The collective body of Apple’s workforce is quite different than it was 30 years ago. And while the company’s culture is still mostly intact, there are some waves being made by many current employees. Many want a more transparent company as a whole, while some simply want their voices to be heard in what they believe is a vacuum. Still, others are raising concerns for potential pay inequality within the company. All in all, it’s the beginning motions of what could lead to even bigger change down the road.
Employee organizing, for example, just saw a shot in the arm, so to speak. As noted first today by The Verge, some Apple employees have launched a new organizing banner, #AppleToo — taking some inspiration from the #MeToo movement that led to some big changes in Hollywood (but not enough, admittedly). There is a brand new website dedicated to the organizing movement, called AppleToo, with the goal being to collect stories from employees at every level of the company who have faced any form of discrimination or harassment.
The website’s lead paragraph says that Apple’s “culture of secrecy” effectively creates an “opaque, intimidating fortress.” From there, the page reads that when complaints are presented to those within Apple, they are met with a pattern of “isolation, degradation, and gaslighting.” The page says that these injustices against Apple’s employees are “disproportionately” met by “our Black, Indigenous, and other colleagues from minoritized racial, gender, and historically marginalized groups of people.”
From the site:
For too long, Apple has evaded public scrutiny. The truth is that for many Apple workers — a reality faced disproportionately by our Black, Indigenous, and other colleagues from minoritized racial, gender, and historically marginalized groups of people — the culture of secrecy creates an opaque, intimidating fortress. When we press for accountability and redress to the persistent injustices we witness or experience in our workplace, we are faced with a pattern of isolation, degredation, and gaslighting.
No more. We’ve exhausted all internal avenues. We’ve talked with our leadership. We’ve gone to the People team. We’ve escalated through Business Conduct. Nothing has changed.
The site says it’s, “Time to think different,” leaning into Apple’s famous marketing campaign. According to the original report, there were 15 current and former Apple employees that took part in creating the new #AppleToo movement. They launched the aforementioned website, but have also launched a dedicated Twitter account as well. The news of the new banner was also sent out into a dedicated Discord channel, which consists of 200 participants. So while this is a small initial push, it could very well become a much bigger one with time.
The Verge notes that one former Apple employee is now raising their voice on the matter of harassment and discrimination with the company. Timnit Gebru spent time with Apple before joining Google in 2018 (from which she was abruptly fired from). Since then, Gebru has gone on record as saying she experienced racism and discrimination at Google in her time there. And apparently the situation at Apple was not much better. Per the original report, Gebru says it’s about time for Apple to be held accountable:
I experienced so many egregious things when I was at Apple, and always wondered how they manage to get out of the spotlight. I’m happy to see that Apple workers are organizing. It is past time for Apple to be held accountable.
Cher Scarlett, who also organized the internal, informal employee survey regarding Apple’s potential pay inequity, is one of the organizers of this effort as well.