Apple’s Dierdre O’Brien makes Fast Company’s Queer 50 list

“After talking to new parents—especially women—O’Brien felt there was still more Apple could do to ease their transition back to work…”

From “Apple’s retail chief shares her 30-year quest to build an inclusive workplace“:

In January 1988, as a newly minted college graduate, O’Brien took a job at Apple working on production of the Macintosh SE, an early iteration of the classic Macintosh line that introduced personal computers to lay people. More than three decades later, Apple is a trillion-dollar company—and O’Brien is one of the highest ranking executives at its helm…

“Apple has changed my life and supported me in so many ways, not least of which is the fact that I met my wife here,” O’Brien says. “I feel a deep responsibility to support and carry our culture forward for everyone else—for anyone who comes from a background that has been historically underrepresented.”

After talking to new parents—especially women—O’Brien felt there was still more Apple could do to ease their transition back to work, even beyond the company’s 16-week paid leave policy. That’s why Apple introduced a return to work policy last fall that gave new parents an additional four-week grace period when they returned from leave, which allows them to work part-time and set their own hours—all while being paid like full-time employees. The benefits apply to retail workers, as well. For parents who adopt, Apple nearly tripled its financial assistance to $14,000 and expanded leave.

“I think many times working parents feel like they need to deal with that quietly and make it seem perfectly seamless,” O’Brien said at the time. “We all know life is complicated. So [we’re] making it really clear that we’re supporting them in that journey.”

My take: How about a daycare center for Apple Park?

See also: Apple 3.0 daycare archives


  1. Fred Stein said:
    Yes. Keep asking that daycare question. I’d sincerely like to know, to learn. Surely they’ve debated this more than once.

    Great story on Dierdre. That picture captures the feeling that we get (and miss) in the physical stores.

    May 28, 2020
  2. Bart Yee said:
    I suspect having daycare onsite leads to liability issues that translate into major headaches, especially if something were to happen to a child, or issues like pandemic spread were to occur. Non-parents may also feel they aren’t getting some kind of similar perk or compensation. Building a separate area or hiring a contractor still leaves a liability trail for Apple. Apple may also feel it’s in the employees’ best interest for the employee to make those decisions.

    A collateral damage issue is if Apple had its own daycare, what would be the impact on local and surrounding daycare companies – another disrupted industry and local pushback?

    May 28, 2020

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