- Everything people do at Apple is built upon respect for the varied human experience. It’s what makes our products so accessible, our stores more welcoming and our company feel like a community. Our DNAs may be the best embodiment of that idea — a natural extension of our inclusion and diversity values. By fostering a culture of belonging, they can help you feel supported, connected and empowered throughout your career here.
- Each DNA community is led by its employee membership, ensuring it stays true to their vision. DNAs also have the support of a dedicated team of Community Advisors who offer guidance and resources to help develop strategy, coordinate events, and connect with leadership as well as the broader Apple community.
- Many of us identify with more than one community or want to learn different perspectives as an ally. Either way, you’ll find that our DNAs are open to all — you’re welcome to join any DNA. And every DNA.
For over 35 years, people here have found community in Diversity Network Associations.
First Apple DNA founded
DNA chapters worldwide and growing
DNA members worldwide and growing
With a community behind you, there’s more in front of you.
People here are doing more through DNAs than ever before — and they’re happy to share their experiences.
Finding community can be like finding yourself.
Throughout the year you’ll deepen relationships across a range of DNA events, including celebrations that honour heritage moments. You’ll offer each other support, you’ll take up issues that matter and you’ll realize you feel right at home.
iLian, Familia@Apple and Women@Apple
“The most meaningful part of belonging to a DNA is finding strength in community.”
After getting her start with Apple while still in university, iLian chose to return to Apple after graduating. When she saw that DNAs would be a great way to connect with others and share support, she joined both Familia@Apple and Women@Apple.
“One of the Familia@Apple events I attended was truly life-changing for me. I was born in Mexico and undocumented in the U.S. for so many years. I always felt kind of ashamed to talk about that. I never spoke about it in front of strangers or at work.
“Then I shared my experience of being undocumented with other members of our Latinx community at an open mic night.”
“I had written down my experience as a narrative poem and I was pretty nervous, but when I read it I wasn’t judged — I was supported. Afterward, people thanked me for sharing my story and it turned out there were others with similar stories. It felt so good to know I wasn’t alone in this, and that I was finally able to unload this emotional burden with people who understood. I had found a safe space.
“My desire to join a DNA leadership team grew from that experience — I wanted to help create those spaces for others.”
“Being a Co-Chair of Women@Apple has also been really rewarding — a more influential opportunity to inspire others. For example, we produced interviews with women who spoke about the value of flexibility in your plans, growing through change, mentorship and how bringing your authentic self to work can lead to success here. Our most popular event ever was a panel discussion featuring Black women at Apple who shared the challenges and successes they experienced throughout their careers.
“Each event is like a tool to add to your toolkit. Some are for work, some are for life and they all help get things done.”
“Our other community events have focused on women’s lives in general, things like women’s health issues or workshops on topics like challenging your inner critic. I’m a mom of two, with a career, and the DNAs have helped me develop in ways that make me better at both.”
“You want to sort out tough issues with people who really get you — your community.”
During the pandemic, Jay and his colleagues developed an initiative to help combat rising harassment and violence targeting the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. For Jay, it was particularly gratifying to see the high level of interest and compassion from so many outside the DNA.
“Most of us were some combination of scared and angry, for ourselves and our families. We started to think, ‘OK, what can we do? How can we empower ourselves against harassment and violence?’ The bystander intervention training was a direct response to that — an actionable step.
“When our people’s emotions reached a critical mass, the community was drawn together like never before.”
“Demand for this training had skyrocketed in the U.S., so at first we couldn’t book any sessions. Then our DNA advisor helped make it happen. Over 1000 people signed up for our first session. Then we added more and more sessions so that as many of us as possible could learn really practical ways to handle racist attacks.
“In the end, over 6000 people of all backgrounds joined in from across Apple. We learned how to help one another.”
“For those outside a community these can be uncomfortable conversations, yet so many allies took the time and effort to learn. I’m proud of our DNA, and I’m also proud to work somewhere where people care about others. Seeing that people were willing to have that experience with us was really important to me.
“It was heartbreaking that this need existed at all, but comforting to know we were doing the right thing for our community.”
“People at Apple are busy. Day to day, not all members are constantly involved with the DNA. But when members need us, we’re there for them. We can even be the friend you call only when you’re having a crisis — no judgement.”
“When people here see this big Juneteenth celebration, they say, ‘Wow!’ ”
Juneteenth is the oldest, most widely celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. Since 1865, Black Americans have commemorated Juneteenth as a day to celebrate freedom. Georgiana remembers how it felt when members of Black@Apple worked to make the celebration part of Apple’s broader culture.
