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Apple VP Resigns After Sharing Questionable View of Diversity

Denise Smith Young
PA Diversity Council/Twitter

Denise Young Smith only served as Apple’s VP of Diversity for four months before attracting controversy for her interesting perspective on diversity.

On Thursday, TechCrunch reported Smith would be resigning from her position because of backlash over comments she made during a September panel.

“Diversity is the human experience,” she said during the panel hosted by Atlantic Media publication Quartz. “I get a little bit frustrated when diversity or the term diversity is tagged to the people of color, or the women, or the LGBT.”

She then went on to explain her extremely broad criterion for diversity and inclusion.
“There can be 12 white, blue-eyed, blond men in a room and they’re going to be diverse, too,” Smith continued. “Because they’re going to bring a different life experience and life perspective to the conversation,” she said.
As a Black woman and Apple’s first and only diversity of VP, Smith’s statements drew immediate concern about her propensity to ensure diversity at the Silicon Valley company.
Although she later apologized for the statements, she said what she said. Smith will be leaving her position by the end of 2017. She will be replaced by Christie Smith who is a White woman.

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