Following this week’s unveiling of Apple’s long-awaited smart watch, the company has pledged a whopping $50 million toward creating job opportunities for women and people of color in tech—an industry that has lacked diversity.
The smart-device innovator has stated its commitment to diversity, continuing momentum generated by Intel and Google earlier this year. Here’s a quick breakdown of how each company is contributing to the long-overdue shift.
In an interview with Fortune magazine, Apple human resources head, and Grambling State University graduate, Denise Young Smith revealed her company’s goals. “We wanted to create opportunities for minority candidates to get their first job at Apple,” Smith said. “There is tremendous upside to that, and we are dogged about the fact that we can’t innovate without being diverse and inclusive.”
Apple will commit the $50 million over several years to create job opportunities for veterans as well as women and people of color. The company has specifically donated $40 million to the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, which is a nonprofit organization for students at HBCUs. Apple has also teamed with the National Center for Women & Information Technology to help increase the number of women graduating with four-year degrees.
Microsoft, Apple’s longtime competitor, has already granted support to the NCWIT. Still, demographics at both companies show the need for a greater internal focus on diversity.
White employees represent 54 percent of Apple’s tech workers and 56.4 percent of those at Microsoft. The former also has a tech workforce that is 80 percent male, while the latter’s male tech workforce stands at 83.3 percent as of Dec. 31, 2014.
Fortune ranks Microsoft as the least diverse of the 14 major tech companies that have released workforce-demographics data. Apple, on the other hand, is positioned second to LinkedIn.