Apple has fired Ashley Gjøvik, a senior engineering program manager who's been outspoken about her experiences working for the tech giant. Gjøvik said she has experienced sexism and a hostile work environment while working for Apple and spent months talking to the company about it. According to tweets from Gizmodo's Dell Cameron, Apple asked Gjøvik for a talk this afternoon. When she asked for the conversation to take place via email so there would be a written record, though, Apple replied that she had "chosen not to participate in the discussion." She was then fired hours later.
Emails shared w/ @Gizmodo show Apple asking to speak w/ Gjøvik this afternoon. Gjøvik agreed but asked the convo take place via email so there'd be a written record. Apple then replied saying Gjøvik had "chosen not to participate in the discussion." Within hours she was fired.— Dell Cameron (@dellcam) September 10, 2021
In a tweet from early August, Gjøvik said she was put on indefinite paid administrative leave after raising concerns about sexism in the workplace and having an unsafe and hostile work environment. Further, she was discouraged from using the company Slack where she'd been openly criticizing Apple. Her complaints against the tech giant include being asked to make her tone less authoritative during presentations. She was also allegedly told that it was "ok" that she received complaints for her diversity training, including ones finding her "too hard on the white man." The former Apple engineer also said in a tweet that the company told her it was "fine" that a male director colleague asked her out for drinks and talked about cheating on his wife and mistresses entire time.
By the end of August, Gjøvik filed a complaint against Apple with the US National Labor Relations Board, alleging 13 instances of retaliation against her. In her filing, she said she experienced workplace harassment. She also said her supervisory responsibilities were re-assigned to colleagues, while she was given undesirable tasks.
In a statement she told The Verge, it seems wasn't unprepared to be fired. She said: "When I began raising workplace safety concerns in March, and nearly immediately faced retaliation and intimidation, I started preparing myself for something exactly like this to happen. I’m disappointed that a company I have loved since I was a little girl would treat their employees this way."
When the news about Gjøvik first broke, Apple said in a statement: "We are and have always been deeply committed to creating and maintaining a positive and inclusive workplace. We take all concerns seriously and we thoroughly investigate whenever a concern is raised and, out of respect for the privacy of any individuals involved, we do not discuss specific employee matters."