Apple chief executive, Tim Cook has complained about the low number of women in the tech industry.
In an exclusive interview with the BBC, Cook said technology “will not achieve nearly what it could achieve” without a more diverse workforce.
Apple has just launched its founders’ development programme for female founder, app creators in the UK and Cook says he wants to bring more women to the tech table.
“I think the the essence of technology and its effect on humanity depends upon women being at the table,” Mr Cook says.
“Technology’s a great thing that will accomplish many things, but unless you have diverse views at the table that are working on it, you don’t wind up with great solutions.”
He said while companies including his own had made progress on diversity, there were “no good excuses” for the tech sector not to employ more women.
Apple had 35% female staff in the US in 2021, according to its own diversity figures.
“There are still not enough women at the table” at the world’s tech firms .
“There are no good excuses for the lack of women “
One challenge facing the sector is the lack of girls choosing to pursue science, tech, engineering and maths subjects at school.
“Businesses can’t cop out and say ‘there’s not enough women taking computer science – therefore I can’t hire enough’,” says Cook.
“We have to fundamentally change the number of people that are taking computer science and programming.”
According to Cook, everybody should be required to take some sort of coding course by the time they finish school, in order to have a “working knowledge” of how coding works and how apps are created.
He also said he thought Augmented Reality (AR), and the concept of the Metaverse, were “profound.”
“In the future people will wonder how we lived without AR,” he says. “We’re investing a tonne in that space.”
Augmented Reality is a mixture of digital content and the real world – a very simple example might be using your phone camera to insert virtual furniture before you buy it, to see how it might look in your house.
Talking about his lifestyle, Cook said he is “not a great role model” for work-life balance and that it isn’t a phrase he associates with himself.
“There’s little distinction between personal and work, they blend,” he said.
He adds that he tries to “compartmentalise” issues that are outside of his control. “I realise that they’re there… but I don’t obsess with it,” he added.