“For years, different Black@Apple chapters had been doing their own smaller Juneteenth celebrations. Then, after our 2018 DNA Summit, we met with Apple leadership to share ideas for a more unified approach. Just a few weeks later we saw one of those ideas come to life in time to celebrate. In the latest iOS software update, Juneteenth officially appeared in Calendar as a U.S. holiday — not just for Apple people, but for everyone! It became a great conversation starter with some folks: ‘Juneteenth? What’s that? Well, I’m so glad you asked!’
“We saw it in the Calendar app and said, ‘Oh, my goodness, this is great! This is amazing! This is monumental!’ ”
“Juneteenth awareness and resources just kept growing through 2019. Then 2020 brought a new level of racially charged social unrest in the U.S., much of it provoked by violence and injustice against the Black community. Our members were going through a cycle of heartbreak and venting, which was really clear when we came together for a companywide Black@Apple call.
“Given the pain of 2020, our goal was to have Juneteenth recognized as our time to heal, and it was recognized — in a big way.”
“We got a lot of support from Apple: sponsorships, funding, leadership recognition and more. There were Juneteenth stories on our internal website, email newsletters and an announcement to over 165,000 people here, saying, ‘This year at Apple, Juneteenth will be a global day of celebration, solidarity and learning with Black@Apple.’ Our DNA Co-Chairs also met with the most senior leaders at Apple, who wanted to hear more about how they could help the community. One of our requests was to have Juneteenth recognized not only for its historical date, but also as an official Apple holiday: a day off to celebrate, commemorate and educate. And not long after, it happened! Today, Juneteenth — and, therefore, our community — has more visibility than ever.
“This was an empowering collaboration, with the DNA speaking, Apple listening and everybody doing.”
“For those of us in Black@Apple, it feels so, so good that our history is acknowledged, that we have new opportunities to share our story, and that we’re welcoming more allies and allies-to-be to the celebration.”
Innovation is for communities, too.
As a DNA member, you’ll help inspire Apple culture, shape the experience of people here, and influence our products and services. It’s an empowering way to share unique perspectives and experiences with the wider Apple community, including leadership.
“We helped Indigenous cultures and creators be seen and heard by more people than ever.”
Frank is a Creative Pro at an Apple Store in Florida and, as part of Indigenous@Apple, he’s had an impact well beyond any one location. His passion for storytelling media led to a project with the Apple Podcasts team, where he helped elevate stories of Indigenous peoples around the world.
“I’ve been an active member and leader of Indigenous@Apple since the DNA started. More recently, I got the chance to work with the Podcasts team for six months. That’s when I started sharing ideas about Indigenous voices for the Apple Podcasts app. As allies, the team’s editors were really into this, so I asked our Indigenous@Apple members to share some of their favourite podcasts and content creators. The editors then curated special sections of the Apple Podcasts app, such as Returning and Reclaiming, featuring podcasts about Indigenous relations to native lands, and Native Origins, which focused on reclaiming culture in today’s world.
“A DNA can be the springboard for starting a cultural conversation with an audience of millions.”
“While I was working with that team, other Indigenous@Apple members were working with other Apple Media Products teams. Some were helping advise the people at Apple Music, who curated the Indigenous Sounds playlists and other content for a special promotional area on the Apple Music app. They also helped get that music playing at Apple Store locations. Other members worked with the Apple Books team, who created collections focusing on Native American authors, and still others worked with the Apple TV team, who highlighted special content featuring Indigenous stars and stories. To acknowledge everyone’s effort in this collaboration, my DNA colleagues and I organized a live event where our allies from Apple Media Products could share the completed work.
“Our voices were amplified for impact, thanks to the DNA and phenomenal allies interested in learning — and unlearning — about our community.”
“For Indigenous people, it’s important to be represented as living in the present — not only in a historical context. By showcasing the range of today’s Indigenous voices and cultures around the world, we feel more alive, relevant and celebrated in the here and now.”
“We wanted to expand our progress, to do something that could have a lasting effect.”
Tetsu is an Apple Store Leader and Co-Chair of Accessibility@Apple in Japan. As part of the DNA’s activities for a recent Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) event, they focused on the deaf and hard of hearing community. As a longtime advocate for accessibility awareness, Tetsu was excited to see that, even after the official GAAD event had concluded, DNA members kept up the momentum.
“Our goal was to expand understanding and, therefore, potential for our colleagues and our customers.”
