People chief Deirdre O'Brien tells Apple employees to talk to their managers about pay and other concerns

Deirdre O'Brien
Deirdre O'Brien (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • Apple's head of people, Deirdre O'Brien, has reportedly addressed employees regarding their concerns about pay inequality.
  • Opaque pay levels and other issues have been a hot topic for Apple employees of late.
  • O'Brien says people should talk to their managers about any concerns they have.

Apple's people chief Deirdre O'Brien has reportedly spoken to Apple employees via a video message, outlining how they can go about voicing concerns about issues like their rate of pay.

Pay inequality is a hot topic within Apple right now, with the company said to be shutting down pay surveys set up by employees. Now, O'Brien has told employees to report any pay issues to their manager via a new video shared with teams before Labor Day.

MacRumors has seen the video, reporting on what was said:

Now, I want you to hear this directly from me. First, if you ever have a concern about your pay at Apple, please talk to your manager or your people business partner. And second, if you ever want to report a concern about your work environment, please come and talk to us, please. And know that we have a confidential process to thoroughly investigate in a way that treats everyone with dignity and respect.

However, some Apple employees have already pointed out that speaking to their manager is an approach that has so far not worked, with some simply saying that pay rates are "within range." That response leaves employees with little concrete information from which to work.

While the AppleToo campaign — one that is designed to collect issues raised by current and former Apple employees — is not mentioned by name, O'Brien did reportedly go on to say that the company is "deeply committed" to ensuring people are paid according to industry standards.

We use industry-standard methodology, and we have a dedicated team of experts that runs a comprehensive process to monitor and maintain pay equity. And we partner with an independent third party that analyzes our compensation each year. If this work identifies a gap, we close it. And our approach is considered best in class.

Apple will be hoping that this ongoing situation doesn't detract from a host of upcoming product announcements including the new iPhone 13 and Apple Watch Series 7. I've reached out to Apple for comment and will update with a statement if and when one is received.

The upcoming iPhone 13 is set to be the best iPhone yet, but it looks set to be announced against a backdrop of employee unrest despite this latest video message.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.