Home » News » Apple’s Female Employee Put On Indefinite Leave After Complaining About Sexism At Work

Tech giant Apple is facing backlash for the handling of sexism in the workplace after it placed a female employee on indefinite leave to investigate the serious allegations posed by her. She shared some screenshots on Twitter where she alleged sexism, a hostile work environment, and unsafe work conditions within the Apple workplace.

Ashley Gjøvik, who is a senior engineering program manager at Apple, also alleged that her employer offered entry into an employee assistance program. The employee relations team implied she should stay off Slack and suggested going on an indefinite administrative leave pending an ongoing investigation.

For months, I have been raising concerns with Apple employee relations about years of experiences with sexism, a hostile work environment, sexual harassment, unsafe working conditions, and retaliation. I asked them to mitigate the hostile work environment while they investigate, and they initially offered me EAP therapy and medical leave. I told them that made no sense, and said they should talk to my leadership and set up oversight and boundaries. I added that if there was no other option they could give me paid administrative leave. They apparently made no effort to set boundaries and instead said they were placing me on administrative leave and implied they did not want me on Slack where I had been vocal about my concerns with certain policies at the company. They also implied they didn’t want me to meet one-on-one with other women at the company about their concerns with Apple policies, which I had been doing,” said Gjøvik in an interview.

Not The First Time

This is not the first time that the tech giant is receiving backlash. Apple received huge criticism for hiring Antonio García Martínez, an author of a book on Silicon Valley that contained offensive descriptions of women. Over 2,000 Apple employees filed a petition against Antonio’s hiring. Hours after the employees called out his misogynistic view, he was fired.

“I do not feel safe at a company that tolerates individuals who make rape jokes.”

In 2016 also, Apple was accused of sexism in the workplace after employees leaked a few emails showing sexism and toxic behaviour at work. A female employee spoke out when a male co-worker made a rape joke. She submitted that she made several complaints regarding the workplace environment but no actions were taken. So she wrote to the CEO Tim Cook, “I do not feel safe at a company that tolerates individuals who make rape jokes.”

What is SEXISM?

Sexism is gender-based prejudice or discrimination against a person or group based on their sex or gender. As with other forms of prejudice and discrimination, it functions to maintain status and power differences between groups in society.

It is slow, toxic, happens every day, and is also one of the many reasons why women drop out of their jobs. It can be hostile, ambivalent, or benevolent. Extreme sexism can lead to sexual harassment, rape, and other forms of sexual violence.

Sexism and Gender Stereotyping

Gender stereotyping is a generalized view or preconception about attributes or characteristics, or the roles that are or ought to be possessed by, or performed by, women and men, or people of other marginalized genders.

Gender stereotyping is a major factor which gives rise to sexism. Sexism primarily affects women and girls but it is a myth that it cannot affect men or gender diverse people.

Examples of Some Sexist Remarks

  • Ladkiyon ki Tarah Rona Band kar de (Stop crying like a girl)
  • Ladkon ko Kamana hai or Ladkiyon ko ghar smbhalana hai (The man of the house will earn whilst woman have to handle children and work in the household)
  • Women shouldn’t go late at night
  • Ye to Chhakka hai (negative slur used for trans people to demean them)

Massive Pay Gap in Indian Sports

Gender pay gap also comes under the ambit of sexism. Here is an example of Indian Football team

Even though Indian women’s team ranks 56 currently in the world and has broken into the top 100 for the first time in close to two decades, an average professional football player (men) earns around Rs 60-Rs 70 lakh whilst women are earning between Rs 5 lakh-Rs 10 lakh.

For hockey, their is a minimum 10-fold wage gap between the two genders’ salary in India.

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