“At that initial event, one of our DNA members taught sign language to over 100 Apple colleagues. This was for GAAD, but we think of every day as an accessibility day, so we didn’t stop there. Afterward, DNA members taught four more sessions, for both corporate and retail teams.
“This project took on a life of its own — thanks to some really dedicated Accessibility@Apple members.”
“Then, a few more of our DNA members organized in-person sign language sessions for employees at our store locations across Japan. Another member created a music video with lyrics expressed in sign language by store employees, then they shared it with tens of thousands of Apple Store colleagues around the world. Beyond the store locations, another member taught a session just for the Apple team that helps people shop online. Each of these sessions was led by members of Accessibility@Apple who are deaf or hard of hearing.
“Contributing to Apple’s culture in this way has been an empowering experience for our DNA members.”
“Our Kyoto store made it a month-long event. An Accessibility@Apple member there launched a series called Learn Sign Language Every Day — quick, simple lessons for employees taught in person each day.
“People feel more welcomed and respected than ever. It adds an extra dimension to their sense of belonging.”
“Today, store team members who participated continue to use sign language to greet colleagues and customers with hearing loss. One business customer in particular really appreciated the kindness. She sent us a video in which she used sign language to thank us for welcoming her on her terms.”
Connect the dots by connecting with people.
Whatever your role at Apple, you’ll find ways to grow and lead through DNAs. You can develop professionally through networking, mentorship and learning opportunities. And you can help bring others in while you make new connections at inclusive conferences and career events.
“This was a way to develop more potential as an engineering leader — from outside engineering.”
Before she became an engineering manager on her Machine Learning team in Seattle, Bianca had developed leadership skills as a Co-Chair of Women@Apple. Helping women support each other’s success has been a continuing theme for her since her university days as a computer engineering major.
“Growing up, I was inspired most by my family of very strong Puerto Rican women, and I’ve wanted to inspire other women ever since. With Women@Apple, I’ve been able to do that. And, for my own career, I’ve also built skills like team management, communication, presentation and confidence — skill sets that totally relate to my engineering team, or any team.
“I’d think, ‘Where do I want to be in a few years? What can I do to grow now, so I’m ready when the time comes?’ ”
“When changes in our engineering group opened up some new roles, I was asked if I’d like to step up and be a leader. With all my DNA experience, I knew I was ready. That’s also how others knew I was ready — my new manager had been very supportive of my work with Women@Apple, and it also helped that I’d been clear about my career goals.
“I said I hope to learn leadership skills, and she said, ‘You already have them — I’ve seen it in your DNA work.’ ”
“Every DNA member has access to career resources, no matter what your level on your team or in the DNA — you don’t have to be a leader. For example, we’ve hosted a very candid discussion about how to prepare for your performance review. And all our members get really insightful career perspectives from our interviews with amazing women in Apple leadership.
“The DNAs are wonderful places for people to be inspired by others — those a little bit further on in their career journey.”
“Even in our wide-open Coffee Chats, you’ll connect with others about issues important to women and really anyone, at work or in life. And if you do want to get more involved in DNA leadership, there are multiple leader roles to consider. I can’t wait to see what awesome things will be accomplished for women at Apple by the next leaders of Women@Apple.”
“My DNA mentor said this is what I should be doing — it’s bringing out the best in me.”
In 2015, Shirleena was earning a degree in sociology when she took a part-time role at the Apple Store in Sheffield, UK. Five years later, she’s Global Program Manager for Apple Music, Podcasts and Beats by Dre. She credits her experience with Black@Apple for providing the opportunities she needed to land her dream job.
“I knew nothing about technology whatsoever, but it was a great work environment. Then joining Black@Apple allowed me to bring even more of my identity to what I do. That’s when I realized: ‘Shirleena, you’re in new territory here. You’re doing life, culture and sociology with the DNA.’ So later I was all-in when I was asked to be a leader for Black@Apple.
“The DNA helped me realize: ‘Shirleena, this is your chance. This is what you were born to do.’ ”
“During the pandemic, I started doing online meetings with our Black@Apple community. With all the painful unrest going on in the world, it grew from five people to dozens, then hundreds. Soon, I was asked to host a special Apple Community Call, which included over 1700 people across our region. We shared some deep conversations, and it felt like a huge responsibility, but it was so fulfilling because I was able to leverage the work I’d been doing with the DNA.
