Apple Is a 'Toxic' Place for Women: Report
Leaked emails to Apple CEO Tim Cook say women subjected to culture of harassment
By Linda Hervieux,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 15, 2016 6:03 AM CDT
A woman walks past an Apple store in Beijing in this file photo. In dozens of leaked emails, women working at the company's headquarters in California complained of a sexism and gender harassment.   (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan, File)

(Newser) – The final insult was a rape joke. When her male colleagues joked in July about an intruder coming to rape everybody, a woman engineer at Apple decided enough was enough: She took her complaints about a "toxic" office atmosphere to CEO Tim Cook. "I do not feel safe at a company that tolerates individuals who make rape jokes," she wrote to Cook in an email obtained by Mic. In more than 50 pages of emails leaked to Mic, the unidentified engineer was among a dozen current and former employees at the tech giant who complained of a sexist culture rife with offensive comments, fear of retaliation if they protested, and a glass ceiling that kept them out of leadership positions. An employee said several colleagues who quit without exit interviews cited a "white, male, Christian, misogynist, sexist environment."

One ex-employee emailed a "plea to help" to Apple's Business Conduct contact after a meeting in which her male colleagues—she was the only woman present—started ragging on their wives and girlfriends. Even a man wrote that he was repeatedly "referred to as an emotional man that resembled having the qualities of a woman" and asked if "I was on my 'Man Period.'" Apple wouldn't comment on the allegations, citing employee privacy, but told USA Today in a statement that it "is committed to treating everyone with dignity and respect." The paper notes that like other tech companies, Apple has a significant gender gap; nearly seven out of 10 workers 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. (One writer thinks women should just ditch Silicon Valley.)