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Apple lacks diversity and a woman wins the Nobel of Math

A report is available this morning about the lack of diversity at Apple, reported by the Associated Press today. The breakdown finds 54 percent of the technology jobs at Apple are held by white males and another 23 percent by Asian males. This is the composition of the Apple technology workforce globally of its 98,000 employees.

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Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

The Apple profile is similar to the other high tech leaders in Silicon Valley. Google announced in July that it was spending $50 million over the next three years to promote women in technology positions with its program named “Made with Code.”

The Google program is a serious effort and a much needed start since the The U.S. ranks 52 in the world in math and science. Its STEM ratio which is Science, Technology Engineering and Mathematics is driven by that low score according to the World Economic Forum.

Apple is the number one capitalized company in the world with $570.79 billion. CEO Ted Cook admits this morning that the lack of diversity has been a serious issue which is in the process

of changing. This progress is in the form of $100 million to President Obama's connectED project, which aims to bring digital learning and cutting edge technology to economically challenged schools. This program according to Cook will benefit 80 percent of the student population from the Silicon Valley.

This is a good start as the Google program. Apple also works with the Human Rights Campaign and the National Center for Women and Information Technology. This according to Cook is advancement in the forward movement direction towards diversity. "The work we do with these groups is meaningful and inspiring," Cook said. "We know we can do more, and we will."

A very real breakthrough is occurring today at a ceremony in Seoul. Maryam Mirzakhani is receiving the Fields Medal that is widely considered math’s Nobel Prize.

The prestigious award is only given once every four years since its inception in 1936.

Maryam Mirzakhani, 37, will be awarded the Fields Medal — widely considered math’s Nobel Prize, since there is no Nobel for mathematics — at a ceremony in Seoul on Wednesday morning. Born and raised in Iran, she has been a professor at Stanford University since 2008.

All the previous 52 winners of the Fields have been men since its inception in 1936, one of the most visible indicators that at its highest level math remains a predominantly male preserve.

Ingrid Daubechies, president of the International Mathematical Union (IMU), said that Mirzakhani’s success was “hugely symbolic and I hope it will encourage more women to get into mathematics because we need more women. I am very happy that now we can put to rest that particular ‘it has never happened before."

Women comprise only 10 percent of the top 100 US University full professor positions in Math according to Stephen Ceci and and Wendy Williams, both Cornell University professors, in their book The Mathematics of Sex.

The National Leadership Conference will be held in San Diego Jun 29 through July 1, 2015 to address the issues of STEM.


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