Apple isn’t fun and games for everyone.

Image:  AP/MARK LENNIHAN

Working at Apple may sound glamorous, broadly speaking. But janitors and other lower-level workers don’t have it easy with their gigs at the most profitable company in the world. 

Unfortunately for these workers, that wasn’t always the case at tech giants in America. The New York Times explored these differences Sunday by comparing a janitor working at Apple in 2017 to a janitor working at Kodak in 1987.

Their day jobs appeared to be quite similar. Yet, Gail Evans was able to rise through the ranks of Kodak. She went from cleaning the floors to working in IT and later to serving as chief technology officer of the entire organization. Such a trajectory hasn’t been accessible to Marta Ramos at Apple.

For one, Ramos is classified as a contract worker. Evans worked full-time, granting her benefits like paid vacation and bonuses. But these days at tech giant Apple, Ramos and her fellow contract workers are regarded more as dispensable. 

“It’s not just janitors and security guards. In Silicon Valley, the people who test operating systems for bugs, review social media posts that may violate guidelines, and screen thousands of job applications are unlikely to receive a paycheck directly from the company they are ultimately working for,” Neil Irwin wrote the NYTimes

Apple’s products may be in the hands of millions of consumers in the United States just like Kodak’s once were, but the people who help guarantee the future of those companies aren’t equally rewarded. 

It’s another example of how working at a tech giant isn’t necessarily so glorifying despite the industry’s prestige. Recently, women, like former Uber engineer Susan Fowler Rigetti, have spoken out about the sexism and other toxic workplace habits they faced. Google employees have alleged racism and other problems with diversity in the tech industry. 

Read more about inequality in the tech industry here

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