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Human Resource Issues at Apple

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Human Resources
Wordcount: 3851 words Published: 23rd Sep 2019

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A Human Resource Issue

In April 2018, all organisations with more than 250 employees, over 10,000 companies, in U.K were forced through law to file data whereby the government took a snapshot of their workforce payroll. With companies revealing their figures, including Apple, the gender pay gap was found to be a major talking point in offices across the UK.

  In turning to the Apple website (www.Apple.com) which state that the company is an international corporation that specializes in the manufacture of electronics and software products. Strategic Human Resource Activities at Apple Inc was founded in 1976 by Steven Jobs and Stephen Wozniak. The company has its headquarters in Cupertino, California. The primary and more well-known hardware products including iPod, iPhone, iPad, and Macintosh personal computers are sold worldwide. Moreover, it is the only electronic company that can provide and manage both software and hardware products. 

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 According to Apple gender pay gap report (Apple, 2017), 71% of its top earning employees were men. Men are getting paid more across each of the three separate entities, including Apple UK; where the median pay gap is 25%. In other words, in Apple, the gap is in favour of men in the higher managerial positions by up to 84%. Although, Apple’s latest report illustrates that from the lower entities until the upper ones, men seem to be dominating, even though, according to the Independent (April 2018), through one of their articles, Apple claim to support men and women equally.  At the same time, the Guardian(April 2018) depicts exactly the opposite image about this company and its payment preferences. These contrasting views are just how Apple traded the media.

The mean salary for women at Apple is actually 5% lower than the figure for men (Keach,2018). By saying mean, it is simple the average salary of all employees. We should consider that these figures don’t mean women are being paid less than men for the same jobs. The problem is that women represent a smaller proportion of Apple’s workforce – around 30%. Apple admits there are “more men in leadership positions, which pay more”, and the average bonuses are 22% lower for women overall.

As it is reported from Financial Times written by Wisniewska, Gordon and Shannon in April 2018, the UK’s national gender pay gap is higher than EU average and now that the first year of gender pay gap reporting is complete, the most crucial question is what the government does with the findings. The data reveal that the sectors in UK economy with the worst gender pay gap are construction, financial, insurance services and education. But why is crucial to decrease the gender wage gap?

 Additionally, women with young children due to lack of time, will opt more for a part-time job. Furthermore, a big drop of women’s earnings and career progression after having children holds back is another result. Ultimately, as working women have a plethora of roles to cover, it is likely to deny the opportunity to develop the skills needed to progress or for example, networking opportunities that take place outside of their office hours.

As Guardian support, it will take decades to close the gap. A toxic mix of factors is responsible, including outright discrimination, over-representation of women in lower-paid sectors and unconscious stereotyping, with assumptions about women not seeking promotion, or not being able to do so, particularly where they have caring responsibilities.

At this point let’s clarify the meanings of gender pay gap and equal pay. The gender pay gap is the difference in percentage between average hourly earnings for men and women(service.gov.uk). In this early stage, it is important to clarify that the pay gap is not the same as equal pay, which means that men and women in the same employment performing equal work must receive equal pay, as set out in the (Equality Act, 2010)

Approach in the business ~ Best practice – Resource Based Approach

  Gary Rees and Paul Smith in 2017 state that the larger the organisation, the more elaborate its structure and the more formalised its behaviour. Apple has as a primary objective to to attract and retain the employees. In order to achieve this, (Apple ,2018) the big company is interested to maximise the efforts of its workforce by investing in their skills. For instance, the Human Resource Department works towards maximizing the returns on investment by minimizing the financial risks while capitalizing on human capital. The human resource management is charged with various responsibilities including recruitment and selection, leadership development, incentive compensation, employee development, and employee relations among others (Storey, 2014). Drake Baer in Business Insider characterise elite the training as it is given by instructors from Yale, Harvard, Stanford, and other top schools, (Baer, 2014).

  Thus, the level of commitment shown by employees is seen as key to high performance (Brian X Chen, 2014). Designers in Apple use Picasso ways such as the bull to strive for the simplicity in the manner that the employees go through more iterations until they can simply deliver the message in a very concise way. The commitment is a key in Apple strategy, otherwise employees will not be prepared to develop their competencies, take on board the enhanced responsibilities for quality and problem solving and “go the extra mile” to come up with improvements and innovations or even improve the customer’s experience.

The resource-based view by Barney suggests that organisations must develop unique, firm-specific core competencies that will allow them to outperform competitors by doing things differently Hence, the company recognizes human capital as a vital element for overall competiveness.

Apple declare to have improved its gender and ethnic diversity as the US technology company stayed ahead of fellow Silicon Valley powerhouses Google and Facebook Inc in hiring minorities.

Apple also said in its annual diversity and inclusion report that it had closed pay gaps over the last year by analyzing salaries, bonuses and annual stock grants, and had opened up its annual stock grants program to retail employees for the first time.

Moreover explaining their moto “Diversity is our future”, Apple is working hard to include more diverse perspectives. From July 2016 to July 2017, half of their new hires in the United States were from historically underrepresented groups in tech — women, Black, Hispanic, Native American, and Native Hawaiian & Other Pacific Islander (Αpple,2017)

Concerning the pay equity, Apple assert (July, 2017)that they have achieved in each country they operate. Once a year, they examine the recompense employees receive and make adjustments where necessary to ensure that they sustain pay equity.Inparticular, they reveal that they have stopped asking candidates about their salary history in the United States and they are in the process of implementing this method globally.

