Historically Black Colleges and Universities were created with the intention of promoting diversity in the American educational system. This is basically achieved by encouraging more black people to pursue education at any level without the fear of discrimination or unequal treatment. These schools have evolved tremendously over the past few years, by encouraging people of all races to enroll into the Universities and Colleges.
HBCU graduates are generally seen as a symbol of diversity and inclusion, which is demonstrated by the American educational system. The recent announcement by Apple Inc. is a sign of this kind of diversity. Recently the American tech giant announced the appointment of Denise Young Smith, a HBCU graduate as its new Vice President of diversity. This announcement has brought lots of joy to the HBCU community in America. Smith who earned a bachelor’s degree in Communications and a master’s degree in Organizational Management from Grambling State University in Louisiana, a HBCU has been considered by Apple as the best fit for the job.
Looking at the HBCU graduate, Denise Young Smith, we realize that she joined the company in 1997, and has served in several key HR roles. The most recent appointment she held before becoming the Vice President of diversity is the Vice President of Worldwide Human Resources and Talent. It is worthy of mention that for over 10 years, she has been part of the leadership team at Apple, which has seen tremendous growth over the past couple of years, and now welcoming more than one million people every day.
Prior to Apple, Denise offered talent, HR and management consulting expertise to early-stage businesses including Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers portfolio companies. Apple stores across the US have brought an amazingly new retail experience to the world, and their talented employees have become the face of Apple for customers everywhere. Denise Young Smith is part of this great success achieved by Apple over the past decades. It is also worth mentioning that Smith has a reasonable amount of experience with the HR processes at Apple.
Among other key positions held by Denise at Apple is the HR department, which handles Apple’s Worldwide Operations and Corporate Employee Relations teams. Being a part of the HR team simply means she has great experience when it comes to hiring new employees and ensuring that existing employees are well compensated for their work at Apple. It also goes beyond employee welfare, as she is responsible for ensuring that there is fairness in the recruitment process in terms of equal opportunities for every applicant irrespective of their race, religion or color. Reports have also indicated that Smith will report directly to Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, due to the importance of her position as the Vice President of diversity in the company.
It is important to note that Smith has already been involved in many diversity programs at Apple and her new role suggests Apple is taking diversity and inclusion more seriously.