On Friday, Pinterest stated that it’s planning to announce a new board member as its employees are staging a virtual walkout to protest against racial and gender discrimination in the company. The announcement comes after its previous chief operating officer Francoise Brougher accused the company of gender discrimination.
Pinterest Employees Demanding Change
To respond to the accusations of gender and racial discrimination at the company, Pinterest employees are walking out today. The organizers of the said walkout encourage employees to post a message on Slack about the discrimination happening at the company.
Brougher is a former COO of Pinterest. In her legal complaint, she stated that the company paid her less than her male equals. She learned of the salary inequalities when the company prepared to go public last year. When she brought it up to the company’s CEO Ben Silbermann, she had to fight just get fair compensation.
She also said that she was repeatedly excluded from important meetings.
When she spoke about these issues, she was fired.
According to Brougher, the management team at this company is full of gossip. One of her colleagues said that the only way to get things done in the company is to hide things.
“I naively thought that I had broken the glass ceiling. But even as the COO of a major Silicon Valley company, I was expected to act a certain way and be deferential to men because I am a woman. The discrimination I experienced at Pinterest was different from the “bro culture” so many other tech companies are notorious for. It was more subtle, but it was no less insidious and devastating.”https://medium.com/@francoise_93266/the-pinterest-paradox-cupcakes-and-toxicity-57ed6bd76960
In July, former two Black employees of Pinterest also spoke about the mistreatment they received from working at Pinterest. Ifeoma Ozoma and Aerica Shimizu Banks worked on the company’s policy team. They helped in leading Pinterest’s actions against racist content and health misinformation. But they complained that they were underpaid. They were also subjected to racist feedback from their manager.
Just like Brougher, when they talked about the mistreatment, they were fired.
Pinterest stated that it respects its employees’ decision to walk out. According to the spokesperson, the management and employees at Pinterest share a common goal of building a company that they can be proud of.
Pinterest employees appealed to demand a stop to any form of discrimination and retaliation at the company. They demand full transparency about the promotions, compensation packages, and retention metrics.
The situation that Pinterest is facing is quite different from the discrimination that happened in Uber in 2017. At that time, former engineer Susan Fowler complained that she was sexually harassed but the issue was ignored by the company’s human resources department. CEO Travis Kalanick responded and called the complaint revolting. He also said that any person behaving the same way will be fired.
What Pinterest is facing now is multiple employees raising the same issue — racial and gender discrimination.
Multiple employees at Pinterest demand that the company should have systemic change so they remain proud of where they work. Most of Pinterest’s employees are working from home.