Apple could be forced by its investors to accelerate the recruitment of minority candidates for the company's highest levels of leadership, if a motion proposed by a Latino shareholder is voted on and passed. However, Apple may not allow the vote, as the company is pushing back against the call for more diversity in its top ranks.

Apple's top executive team currently includes no one of color, and Senior VP of Retail and Online Stores Angela Ahrendts is the only women. The rest of Apple's leadership team, the VP-level and Board of Directors, includes four women, one of whom is African American, and no Latinos or Latinas.

That could begin to change after the next Apple shareholders meeting, according to a report by Bloomberg Business. The company's shareholders may have an opportunity to force Apple to add diversity to its highest ranks after a Latino investor submitted a proposal for an "accelerated recruitment policy."

The push started in September, when Creative Director for music company Insignia Entertainment Antonio Avian Maldonado II -- an investor with 645 shares of Apple stock, according to the Chicago Tribune -- submitted a resolution to accelerate the recruitment of "people of color" for its top executive ranks.

Maldonado said he decided to submit the proposal after he and his teenaged son were looking through photos of Apple's top leadership team, and his son asked him why everyone was white. Among the many reasons advocates champion diversity, one is so that young people of color have role models and leaders to immediately identify with and be motivated by.

Maldonado told Bloomberg that Apple's leadership team is "a bit too vanilla" and said, "I want to nudge them to move a little bit faster" on diversity. 

Apple has pushed back against Maldonado's call, telling the Securities and Exchange Commission that it believes the proposal is an attempt to "micromanage" recruitment at the company.

The company further contended that it doesn't need to include the proposal in its proxy materials for Apple shareholder meetings, saying that while it is trying to improve diversity, "the company has no power to ensure that its recruits will accept offers."

The SEC responded in a Dec. 11 letter telling Apple that the agency doesn't agree with the company's assertions.

And while Apple could decide not to include the proposal in is proxy, and not bring the matter up for a vote at its annual shareholder meeting (which currently remains unscheduled), it is also possible for the SEC to respond with an enforcement action against Apple.

The SEC and Apple both declined to comment on the matter, but Maldonado stated to Bloomberg that the SEC's response "proves I've been saying something correct" and said that he was a little shocked by Apple's relatively hardline response. "What do you mean it can't be done?" he added.

The executive diversity scuffle happens at the same time Apple recently lost its diversity chief, who was hired away by Twitter to take over diversity projects at the social media company, as Latin Post previously reported.

It also comes after a down year for diversity at Apple in general. Despite reporting an increase in hiring of underrepresented minorities in 2015, Apple's percentage of Blacks and Latinos in the workforce shrunk from seven percent and 11 percent to three percent and six percent, respectively.