Apple has pledged more than $50 million in donations to help encourage more employment diversity in technology fields, Fortune reports. In an exclusive interview with the publication, Apple’s HR chief Denise Young Smith revealed that the company is working with several non-profit organizations on a “multi-year, multi-million-dollar effort to increase the pipeline of women, minorities, and veterans in the technology industry.”
Young Smith, who came from a decade recruiting for Apple Retail and took over as head of Apple’s human resources division about a year ago, notes that the company “wanted to create opportunities for minority candidates to get their first job at Apple” and that the company believes that it needs to be diverse and inclusive in order to innovate. The HR executive goes on to note that Apple’s definition of diversity goes beyond race and gender, and that the company wants its employee base to “also reflect different lifestyles and sexual orientations.” However, its diversity issues for now remain mostly focused on women and minorities. Through the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, Apple’s initiatives will help build a database of computer science majors at historically black colleges and universities as well as training faculty and students and offering scholarships. The company also plans to create a paid internship program for “particularly promising students.” Apple is also working with the National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT) to help “create a broader pipeline of female technology workers” by doubling the number of four-year degree recipients through internships, scholarships, and the company also plans to reach 10,000 middle school girls over the next several years.