Apple's head of developer relations, Susan Prescott, says the company continues to focus on inclusion and diversity and promises new features at WWDC 2023.
Speaking at a recent event at Apple's new offices in Battersea, London, Prescott talked to an audience of female founders who went through the company's App Store Foundations program. Launched in 2022, the program is meant to support female developers.
Prescott explained that the company's dedication to inclusivity and diversity is motivated by a "selfish and practical" perspective. She believes that to create the best products for all consumers, they must be developed by a diverse team of individuals, according to a report from The Independent.
She continued by saying that increasing the participation of "historically underrepresented groups, including women, is super important to us." And although the App Store Foundations program was for women developers, Prescott said it and other projects were meant to increase diversity and inclusion in the App Store overall.
According to the founders who spoke with Prescott during the event, the technology industry still presents obstacles that make it challenging for women founders to succeed. For example, they highlighted the difficulties associated with obtaining funding from venture capital firms, which they found typically have a bias towards men.
Although other speakers at the event acknowledged the obstacles faced by women in the technology industry, they expressed optimism about the future. For example, Jo Goodall, the co-founder of the health app Luna for teens, noted that her interactions with young people had revealed a growing trend of young women showing interest in pursuing careers in technology.
"I'm actually sort of quietly confident a positive for the future that actually it will be normal for girls to go into tech," she said during the event.
Apple has other initiatives to promote diversity as well. For example, it announced on April 24 the third year of the Impact Accelerator program. It aims to help Black, Indigenous, and Hispanic/Latino entrepreneurs in green industries.
Prescott's remarks were made in anticipation of Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference, scheduled for June, where the company will unveil software updates for all of its products. Prescott guaranteed that the event will showcase "new features, new capabilities, new methods of engaging with Apple, and new approaches to obtaining answers."