Patrick McGee, Financial Times:
In 2018, CEO Tim Cook spoke of the company’s commitment to “helping more women assume leadership roles across the tech sector and beyond”, launching an initiative to train and mentor female entrepreneurs building apps. In the company’s internal 31-page onboarding document called “Apple Start”, the iPhone maker holds itself to a high standard, telling new employees about the “Apple difference”, how it fosters teamwork and innovation, and “does things differently”.
Yet the stories shared by women at Apple indicate the world’s largest company is falling short in building the culture it aspires to. The accounts collected by the FT paint a portrait of a People team that acts less like a safe place for employees to go with complaints and more like a risk mitigation unit that protects bad managers. In six cases, women said speaking up had cast them as bad team members and resulted in their departure. In three instances, Apple offered multiple months of salary in exchange for not disparaging the company or being held liable.
I know it was in the context of ads, but I think I will be referring to Michael Tsai’s line — “core values are what you do on an ongoing basis” — for years to come.