Apple under fire for treatment of women

SAN FRANCISCO — Apple, whose CEO Tim Cook has pledged to make the company more diverse and inclusive, has come under fire for its treatment of women.

A dozen former and current Apple employees told Mic they were subjected to sexist comments from co-workers and were passed over for leadership positions.

The emails, shared by an Apple employee with the media outlet, were sparked by the experience of an Apple engineer who complained her male co-workers joked about rape. In all, Mic says it obtained more than 50 pages of leaked emails with women detailing alleged boorish behavior by male colleagues. One man also weighed in, saying he was told he was too emotional and was repeatedly asked if he was on his "Man Period." It did not quote any by name.

One woman, who says she was never given the opportunity to apply for two jobs that were never posted and given to two men by her male boss, told Mic she filed a complaint last month with the state Department of Fair Employment and Housing and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in hopes of getting the agencies to investigate.

In a statement, Apple told USA TODAY it could not discuss the complaints "out of respect for the privacy of our employees."

“Apple is committed to treating everyone with dignity and respect," read the statement. "When we receive complaints or hear that employees are concerned about their work environment, we take it very seriously and we investigate claims thoroughly. If we find behavior to be at odds with our values, we take action."

The allegations come at a sensitive moment for Apple as it works to hire more women and underrepresented minorities, a priority for Cook who has staked his leadership on bringing more diversity to the employee ranks of the world's most valuable company.

Like other major technology companies, Apple has a big gender gap in its workforce. Nearly seven out of 10 employees are men. Apple has touted its progress in hiring more women, saying last month that 37% of new hires in the last year were women.

USA Today


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