“After the call, one of my Black@Apple mentors told me, ‘You touched the soul of everyone today.’ ”
“My DNA work led me to a Career Experience, which gave me the chance to work in a different area of Apple for six months. That helped me prove myself on another team. After that ended, there was a role open to work with a wonderful Apple Music host. He’s really well-known, so I was sure that everyone and their dog, cat and gerbil was going to apply. I thought, ‘There’s no way they’re going with the Black British mother with dyslexia.’
“When I got that job, I remember saying to my family, ‘Wow, the power of a DNA. The power of Black@Apple.’ ”
“When people ask me about growing at Apple, my first question is ‘Are you part of a DNA?’ It’s another way to figure out what you’re most passionate about. It might be work you do for that community, like inclusion and diversity, communications, project management or talent development. Or it may simply be meeting people with experience and wisdom in your field and culture, people who can help you do what you love. I’ve been told by some people I know in Black@Apple that, as they move ahead in their careers, they tell themselves: ‘Shirleena did it. I can do it!’ ”
Communities here support communities everywhere.
Through DNAs inside Apple, there’s more potential to invest in communities outside Apple. You can take part in volunteer activities that feel as meaningful to you as they do to those in need, locally or around the world.
“It’s really just about sharing kindness, from one human to another.”
Each DNA balances its shared identity with its own diversity, yet Pride@Apple may be the only DNA that literally spells it out for us: LGBTQ+. For Matthew, a Co-Chair of Pride@Apple in the UK, it’s important to consider every human element of that acronym.
“The UK chapter of Pride@Apple partnered with Point of Pride, an organization whose gender-affirming programs support transgender people. We set up information stations for employees at all our UK Apple Store locations and in our London offices. In just a few minutes, people could learn a bit about the transgender experience, then handwrite notes of support, which Point of Pride would send along with donations of shapewear. We knew these personal notes would be especially meaningful in the context of that moment.
“The most common response from those we supported was ‘Nobody’s ever really thought about me before.’ ”
“In addition to the act of writing the notes, we also knew that the simple visibility of the topic would have other benefits: It strengthened our Pride@Apple community, added allies at work, and created a sense of shared purpose across Apple locations. Then Apple matched our volunteer hours with a financial contribution, so we also raised funds for the Point of Pride organization.
“There’s so much power in the scale of giving that we have as a DNA here.”
“People at Apple learn that this is a place where they can truly be themselves at work, but that’s still up to the individual and their personal comfort level. I realize that I’m privileged in many ways, and Pride@Apple helps me leverage that privilege for good, bashing open doors for others, especially people who may feel traditionally overlooked. Apple’s culture has definitely helped me realize that. Our hope is that anyone here can feel empowered to support anyone in any of our communities, even those outside Apple.”
“We put together 500 boxes of food to feed thousands. It was wonderful.”
Belqise, a team leader at the Apple Store, belongs to the Muslim community within Beacon@Apple, a DNA that welcomes a number of faith-based groups. Partnering with the SouthAsian@Apple DNA, Belqise and other members organized a volunteer event that proved especially meaningful for her.
“I was born and raised in the U.S., but my family is from Afghanistan and many of them are still there, so it was really stressful to see what was happening in Kabul in 2021. I felt frustrated and powerless to help. So even though our event was planned to help Muslim refugees in general, not necessarily Afghans, I could relate, and it gave me a chance to do something for someone. Then, the day before the event, I found out it was specifically for Afghan refugees, and I just cried tears of joy.
“I copied and pasted ‘THANK YOU!’ into a text message until it filled up the whole screen!”
“For about five hours we unloaded pallets of bulk food from trucks, divided up the food into smaller boxes for families, then sealed the boxes and loaded them onto the trucks. The food was chosen specifically for the Afghan community: dried lentils, the right cooking oil — that’s very important — sugar, a specific kind of Afghan rice and a bunch of other things. Everything was so thoughtfully chosen. As we worked, the feeling of helplessness and stress about world events just seemed to disappear.
“We were all tired, sweaty and dusty — it was such a beautiful day.”
“Due to the pandemic, this was our first in-person event in a while, and it was so much more warm and personal. We were all from different roles and levels across Apple, all working literally side by side together. We really felt like family.
“Our work also benefited the charitable organizations that managed the food distribution: Apple matched our time and labour with a financial contribution. It’s funny, but I feel like I benefitted as much as those we were supporting. The cathartic sense of relief I got from simply taking action was invaluable. That’s why that day was so important to me. And now that I know how good it feels, I’m hungry for more — I have a million new ideas about how to support the community.”