But in which way Apple achieve this level?

Concerning the training the truth is that it is highly secretive and rarely written about, referred to briefly in the biography of Mr. Jobs by Walter Isaacson. Apple employees are discouraged from talking about the company in general, and the classes are no exception.

That’s why photos from the classrooms have never surfaced publicly. One of the three employees who have taken classes agreed to speak to The New York Times on the condition that he not be identified. He described the program as an especially vivid reflection of Apple and the image it presents to the world.

  The press in January 2018 released that Apple is increasing the size of the fund from $1 billion to $5 billion. The fund was established to support innovation among American manufacturers and help others establish a presence in the US. Plus, Apples plans to accelerate its efforts across the US in support of coding education as well as programs focused on Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math.

The clear strategy of Apple is also emphasized in a research of the author and professor Loizos Heracleous. Actually, he affirmed that Apple’s strategy is the ability to balance intense efficiency in operations with outstanding serial innovation and addictive product design (Heracleous,2016). In the meanwhile, between the two reports in period from 2018 and 2019 Deirdre O’Brien, vice-president of people at Apple said “We’re determined to continue our progress towards a workforce that’s more representative of the world around us,”.



Swot analysis



Strong BrandReputation (Apple, 2018)

Strong financial performance

$53.3 billion profit (Apple, 2018)


Market leading trading/

Development opportunities(Gurman,2018)


Gender pay gap (Butler, 2018)

Fluctuations in the market

/Dollar vs local currencies (Dilger, 2018)

Low compatibility with other brands

(Moorman, 2012)


Improve relationships between customers (Chessman, 2016)

Acquisitions (Sisario, 2018)

Siri, Shazam

Increasing demand of cloud services

(Apple, 2018)


Rapid technological change

(Apple report,2018)

Heavy competition/ Android OS growth


Price pressure of Samsung (Edwards,2018)


The graph above illustrates the internal and external factors through the SWOT analysis. As internal we have the strengthsand the weaknesses. In accordance with the Apple latest report (July, 2018) it is undeniable that this company has a strong financial performance.

Thoroughly Apple announced financial results for its fiscal 2018 third quarter ended June 30, 2018. $53.3 billion was the company’s quarterly revenue, an increase of 17 percent from the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 60 percent of the quarter’s revenue. Moreover, due to leading market training and development opportunities, the workforce is consisted by a high number of long-serving professionals.

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 At the same time, company’s primary exposure to movements in foreign currency exchange rates relates to non-U.S. For instance, dollar-denominated sales and operating expenses worldwide. Weakening of foreign currencies relative to the U.S. dollar adversely affects the U.S. dollar value of the company’s foreign currency-denominated sales and earnings, and generally leads the company to raise international pricing, potentially reducing demand for the company’s products. For example, in the summer of 2016, British people vote to leave the European Union which caused the British Pound to fall dramatically against the dollar, resulting in a rise to 20% on some Mac models in the U.K.  Another weakness is that Apple products are not fully compatible with those made by the other brands. It has created an ecosystem of practical and fit products.

Concerning the external factors, the intense exposure of the firm in social media helps the law supply and demand. Hence, the relationships between customers and recruitment getting improved.  Although Apple has various competitors such as Samsung who is first on the market.  Both companies have been going head-to-head for years to take the title of best gadget manufacturer. As reported by a smartphone seller, Fonehouse (Edwards ,2018), the latest study showed that as expected, London is team Apple but Leeds is a Samsung one. Consequently, heavy competition has a huge impact on the quality of Apple’ s training programmes.

Section 2-3

Apple follows the Tom Peters theory «importance of excellence» which means stick to the knitting, productivity through people and simple form. Specifically, Peters management theory was published in 1982, in which he examined 43 companies that express excellence. The management of this theory is based on leaderships qualities. Good leaders

Equality and human rights commission illustrate that women make up 47% of the workforce, but only 35% of managers, directors and senior officials (August 2018).

Based on this workforce segmentation model and Snell , we observe that the majority of employees in Apple work as specialists. Unfortunately, women due to other priorities they cannot reach the same level and continue as …….

Igor Ansoff (1987) argued that the extent to which an environment is turbulent depends on

The fertility of technology, the changeability of the market environment and the speed of change. ….

Additionally, in order to achieve analysing some of the tools and models, we can show  the external and internal environment of Apple.

The external factors can be evaluated using PESTEL which describes a framework used in the environmental scanning component of strategic management.

Phrases useful On April 5 last year, a quiet revolution began – and it started with numbers.

Regarding political factors Apple is on a top American technology companies which posted quarterly revenue of $53,3billion (Apple Inc 2018). This is generating calls for higher corporate taxation in the US where income inequality has become a major political issue. Concerning potential economic impact, if in China they increase the labor costs, automatically they can take advantage of some Apple products. Furthermore, as a social perspective, Apple’s clients are

 emotionally attached to products hence their drive these insane sales.

As result of Apple’s investment in research and development, her popularity increases to an innovative company with high technology products.

So, a company might have a gender pay gap if a majority of men are in top jobs, despite paying male and female employees the same amount for similar roles.

In considering wage differences between men and women, the focus would ideally be on wage offers rather than observed wages; selection bias arises because the latter are influenced by individuals’ decisions about whether or not to participate in the wage and salary sector.


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