More than a dozen women have come forward with heartbreaking claims of sexual assault, harassment, and misconduct by Apple employees, alleging that the tech company has done almost nothing to address the problems.
Additionally, numerous sources in the recent Financial Times exposé disclose retaliatory actions taken by the organization’s human resources division, sometimes known internally as Apple’s “People group.”
The women, a mixture of current and former workers in a variety of roles and locations, described numerous instances in which Apple management seemed unconcerned with or even contemptuous of their issues.
Eight of the 15 women who were questioned as part of the investigation believe that they were subjected to retribution by the business, including job terminations and legal threats.
In one instance, HR used the analogy of “a minor traffic accident” to describe a male employee’s sexual assault of an inebriated female colleague whom the latter once considered a friend.
HR purportedly responded;
Although what he did was reprehensible as a person and potentially criminal, as an Apple employee he hasn’t violated any policy in the context of his Apple work.
And because he hasn’t violated any policy we will not prevent him seeking employment opportunities that are aligned with his goals and interests.
Apple’s People group even refused the victim’s request to simply separate the two employees from working together, according to the report.
The accusers’ stories and ongoing legal challenges are contradictory to Apple’s concerted efforts to publicly position itself as one of the most socially progressive companies in the world.
It’s not surprising to hear yet another bout of women’s horrendous work experiences in Big Tech. Still, Apple, as one of the world’s most profitable and influential businesses, can have huge ramifications on larger public issues and problems.
Apple responded to The Financial Times’ report by insisting it still largely maintains a healthy work culture while also tacitly admitting to mishandling many situations.
Apple reps stated;
There are some accounts raised that do not reflect our intentions or our policies and we should have handled them differently, including certain exchanges reported in this story.
As a result, we will make changes to our training and processes.