This was originally published on Medium in response to Please Don’t Applaud Apple For Putting Women Onstage.
Going out of one’s way to praise Apple’s long overdue display of inclusiveness is on par with praising a toddler for picking up the Cheerios they threw on the floor (though most parents will agree — that’s something you have to do from time and time). As a black man who worked hard for a very long time to get a job in tech, I can say without a doubt that we have a long way to go.
But I believe setting a positive example and environment for the generation to follow includes approaching these difficult situations positively, i.e., let’s talk about how we can continue to make things better, rather than just about how things are broken.
While Apple is a worthy target of criticism for its lack of diversity, why aren’t we also concerned with Google, Facebook, Microsoft, or Amazon? All equally powerful and influential companies; all overwhelmingly white and male. Yet, Google’s training initiatives are pointed out as something they’re doing that Apple isn’t (at least publicly), disregarding the fact that Google’s diversity numbers haven’t really improved in the last year.
Three months ago, Apple committed $50 million to increasing diversity.
Criticism is good, healthy, and in this case more than deserved. I may be alone, but I’d like to consider this from a different angle — taking another step on the path to a new norm. Along the way, I’d like to develop a culture where it’s acceptable to celebrate small victories.
Let's continue fighting for those small victories.