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Apple has improved its staff mix this year, but has to do a lot more.Reuters

iPhone maker Apple has released its employee diversity figures, highlighting its improved hiring of women and minorities.

"At Apple, we rely on our employees' diverse backgrounds and perspectives to spark innovation. So we're hiring more inclusively, choosing partners who make diversity a priority, and creating opportunities for the next generation," the company says about its staff diversity.

In a message, CEO Tim Cook said nearly 50% of the people the company hired in the US in the first six months of 2015 were women, Black, Hispanic, or Native American.

"Diversity is critical to innovation and it is essential to Apple's future. We aspire to do more than just make our company as diverse as the talent available to hire," he said.

The company hired more than 11,000 women globally over the last 12 months, up 65% from the previous year.

In the US, Apple's hiring of Black employees rose by 50% to 2,200 while that of Hispanic employees improved by 66% to 2,700.

Nevertheless, he noted that "there is a lot more work to be done" to enhance the company's staff diversity. As of September 2014, the company had 92,600 full-time employees.

In the US, a whopping 56% of the company's total employees are still White, followed by Hispanics at 15% and Blacks at 11%. In leadership roles, the Whites are dominating with a 68% share.

Taking into account the global gender ratio, 71% of the company's workforce are men, and they hold 68% of the company's leadership roles.

Tech companies such as Apple and Google have released their workforce diversity details in recent years, as Silicon Valley's companies faced criticism over their negligence towards improving the employee mix.

Google earlier said that 21% of its tech hires in 2014 were women, boosting the overall number of women in technical roles by 1% from the previous year.