WOMEN

Apple Emails Expose Company's Toxic Work Environment For Women

"I felt very uncomfortable...that I was the only woman in the room."

16/09/2016 12:26 AM IST | Updated 16/09/2016 12:26 AM IST
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Sexism in the tech industry is a well-known issue, and a new report from Mic exposes just how far the industry has to go. Mic recently obtained over 50 pages of emails from current and former staff members about their experience with Apple’s supposedly sexist workplace environment. 

The emails document what staff members at the tech giant have put pressure on leadership to denounce ― petty sexism, rape jokes, an uncomfortable and even unsafe work environment and missing out on promotions or new jobs.

In the report, one woman recounts being the only woman in a meeting with over a dozen male colleagues. “The conversation turned to all of the men being dismissive about their wives and their significant others,” she wrote in the email to Mic. “I felt very uncomfortable of the reality that I was the only woman in the room as all of my male coworkers stereotyped women as nags and this was not countered by my manager as being inappropriate.”

The same woman also said that she’d been told to “smile” by a male member of upper management (because women just love being told to smile). 

Another woman reportedly quit her job at Apple after feeling unsafe on late-night shifts. She was forced to work alone, often in the dark, where she was the only woman on the floor. She told Mic that her request to move floors was denied. 

Women who tried to elbow their way into higher positions at the company also recount infuriating incidents of sexism in the report. One woman, a former contractor, recalls an interview for a full-time position at Apple, where the man interviewing her assumed she had no technical skills. 

“If he were familiar with my actual work, he could not in good conscience say such a thing,” she said. “My response to his condescension was to discuss advanced learning theory and the use of metaphor and semiotics along with the theoretical foundations of design patterns.” Perhaps unsurprisingly, she did not get the job. 

According to the report, Apple declined to comment on the individual stories shared by its employees, but a spokeswoman did comment on Apple’s commitment to a positive workplace experience: 

 Apple is committed to treating everyone with dignity and respect. When we receive complaints or hear that employees are concerned about their work environment, we take it very seriously and we investigate claims thoroughly — as we have each of the matters you describe. If we find behavior to be at odds with our values, we take action. Out of respect for the privacy of our employees, we do not discuss specific matters or their resolution.

HuffPost reached out to Apple for additional comment but did not receive a response at the time this article was published.

 

Head over to Mic to read the report in full. 

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