Apple engineering manager placed on administrative leave after raising sexism concerns

• Ashley Gjøvik, a senior engineering program manager at Apple, was placed on indefinite administrative leave.
• She tweeted about sexism in the office and made claims about a hostile work environment.
• Her tweets detail alleged behavior by higher-ups.

Apple has faced a bunch of criticism from its employees recently, and now it’s placing one of them on leave for complaining on Twitter about the company.

According to a report, the Silicon Valley giant placed a senior engineering program manager on indefinite administrative leave after the she tweeted about sexism in the office and made claims about a hostile work environment.

Ashley Gjøvik told The Verge that, for months, she had raised concerns with Apple’s employee relations department about experiencing years of “sexism, a hostile work environment, sexual harassment, unsafe working conditions, and retaliation.”

“I asked them to mitigate the hostile work environment while they investigate, and they initially offered me EAP [Employee Assistance 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,” Gjøvik said in the interview.

She claims Apple made no effort to set boundaries and instead placed her on administrative leave. They made it clear that they didn’t want her on Slack, where she had been vocal about her concerns with 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,” she said.

On Twitter, Gjøvik shared screenshots of what she said was sexist feedback from superiors that Apple allegedly paid little concern to. In her tweet, she claimed a male leader from the company sent her texts critiquing her presentation — or tone policing, as she put it.

In another tweet, Gjøvik attached a copy of an email she had sent to a company leader during the Brett Kavanaugh Supreme Court confirmation hearings in 2018. Gjovik wanted Apple CEO Tim Cook to make a statement about supporting women and against sexual assault in the midst of allegations of Kavanaugh’s sexual misconduct.

Instead, she received a text from her “#bigtech male leadership” that said, “FWIW [for what it’s worth], RBG thinks he’s ok” — referring to a story about Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg defending Kavanaugh.

Gjøvik also said an all-male management team complained about a number of points she made during a training session, including being “too hard on the white man.”

The swift action against Gjøvik by Apple comes after the company had received pressure from employees in recent weeks to release a statement in support of Palestine, and backlash for hiring an engineer who had written that feminist women were “weak” and “cosseted.” That engineer was quickly fired.