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Tim Cook promises Apple will release data on corporate diversity

Apple CEO Tim Cook arrives at the 2014 Allen & Co. conference in Sun Valley | Source: Twitter

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During a question-and-answer session at Allen & Co.'s annual Sun Valley conference in Idaho, Apple CEO Tim Cook said the iPhone maker will eventually quantify the diversity of its workforce in a public disclosure, but that it is now "more focused on actions."

"We'll release the information at some point," Cook told Bloomberg, referring to diversity data that would likely break down its 80,000-strong workforce by age, gender, and ethnicity. Apple is "more focused on actions" in the meantime, he added.

The company has taken flack in recent months from human rights groups for the lack of diversity in its senior leadership, which counts only two women — board member Andrea Jung and new retail chief Angela Ahrendts. The balance of the company's board and senior vice president-level executives are white men, though African-American human resources head Denise Young-Smith reports directly to Cook.

Among those chastising Apple are the Rev. Jesse Jackson, whose Rainbow PUSH Coalition recently launched a new campaign aimed at drawing awareness to the issue of racial diversity in Silicon Valley. "Technology is supposed to be about inclusion, but sadly, patterns of exclusion remains the order of the day," Jackson wrote in a letter addressed to Apple, Twitter, Facebook, Hewlett Packard, Google, and others.

Apple has responded to the criticism by publicly committing to increase diversity, including a tweak to the company's corporate charter that commits the board to "actively [seek] out highly qualified women and individuals from minority groups to include in the pool from which board nominees are chosen."

The company has also stepped up public demonstrations of support for LGBT equality under Cook. "Thousands" of Apple employees participated in last week's Pride Parade in San Francisco under Apple's banner, including Cook.