For nine years, Apple has been No. 1 on Fortune magazine’s list of the most-admired companies in the world. The company, based in Cupertino, Calif., won the top rankings in the “key attributes” of innovation, people management, use of corporate assets, social responsibility, quality of management, financial soundness, long-term investment value, quality of produces/services and global competitiveness.

So it comes as a surprise this week that a dozen female employees and former employees are saying that the company has a “toxic environment” for women.

The women told the website Mic that they were subjected to sexist comments and passed over for leadership positions.

Apple’s chief executive, Tim Cook, has said that the company is committed to diversity. And company co-founder Steve Wozniak praised him in an article on CNET, saying that Cook “has been very open about saying that everybody of different cultures and ethnicities, gender and sexual background are treated the same.”

But one woman contends that she was subjected to jokes about rape and that when she reported this to Cook, she got no reply. Another woman said that she had attended a meeting, where she was the only woman, and that the conversation deteriorated to the men being dismissive about their wives. And yet another woman said that after reporting harassment by male colleagues, she was demoted.

These sorts of concerns have been raised in many workplaces over the years. But it certainly is dismaying to hear such complaints from Apple. Once again, we see how important it is for women to speak up for themselves and for one another. Equity in the workplace is not just a mattter of how much money men and women are paid. It is also a matter of how they are treated.

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