Pinterest's CEO is pledging to add more diversity within the company, including people of color and women in its c-suite
- "I'm trying to personally set that better tone," he told The Wall Street Journal Wednesday.
- The promise comes after a $22 million discrimination settlement.
Pinterest's CEO is pledging to hire more people of color and female executives by 2025 in an attempt to create a more diverse and inclusive company following years of complaints from employees and a multi-million discrimination settlement.
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal published Wednesday, CEO Ben Silbermann, in response to a $22 million settlement the company reached with a former executive last year, said: "What can come out of that is learning what we need to do better and making changes ... I'm trying to personally set that better tone."
Insider previously reported that former COO Francoise Brougher settled a gender discrimination lawsuit with the company in December of 2020 for $22.5 million after Silbermann fired her for not being "collaborative." Brougher told Insider at the time that Pinterest was very aware of her "forthright personality" after going through six months of personality evaluations before receiving the job.
At the time, Pinterest said it "recognizes the importance of fostering a workplace environment that is diverse, equitable and inclusive and will continue its actions to improve its culture," Insider reported.
In another instance, two female black employees - Aerica Shimizu Banks and Ifeoma Ozoma - were promised easy upward mobility, senior ranks, and fair salaries by recruiters for "just killing it," Insider previously reported. But once hired, the women found themselves met with no career growth, "unfair pay, intense discrimination, and terrifying retaliation," Banks told Insider.
According to Insider's Julie Bort and Taylor Nicole Rogers, "both women filed separate complaints with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing. They quit the company in May of 2020. In June, after seeing Pinterest's statement of support for Black Lives Matters and its donations, they spoke up on Twitter." Those tweets proceeded to garner national attention after going viral.
"I want a place where we have diverse perspectives," Silbermann told the Wall Street Journal. "It's not only the right thing to do, I think it'll make our business stronger."
Marie Andel, Pinterest's head of human resources, told Insider that, in the first quarter of 2021, 50% of its employees were female. She also said the company has partnered with external organizations to recruit and hire more engineers of color and increase diverse representation within its hiring processes.
"In the past year, we've looked at three very important areas to improve: pay equity and transparency, designing processes to effectively address and resolve employee concerns and expanding educational offerings to ensure everyone understands their role in building an inclusive culture," Andel said. "We believe every employee should feel safe, championed and empowered to raise any concerns about their work experience and have new systems in place to allow this."
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