- Fifteen current and former Apple employees say the company has rejected the allegations of misconduct.
- The Financial Times reported that the HR unit retaliated against some of them after they reported on the incidents.
- Apple acknowledged its missteps, telling the outlet that it intended to “make changes”.
Apple said it was making changes after more than a dozen women reported sexual misconduct and other forms of harassment — and were met with an apathetic, and sometimes hostile, human resources team. Financial Times reports.
In interviews with the Financial Times, a woman said a co-worker took advantage of her after a co-worker’s happy hour, helping her into her house and then undressing to take pictures of her while she was sleeping.
Another woman said a co-worker was sending her incessant sexual messages, and her manager intimidated her when she took time off to be with a sick relative.
The 15 women, current and former Apple employees, said they have submitted their claims to the company’s human resources unit, called the People Team Internally.
But the team primarily catered to the directors’ wishes rather than taking the women’s claims seriously, they claimed in the report. The Financial Times has seen email exchanges showing HR turning defensive and claiming there’s nothing they can do, even if the women have hard evidence.
Some of the women said that reporting to officials eventually led to them leaving the company, with the team citing reckless behavior in their performance. Others said Apple offered them cut salaries “out of alleged emotional distress” or as an incentive not to take the company lightly.
Apple did not immediately respond to an Insider’s request for comment. A spokesperson told the Financial Times that while the company wants all employees to feel comfortable reporting issues, it hasn’t always made it easy to do so.
“There are some accounts raised that don’t reflect our intentions or policies and we should have treated them differently, including some of the exchanges featured in this story,” Apple told the Financial Times. “As a result, we will be making changes to our training and operations.”
Apple grapples with a growing audio workforce
Apple is trying to publicly highlight its efforts to empower female employees in the workplace, as has the rest of the historically male-dominated Silicon Valley. However, there have been reports of persistent inequality and abuse among tech giants such as The Google And the Amazon.
Apple is known for its strict culture of secrecya feat challenged by the pandemic conducive to remote work, the company’s adoption of workplace messaging platform Slack, and fed up of employees taking to social media to voice their grievances.
Workers have grown more vocal about their concerns, leading to cracks in Apple’s “surprise and delight” battle cry to keep details of their work culture under wraps.
For example, the shapes of Apple engineer Ashley Gjøvik Spreading allegations of rampant sexism, bullying, and mismanagement on Twitter In August 2021, he was soon put on leave. She claimed that senior employees kept a vote count on a whiteboard about how she made her life at Apple a “living hell”.
And around the middle of 2021 80 Apple employees wrote an internal letter to CEO Tim Cook In protest of the company’s return-to-office policy, which requires them to work in the office three days a week.
It has been postponed due to COVID-19 until May when Another group of employees wrote an open letter to senior Apple officials Undo the authorization that allows two days to work from home.
“I described the decision of the Hybrid Work Program as being about combining the need for personal communication with the value of flexible working,” the May letter states. But in reality it does not recognize flexible work and is driven only by fear.”