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Apple improves hiring of Native Americans but level remains low

Apple CEO Tim Cook at a retail store in Washington, D.C. Photo from Twitter

Very few Native Americans work at Apple but the technology giant is showing some improvement in its diversity hiring.

According a report submitted to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, only 271 Native American men and women worked for Apple in 2015. That accounts for just 0.37 percent of the California-based company's employee base.

But the company is showing some signs of improvement. The number of Native men and women at Apple grew 16.3 percent from 2014, according to the data.

"Last year we reported the demographics of our employees for the first time externally, although we have long prioritized diversity," Apple CEO Tim Cook wrote on the company's Diversity page. "We promised to improve those numbers and we’re happy to report that we have made progress."

Most of the company's Native employees work as technicians and in the sales force, according to the report filed with the EEOC. That likely means they are seen prominently in Apple retail stores throughout the country.

But very few of them have risen to higher ranks in the company, the data shows. There are no Native top-level executives at Apple and only 10 Native managers. Another 41 are considered "professionals" -- the employees that typically create products like iPhones and Mac computers.