Apple’s Director Appointed Twitter’s Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion


Brian Schipper, head of human resources at Twitter, announced the appointment of Jeffrey Siminoff as the company’s new vice president for Diversity and Inclusion.

Simnoff is replacing Janet Van Huysse. Van Huysse has been with Twitter for six years while Siminoff was the director of Worldwide Inclusion and Diversity at Apple since September 2013.

The new director is to start from January in his new challenge. However, he may find it less of a challenge having gained experience from numerous firms. Before joining Twitter, he led the global diversity and inclusion effort at Morgan Stanley for three years. He also has strong connections to Out Leadership being one of its founding members. Out Leadership is a global LGBT advising firm working to avail more opportunities to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities in businesses and employment.

Siminoff expressed his gratitude for the appointment on his Twitter account. He termed Twitter an incredible team that he is delighted to be part of. Out Leadership, his former employer also tweeted their support for his selection while “Welcome to the Flock” was what Mr. Schipper used while announcing the appointment.

Twitter corporate markup under scrutiny

The hiring comes at a time when pressure is piling on Twitter and other Silicon Valley companies to diversify their workforces. Twitter employees are largely male, of which most are whites. 66 percent of Twitter’s global workforce was male and 59 percent of those in U.S were whites according to a recent report carried by Twitter on the demographics of its workers.

Former Twitter engineer Leslie Miley, speaking back in November, criticized his former employer for not understanding diversity. He also slammed the company for its narrow corporate makeup. He said the company aided social media discussions about race. “Twitter provided platform for hashtags like #Ferguson and #BlackLivesMatter”, Miley noted. His post provoked an apology from Twitter and exposed its inner markup.

Twitter released its second annual report on ethnicity and diversity in August and said it was fully committed to building a diverse workforce. The company pledged to increase females in management roles to 25% and raise underrepresented minorities in management roles to 6% in the U.S.  Apparently, this did not come to pass considering Miley’s post two months later. Even as she was leaving Van Huysse had outlined 2016 diversity goals. The goals include raising the overall proportion of female personnel to 35% and number of women in management roles to 25% from 22%. It will be quite interesting to see how her dismissal goes down being “a she replaced by a he”.

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