The first ever vice-president of diversity for Apple has apologised for saying that a room full of “white, blue-eyed, blonde men” can be as diverse as a team which includes women and people of colour.
Denise Young Smith, who is herself African American, told a conference in Colombia that diversity did not necessarily mean a range of skin colours or gender.
“Diversity is the human experience,” she said. “I get a little bit frustrated when diversity or the term diversity is tagged to the people of colour, or the women, or the LGBT.
“There can be 12 white, blue-eyed, blond men in a room and they’re going to be diverse too because they’re going to bring a different life experience and life perspective to the conversation.”
But she later apologised for her remarks.
“I regret the choice of words I used to make this point,” she wrote in an email to colleagues, leaked over the weekend.