Hey Apple, Besides Megan, Where Are Your Titan Women?

I’ve been reading with fascination about all the rumors of Apple’s
Project Titan, their supposed top secret plans to make a category
killing electric vehicle. I hope they are making a vehicle and actually
manufacture and sell it and make more and more and more vehicle, become
a full model line-up car company. What fun.

I would seriously consider buying an Apple car, because I am a total fan
– of cars and Apple.

I do not, of course, think that Apple is perfect. Their latest iTunes
has pissed me off beyond belief with its insanely confusing interface. I
suspect as I get used to, it will make more sense. It is not, however,
so intuitive that you can use it “out of the box” with zero education.
Actually, I’ve never believed that particular vein of hype with Apple,
the whole-insanely-easy-to use bit you don’t need to learn it. Apple
has just been very clever about how they have educated their owners on
usage ie. great advertising, killer sales people in their stores, lots
of detailed, easy to find and understand user forums, and such a
dedicated owner’s base that they teach each other. But for the most
part, I am ridiculously and insanely happy with every single Apple
product I’ve ever owned. And I think we Avarys have owned just about
every thing Apple has ever made since the very beginning.

But back to Titan The Car. I’ve read the reports about access to the
testing tracks, the uber lightweight design, the rumor it is 100%
electric, likely autonomous, or not likely autonomous, the search for
battery technology, the “fall out” with BMW, meetings with high end
contract manufactures. I have no inside information about what is real
and what is not. The more rumor-articles I read, the more it feels like
browsing In Touch For Automotive in the grocery line. But then again, I
like InTouch and I love reading Macrumors (and Ars, I’m not completely
baseless.)

According to the latest reports from Reuters, Apple is hiring male
engineers from Telsa by the bucket load. Any man with autonomous and
Tesla experience is apparently being given giganormous signing bonuses
to go from the reportedly hellish working conditions of Tesla (where
everyone is considered to be making shit pies) to the nirvana (ha!!) of
Apple.

Apple has recently hired men from Chrysler’s quality division, Ford’s
Sync group, and Nvidia’s driver assistance group. They have picked up
men from BMW, VW, Bosch, Delphi, and TRW. The first big name hire from
telematics I heard about was Johann Junwirth (aka JJ) who headed up
telematics and Daimler’s R&D lab here in the Silicon Valley. The news
of him leaving Mercedes and moving to Apple sent shock waves through the
very small automotive telematics community. He was at Daimler for a
billizon years and very, very well respected in the automotive
community.

What I cannot help but notice is there has only been one notification
of a woman being hired, Megan McClain, to work on Titan. I am not an
expert on Apple, by any stretch of the imagination and only know two
women who work on CarPlay (Tanya Kacheva and Emily Clark Schubert.) But
according to the media, Apple has a very poor reputation for diversity.
Their recently reported numbers bear out the reputation. Apparently 69%
of it’s workforce is male, 54% white, 18% Asian, 11% Hispanic, and 8%
black. Apple has claimed they’ve hired 11,000 women in the past year,
but they are not making Project Titan in any large numbers in any
reports I’ve been reading. If I’m wrong and you know something, please
correct my misperception.

I would LOVE to be wrong about this one.

Apple has admitted that when they break down their numbers by tech
positions such as engineers and programmers, the diversity numbers sink
to 79% male and 78% white and Asian. I shudder to think how Project
Titan’s numbers look.

If Apple is making a car and they want it to be a success, having women
design, develop, engineer, and be at least half the staff matter. It
matters a great deal.

As even Aston Martin knows, women make up the vast majority of vehicle
purchases and purchase decision, some estimate as much as 80%. An
automaker must simply pay attention and target women if they want to be
a success. Better still, there are many amazingly talented women in
automotive who are engineers, designers, and connected vehicle experts.
I do not believe you can make a truly successful, widely accepted
vehicle without having women directly involved. And I know many, many,
many insanely talented men in automotive who absolutely agree with me.
And are doing something to make a difference and bring equity into the
automotive equation.

It would be so refreshing for Reuters to begin reporting that half the
people Apple has hired to work on their new vehicle are women. That
would be ground breaking news and very, very cool. Let’s hope that
Megan is not the exception, but rather that we are blind to what Apple
is really doing because of their notorious secrecy.

If it came out in the news that Apple was in fact hiring women from
automotive by the bucket loads, it would also make this female fan
believe even more in a company in which I am already very brand loyal.
And as any OEM will tell you, it is all about loyalty.