People. Progress. Results.

Apple’s Teachable Moment

Posted by New Leaders Council 4 Admin on April 14, 2015 at 2:36 PM

Originally published on Medium on March 12, 2015 by Ben Jealous and Heather Warnke.

Heather Warnken is a 2014 New Leaders Council San Francisco Fellow.


Ben Jealous and Heather Warnken respond to Apple’s ban on hiring people with criminal records.

by Ben Jealous and Heather Warnken

Inclusion inspires innovation. This mantra, featured prominently on Apple’s website, was put to the test last week when the company came under fire for dismissing several construction workers who had been convicted of a felony.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, anyone who had been convicted of a felony in the past seven years was banned from working on the construction of Apple’s new Cupertino campus. Apple and its contractor, DPR Construction, also denied employment to people with felony arrests, not just convictions.

Since then, Apple has taken a step in the right direction by rescinding the policy. But in an industry already notorious for being out of touch with the broader opportunity gap in America, the company’s leadership has an opportunity to do much more: to lead the tech field on inclusion as much as it already leads on innovation.

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