Today is my three year anniversary of giving notice at Apple, after they told me they would not bring my pay in line with my male peers, leaving me no real choice but constructive discharge.
I woke up to my body remembering before my mind did. Spent the morning in bed crying. I live with c-PTSD now that I did not have before, and the people responsible for it will likely never admit their responsibility in pushing an excellent technical woman out of tech.
The federal and state equal pay laws that were supposed to prevent this from happening didn't. The regulatory agencies and programs (hi EEOC & PAGA) that were supposed to help me get justice didn't. In fact they enabled retaliation and retraumatization, and added more institutional betrayal on top.
I know that quitting Apple was absolutely the right decision. Stronger than persisting in an environment where men with the power to fix my pay doubled down on valuing me less, and on gaslighting me about that reality. There was no path to ever making equal pay there.
It is so complicated for me to move through the world now. It broke my ability to trust others. Simple questions like "what do you do?" still send me from zero to tears in seconds. I've had to protect my social media accounts to avoid harassment. I've had to mute old coworkers I liked, because seeing their ability to live the life I wanted is too painful.
My world got very small. I am taking steps to find safe community, but it is scary every day. Rebuilding my life, three years out, is still brutal.
Going to pull myself up and out of bed now, and go to the pottery studio to glaze mugs, to do the work I can encouraging conversations and progress around pay transparency, dismantling discriminatory systems, and reminding myself and others that we are worthy.