Apple’s highly anticipated release of empowering female and LGBTQ inclusive emojis has been scarred by the leaking of over 50 pages of emails that reveal the company’s misogynistic work environment.
With Apple’s newest update, iOS 10, women were finally rewarded their due equal representation in emojis. There are women wearing sleuthing caps and police hats, women running and surfing, and even women donning the hijab. Exclusively cisgender relationship emojis have become a thing of the past with same-sex couples holding hands, kissing, and having children—all in emoji form.
However, this progress has been blemished by a report from Mic that exposes an Apple office culture described as a “white, male, Christian, misogynistic, sexist environment.” Mic procured more than 50 pages of emails from present and past staff members concerning their experiences with a list of offenses that went unaddressed by Apple executives, ranging from subtle sexism to rape jokes to missing out on promotions due to gender.
One woman describes an office meeting in which she was the only female amongst a dozen male coworkers. She recounts the men speaking dismissively about their wives, stereotyping them as nags and making their only female colleague in the room very uncomfortable. Another woman addressed the toxic atmosphere she encountered one morning when her male coworkers began to joke about an office intruder coming to rape everybody.
The misogynistic work environment is not limited to the female staff members of Apple. Male employees also suffered from gendered harassment in the office. One employee received an email that was also sent to Tim Cook, the company’s CEO, among others, in which he was harassed by colleagues who continuously told him he “resembled having the qualities of a woman” and insinuated that he was on his “man period.” Several employees have emailed Cook, who made headlines as a CEO that responds to emails from random Apple customers, but to no avail.
32 percent of Apple’s global workforce is made up of women. As Apple continues to paint itself as the face of progress, strives for gender inclusion will have to extend beyond the screen and into the workplace.