According to an internal survey run by Apple employees, the tech firm is plagued with issues related to equal pay between genders. Approximately 2000 employees have participated in the survey. This is hardly representative of the companies 150,000+ global workforce but does provide some insight into how the firm is handling equal pay.

Notably, the survey does provide breakdowns between different areas of the business such as Apple Retail, Software and Services, Machine learning etc in addition to breakdowns by role. One glaring and disappointing omission in the survey is that it doesn’t include data from employees that identify as non-binary or transgender. This would have been valuable context that would provide further insight into Apple’s overall approach to gender pay equality. Instead, the survey is split between ‘males’ and ‘non-males. Still, it’s a helpful inside look into the opportunities that may exist at Apple in regards to pay.

The survey was spearheaded by Apple engineer Cher Scarlett:

“We know pay equity was a problem in the past and Apple did something to fix it, but we’re having this conversation again because we’re seeing gaps in certain areas of the company and we want to know what Apple will do to prevent it from happening year-over-year,”

Cher Scarlett

This honestly doesn’t surprise me. Every tech company needs to do more work on gender equality, racial equality, LGBTQIA+ equality, ableism and a wide range of other D&I issues. Apple has a much better track record than most of the big tech giants but there is always more work to be done. Even when equality is reached it needs work to ensure it is maintained.

Apple for its part provided the following statement to the Verge:

“Apple has a firm and long‑standing commitment to pay equity. Globally, employees of all genders earn the same when engaging in similar work with comparable experience and performance. In the United States, the same is true for employees of all races and ethnicities. We don’t ask for salary history during the recruiting process. Our recruiters base offers on Apple employees in similar roles. And every year, we examine the compensation employees receive and ensure that we maintain pay equity.”


On a personal level, I can’t speak to pay differences between genders but I can say Apple has problems in pay consistency. They can protest and deny it as much as they like. I’ve not only witnessed this, but I’ve also experienced this. I know from conversations with employees in the same role as me at Apple with similar or in some cases less experience were offered higher salaries than me. At the time I was very young (around 20 years old) and wasn’t aware of the pay disparity. Even if I had I likely wouldn’t have felt confident to challenge it for fear of seeming ungrateful.

I hope Apple gets on top of this and fast. Because in 2021 this won’t fly.


Featured Image: Blake Wisz via Unsplash

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