Complaints of hostile work environment and sexism land senior Apple exec on ...

Complaints of hostile work environment and sexism land senior Apple exec on ...
Complaints of hostile work environment and sexism land senior Apple exec on ...

A senior engineer at Apple said she's been placed on administrative leave this week after voicing concerns to the company about a hostile work environment, sexism and unsafe working conditions she experienced.

The tech giant also barred the employee, Ashley Gjøvik, from using its Slack channel while on leave and from meeting one-on-one with other female employees to discuss her issues with the company, she said in an interview with The Verge.

Over the past month, Gjøvik has been vocal on Twitter about her experiences. After she was placed on leave, she tweeted, 'So, following raising concerns to #Apple about #sexism, #hostileworkenvironment, & #unsafeworkconditions, I'm now on indefinite paid administrative leave per #Apple employee relations, while they investigate my concerns. This seems to include me not using Apple's internal Slack.'

Apple allegedly placed senior engineer Ashley Gjøvik on administrative leave after she voiced her concerns about sexism and unsafe working conditions

Apple allegedly placed senior engineer Ashley Gjøvik on administrative leave after she voiced her concerns about sexism and unsafe working conditions

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Gjøvik set an out-of-office message to let her colleagues know she had been placed on indefinite paid leave Wednesday.

Later that day, she also pinned a tweet on her profile that read, 'When I say 'unsafe #workconditions,' I mean physically unsafe; #dangerous chemicals; #OSHA. You'll hear much more about this in a bit.'

Gjøvik has not followed up with specific allegations regarding dangerous conditions. The Daily Mail reached out to her for more information, but did not immediately hear back.

Apple responded to a request from the Daily Mail regarding Gjøvik's concerns with a statement that read, 'We are and have always been deeply committed to creating and maintaining a positive and inclusive workplace. We take all concerns seriously and we thoroughly investigate whenever a concern is raised.'

The company would not confirm Gjøvik's leave or the reasons for it, but said, 'out of respect for the privacy of any individuals involved, we do not discuss specific employee matters.' 

Gjøvik told The Verge that she asked for months that Apple address her concerns, adding that she provided them with 558 'pieces of evidence to review.' In response, she said that the company offered her Employee Assistant Program 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,' she said. '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.'

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Late last month, Gjøvik retweeted a New York Times story in which a number of women working at Google said they also were offered EAP therapy or administrative leave after asking the company to address workplace misconduct.

She added to the post, 'This happened to me at #Apple too: they offered EAP and suggested medical leave after I spoke up about #sexism, #discrimination, and a hostile work environment. They also suggested requesting #ADA #disability accommodations after I raised concerns about unsafe #workconditions.'

She followed up with, 'When ER (Employee Relations) offered me EAP, medical leave, & disability accommodations as a mitigation for how I was treated, they further burdened the victim, obfuscated the real issue, and revealed their apathy. @timnitGebru said it best: 'no amount of mindfulness fixes a hostile work environment.'

Timnit Gebru worked at Google as an AI ethicist until she was ousted in December after criticizing what she called a lack of diversity within Google's AI unit. 

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