ONLY ON ABC7NEWS.COM: Apple CEO wants to make tech more inclusive

Tuesday, June 9, 2015
EXCLUSIVE: Apple CEO talks importance of women in tech
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In a rare one-on-one interview you'll see only on ABC7 News, Apple CEO Tim Cook talks about how the company is investing $50 million to support organizations focused on inclusion in tech.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Ahead of Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference, ABC7 News reporter David Louie sat down for a rare one-on-one interview with CEO Tim Cook. In an interview that you'll see only on ABC7, the two talked about the new circular headquarters buildings under construction in Cupertino, which will allow more of his team to collaborate under one roof. They also talked about how Cook is planting seeds now to cultivate a future workforce that looks different from those who work there now.

Tim Cook boasts that Apple already is the best at what it does. But he wants help from a more diverse team to create even better devices and applications. He's turning to young people, whose background is different from today's largely white and Asian male workforce.

RAW VIDEO: Rare one-on-one interview with Apple CEO Tim Cook

That's why Apple awarded scholarships to 350 students to attend its weeklong Worldwide Developers Conference. Cook spent time with them, learning about apps they've developed. The youngest is 12-year-old Kiera Cawley, who has been coding since she was 9 years old.

"I think about where I was at their age, and they are light years ahead of me," Cook said. "They are so far ahead of me it makes me embarrassed to think about where I was."

Apple is investing $50 million to support organizations focused on inclusion in tech.

"I'm definitely one of the few, but I definitely get a lot of encouragement from my computer science teacher and organizations like NCWIT," said Apple scholarship recipient Rithika Korrapolu.

Ruthe Farmer is the Chief Strategy Officer of NCWIT, the National Center for Women & Information Technology, which Apple granted $10 million.

"If you look at all the groups that are largely left out of technology, out of the technology workforce, it's about 70 percent of the population -- women, underrepresented minorities, and people with disabilities," she said.

Harshita Gupta is a senior at Mission San Jose High School in Fremont. The 17-year-old will spend the next few days learning and networking.

"Meeting new people is definitely a big part of it," she said. "I'm not going to be afraid of asking questions and seeming 'stupid' because I think that's the point of being here."

"If you look at things over a five or 10-year period, I think there could be a sea change in that kind of time frame. I really do," Cook said.