Apple has placed senior engineering program manager Ashley Gjøvik on indefinite administrative leave after she tweeted about sexism in the office. The company is currently investigating claims Gjøvik made about a hostile work environment.
“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,” Gjøvik says 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.”
This afternoon, Gjøvik set an out of office message informing colleagues that the employee relations team had placed her on indefinite paid leave.
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.— Ashley M. Gjøvik (@ashleygjovik) August 4, 2021
This is the second time Apple has investigated Gjøvik’s claims about sex discrimination at the company. The employee relations team closed an earlier investigation, allegedly finding that nothing was wrong, prompting Gjøvik to tweet screenshots with what she says is just a small portion of what she experienced:
Wanted to share: #Apple employee relations confirmed this #tonepolicing is totally ok feedback for me to get from my #bigtech #male leaders & not #sexist.— Ashley M. Gjøvik (@ashleygjovik) August 3, 2021
As this investigation rolls on, I've decided to start Tweeting the stuff they say is "ok." I mean, they did say it was ok? pic.twitter.com/EImLTjRTBl
In today's #Apple employee relations said its fine update, here's the heartfelt email I sent my #bigtech male leadership in 2018 during the Kavanaugh hearings. I asked for support of women & to condemn #sexism & #sexualassault. The reply: a text saying "FWIW, RBG thinks he's ok." pic.twitter.com/0GTthZNEgH— Ashley M. Gjøvik (@ashleygjovik) August 4, 2021
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. https://t.co/LW0Ueq1Leb— Ashley M. Gjøvik (@ashleygjovik) July 30, 2021
Apple is currently contending with a wave of employee activism, including multiple women tweeting about their dissatisfaction with the company culture. In May, employees wrote a letter demanding an investigation into the hiring of Antonio García Martínez, who’d written a book about Silicon Valley with descriptions of women many people found offensive. Hours later, García Martínez was fired.
Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Verge.