Following Apple Inc.’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) recent September event, the company has gained some uncalled-for time in the spotlight ever since some former and current Apple employees have come forward and criticized the “toxic” environment of its office. Numerous emails—revealing detailed information regarding the type of issues that Apple’s female employees go through—have surfaced before Mic’s tech reporter, Melanie EhrenKranz.
The leaked emails reveal the stories of at least a dozen of Apple’s Cupertino-based female employees. Allegations of corporate sexism have been put forward by these females; some claiming that they were not given promotional opportunities in the office because of their gender, or of incidents where disrespectful rape jokes were made at the office. Another story came forward where a comment was made by a male about being on his “man period.”
Considering that the iPhone-maker remains determined to give equal opportunities to all individuals, such a scandal surfacing the same week as its iPhone launch may bring some negative criticism toward the tech giant’s way.
Since Apple CEO, Tim Cook, has been extremely vocal about hiring those from diverse backgrounds in the past, there is a chance that gender discrimination taking place at the company under his watch may make it harder for Apple to recruit women in the future. Apple Insider reveals that an anonymous female worker went out of her way to email Mr. Cook, informing him of an uncomfortable situation taking place at the campus, involving the “Bed Intruder Song.” It seems that his lack of a response has further made the situation stickier than it already is. Moreover, the same employee went out of her way to report numerous instances where she felt inappropriate acts were taking place.
With just 34% of Apple employees being represented by females, it seems that the tech giant’s staunch claims about work-place diversity and gender equality have not been put into practice as much as they have been preached in the past. Even though there is a slight increase in women being employed at the company compared to the past two years, it is apparent that the iPhone maker’s office is mainly dominated by males.
While Apple HR Chief, Denise Young Smith, claims that necessary “commensurate” actions have been taken to control the situation, we believe that there is still a chance that such allegations may cost the company more than just negative publicity. Ms. Smith claims that her role at the tech giant since 1997 has molded her to take action against discrimination in the work-place, especially targeting females. She says that such instances aren’t regular features at the company, and if they do occur, Apple takes them seriously and “personally.”
The nature of the action taking place against those practicing discrimination and office harassment at Apple haven’t been disclosed. In order to practice the best form of disciplinary action possible, Ms. Smith claims that Apple chooses to keep its plans a secret. Furthermore, in order to reassure those part of the email thread that they should not let this issue shake them and continue using the platform as a “safe place” for future purposes, Ms. Smith will be sending out a personalized note to all those involved.
We believe that in order to shun away these negative traits, Apple should consider revamping its recruitment strategy, and provide more females with employment opportunities in its engineering sector. Speculation reveals that majority of the company’s engineers are male employees, with women in tech being looked down on.
Even though Apple may have never expected a backlash for its workplace environment the same week as its most anticipated iPhone roll-out took place, there is a chance that Ms. Smith's promptness in the matter will bring necessary action against the guilty; her actions will calm down the tech giant’s agitated female employees.