Apple Employee Email Leak Shows Why Women In Tech Are Fed Up

Here's why male-dominated workspaces are very toxic for women.

We already have studies that prove women have to work twice as hard for everything men receive automatically—including equal pay. Beyond the fact that we have to worry about our looks, tone of voice, demeanor, etc., we also have to pay attention to how safe we feel in these spaces. This goes extra for for women in tech, who tend to drop out in larger numbers due to "hegemonic masculine culture of engineering," this reality is even more harrowing.

For female Apple employees who did stick it out - and who make up 32% of the company's global workforce - the male-dominated space proves to be very toxic.

In an email thread obtained by Mic, the contents belonging to over 50 pages detail instances of rape culture, harassment, discrimination, and more. 

Strategically changing the names of the women in the leaked emails - provided by a current employee - many of the stories are beyond uncomfortable and troubling. After one particular incident, Danielle (not her name) reportedly sent an email directly to CEO Tim Cook himself, who failed to reply. 

Danielle sent the email after a meeting in which men made a joke about an "office intruder" who was coming to "rape everybody."

A former employee even complained due to "her extreme discomfort during a particular meeting at which...male coworkers stereotyped women as nags and this was not countered by my manager as being inappropriate,'" she said. Of course, absolutely nothing was done.

The same woman detailed another incident which many women who are harassed on the streets know all too well: "I was walking back to my cube from the break room and passed a group of managers exiting a meeting. The Area Manager told me to smile as I walked past." She later quit after having her concerns ignored.

Another woman applied for a tech position, and her male interviewer asked her: "You're not technical, are you?" She was furious: "If he were familiar with my actual work, he could not in good conscience say such a thing," she wrote in the thread. "My response to his condescension was to discuss advanced learning theory and the use of metaphor and semiotics along with the theoretical foundations of design patterns." Mic points out that she, however, did not get the job.

And the insults aren't only for women. Men were fun of for being feminine, too. 

"One particular comment that stood out was that I was continually told that I was on my 'man period,'" said one man in the thread. "This is a statement used to push the fact that women while menstruating are emotional and cannot be depended on to do work or be rational while in this state. Therefore, if I was a man on my period then I was seen as inferior and an emotional mess just like most women are once a month."

The thread doesn't just talk personal injury, but career setbacks as well. After facing fear of retaliation or being unjustly left out of conversations for raises or higher positions, Apple's discriminated employees are either quitting or hoping for the best. Only one has filed a federal complaint.

Read the full report here.

[Photo: Getty Images]


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