of it. Then its really just reverse sexism. Like Apple needs to check off a list of social groups to be on stage like they’re shopping for groceries.

        Maybe the women who would be qualified to speak about a particular technology don’t actually want to be on stage in front of thousands. None of us actually know what happens behind the scenes. But given Tim Cook’s big passion for equality, I highly doubt there’s anything nefarious going on there.

        • rick gregory

          What you are skipping is WHY are there fewer women who enter this field. If you’ve been paying any attention to the conversations around this over the last year or two you might well conclude that it’s because the field in general is hostile to women. From the bro culture of SV to more traditional screens, tech isn’t all that inviting to most women.

          • Herding_sheep

            I’m well aware of the “bro culture.” But that’s not what was discussed. This was particularly about Apple and their choice of WWDC presenters. My comment is in regards to arguing Apple should put women on stage simply for the sake of it. I just don’t think that solves anything, its almost like apologetic to women which is worse in my opinion. I’d rather see talented women doing breakthrough work and being recognized, rather than recognizing the fact that they’re women. However, Apple does in fact employ a lot of women, even in engineering roles. All I was saying is, for whatever reason, these women weren’t chosen to present at WWDC, whether they’re not the appropriate individuals or they’re just not comfortable presenters. But I highly doubt Apple consciously makes a decision like “well you are the most qualified person to speak about this, but we’d rather see a man present this topic.”

          • darxmac

            as long as you can write:

            “… even in engineering roles”

            then we have a problem

    • fuchsdh

      True, but it’s also true that many people who are interested in tech, engineering, etc. wash out or lose interest for reasons that have nothing to do with the subject and everything to do with the culture or the treatment they receive. Or, they’re in the field but they have less opportunities for advancement, or they simply aren’t being paid for equal work.

      That said, I’m a bit perturbed by Wu’s breakdown of Gruber’s guests. What exactly is the “right” percentage of female guests on his show?

      When you start making your goal not the equal opportunity for women to get into tech and flourish there, but “50% of the people in tech should be women”, you lose me. Unless you’re also fighting for 50% of garbage collectors to be women as well.

    • darxmac

      And why do you think that is ? … generations of social norms and expectations have made it so, but that does not mean that it is right or that we don’t have to work to change that.

    • lucascott

      So just ignore them on the assumption that girls don’t care

      I bet you think girls don’t care about comics, videos games etc either


  • JKL

    There is no reason to feel any ire or disappointment if there is no reason to suspect any intention of discrimination. Those who like to dwell on someone’s physical characteristics would do well to focus more on someone’s deeds—as Aristotle taught us it’s action that defines a person.

    As a minority in every possible sense it would please me very little to see an Apple presenter resembling my outer countenance take the stage. My self esteem is perfectly intact. If I’m held back I will assume it’s due to my inabilities and incompetences. I don’t need someone of my gender, race, or faith to “represent” me in tech or any other industry. This particular attitude makes my gender, race, and faith stand out even more.

  • lucascott

    It doesn’t help when Apple has a keynote and only males are on stage. I’m sure there is a female smart enough to at least do a demo

    • at apple the SMEs do the demos of their projects

  • what about the trucking industry? men dominate truck driving. is that inherently unfair? or do most women just have little interest in being a truck driver? if the latter, do we need to fix this? encourage more girls young women to get into trucking? why not?

  • Do the women on stage for other WWDC sessions not count for anything?

  • I have white male friends who hate the diversity reports. They think it is, in my words, reverse racism to hire non-white (insert gender) just because they aren’t white. The thing I keep telling them they’re missing is in all of these reports and all of these tech companies that we’re seeing, they are grossly represented by white males and I cannot be convinced for every position, especially the leadership positions, white males are the only ones capable of filling those positions and they are always the best “man” for the job.