California state representative Barbara Lee said Apple seems to be on the right track when it comes hiring black employees, but is nonetheless calling on it and other tech companies to release federal data regarding workplace diversity.
Lee visited Silicon Valley this week to meet with tech industry leaders in a Congressional Black Caucus initiative meant to stimulate more diverse hiring practices in the sector, USA Today reports.
As part of her tour, Lee met with Apple CEO Tim Cook on Monday.
"Apple seems to be moving in the right direction. Tim Cook wants his company to look like the country and I think they are very committed to doing everything they can do," Lee said.
In its first diversity report last August, Apple revealed that 55 percent of its U.S. workforce is white, 15 percent Asian, 11 percent Hispanic and 7 percent black. The company also said at the time that 70 percent of its 98,000 employees worldwide were male.
Apple is expected to divulge a more current report this summer that, according to human relations chief Denise Young Smith, will show improved hiring rates of Hispanic, black and women employees. Lee is calling for the release of a federal government compliance form called EEO-1, also known as "The Employer Information Report," which collects data about gender and race/ethnicity by job type. Most companies with over 100 workers are required to file an annual EEO-1 with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
"We have asked them all to release the data," Lee said on Tuesday of the tech companies visited this week. "If they believe in inclusion, they have to release the data so the public knows that they are being transparent and that they are committed to doing the right thing."
Following last year's diversity findings, Apple marketed a more appealing public image with its "Inclusion Inspires Innovation" campaign. The catchphrase has since been used to prop up Apple's quest for equality in the workplace, finding mention in numerous interviews and a special section on Apple's website.
Aside from internal hiring, Apple has invested more than $50 million in various nonprofit organizations dedicated to increasing the representation of women, minorities and veterans in tech.
Lee, who was joined by caucus chairman G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.) and Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), also sat down with executives from Intel, Google, Pandora and SAP to discuss similar hiring issues.