Apple Puts Female Engineer Who Spoke About The Company's Sexism Issues On Leave

Ashley Gjøvik, senior engineering program manager at Apple who recently spoke about the company’s many issues, sexism, in particular, has been placed on administrative leave for an indefinite amount of time by the tech giant while they investigate her claims. This isn’t the first time the company has looked into Ashley’s claims. The company in a previous investigation concluded that none of her claims were found to be true and that they found nothing wrong. Ashley’s issue isn’t an isolated one, in May of this year, many employees at the company wrote a letter regarding the hiring of Antonio García Martínez, whose book about Silicon Valley contains very offensive descriptions of women, hours after the letter demanding an investigation Martínez was fired. “Given Mr García Martínez’s history of publishing overtly racist and sexist remarks about his former colleagues, we are concerned that his presence at Apple will contribute to an unsafe working environment for our colleagues who are at risk of public harassment and private bullying,” the employees mentioned.

A week after that fiasco, a few Muslim employees at Apple wrote a letter to the company requesting to show its support for Palestine, however, when they didn’t receive any response, the letter got leaked to The Verge. Apple seems to be in a similar situation as Amazon and Google, where workers have started to speak about workplace issues leading to a wide variety of changes such as the end of forced arbitration at Google for full-time employees and the creation of unions at Amazon. Similar to Ashley’s situation, after a few current and former employees at Google spoke about the company’s workplace issues, the company in a similar fashion to Apple tried to suppress the core issue by offering those employees medical leave and free counselling sessions.

“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, Ashley said in an interview with The Verge. “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."

Apple is known for its secretive culture, not just when it comes to its products, but as mentioned by many employees, has spilled into workplace issues as almost all issues tend to get solved internally without anyone on the outside knowing about it.