After sending out a call to action on Monday, #AppleToo, a group made up of current and former Apple workers looking to shine a light on the company’s workplace culture, says it has collected nearly 500 stories of incidents involving discrimination, harassment and retaliation “that happened at the hands of a colleague off of campus.” According to the Apple Workers Twitter account, the majority of those who got in touch asked for information on how to file a complaint with an external authority like the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH).
So far, we've received nearly 500 responses, and hundreds of stories of racism, sexism, discrimination, retaliation, bullying, sexual and other forms of harassment, and sexual assault that happened at the hands of a colleague off of campus.— Apple Workers #AppleToo (@AppleLaborers) August 27, 2021
The main thread? Being ignored by HR.
What’s more, the group says more than half of the individuals it spoke with asked for information and guidance on how to contact the media about their stories. “Almost everyone consented to having their stories shared respectfully and anonymously,” it said. Apple Workers plans to start sharing those stories publicly next week, but it offered a preview on Friday, noting the throughline in many of the incidents was that workers felt they were ignored by Apple’s HR department.
That's similar to what Ashley Gjøvik, the senior engineering program manager Apple recently put on paid administrative, said when she shared her experiences of trying to talk to the company about unsafe working conditions, sexism and a hostile office environment. "I only resorted to this because everything I tried internally has failed," she says on a website she created to document her claims.
By July 19, I started countering #Apple employee relations gaslighting by dropping concerns in our internal Slack and gathering responses from colleagues before ER uses the "it's ok" canned response. Here's me preparing for that re: my male bosses freq say they're "open kimono"🤢 pic.twitter.com/mw1nOszomT— Ashley M. Gjøvik (@ashleygjovik) August 10, 2021
The tweets paint a picture of a company seemingly unwilling to address legitimate concerns. Before she was put on administrative leave, Gjøvik says asked Apple's employee relations team to investigate 558 pieces of evidence and 13 individuals. The company reportedly told Gjøvik it would only investigate people because it was "simpler." In a separate tweet, Gjøvik detailed a situation where the company said it was "ok" for a male director to ask her out for drinks and talk about cheating on his wife and mistresses.
"We are and have always been deeply committed to creating and maintaining a positive and inclusive workplace,” Apple said when the news first broke. “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.”
Update 5:35PM ET: Added more details about Gjøvik's claims against Apple.