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A group of Apple shareholders is requesting a civil rights audit, saying the company’s actions against the staff go against its mission and stated values.
The US SEC has allowed a shareholder proposal on Apple’s alleged use of stealth clauses and nondisclosure agreements, but now a separate group wants more.
According to Market clock, a group of three shareholders that includes SOC Investment Group, they have submitted proposals that follow allegations of staff harassment. The proposals are also reported to include an audit of the company’s own racial inequality policies, as opposed to its Racial Justice and Equity Initiative.
“It is unclear how Apple plans to address racial inequality in its workforce,” the proposal says, as seen by Market clock. “Apple currently has no Hispanics and only has one black member on its executive team.”
“[Apple is] spending money on racial and primarily philanthropic initiatives and they don’t really address the company’s own policies, “said SOC CEO Dieter Waizenegger, Market clock. “The diversity director is not in the C-suite [a term for the most important people in a firm]and there is a very low percentage of black officers in the company. Regardless of what the company does, there seems to be a gap. “
Apple’s own diversity report says that in 2020, Apple’s leadership was 4% Black and 8% Hispanic. This is more than in 2014, when Apple’s leadership was 3% black and 6% Hispanic.
Overall, the percentages of the tech workforce haven’t changed much. In 2014, tech workers were 6% Black and 7% Hispanic. In 2020, the Hispanic percentage increased to 8%, with no change in black representation.
“Given the importance of racial and gender equality, having this level of review is not only appropriate but very beneficial,” said Trillium’s director of advocacy, Jonas Kron.
Apple said Market clock who had no comment on the proposal. Separately, the publication says whistleblower Cher Scarlett claimed that “Apple’s behavior does not reflect the mission and values it portrays to its shareholders and the public.”
SOC Investment Group owns 21.9 million shares of the company. Other contributors to the filing include Trillium Asset Management, who say they hold more than a million shares, and the Service Employees International Union has a large stake in the company, with the exact number of shares unknown.