When Rhode Islanders are in need of a new recipe or good DIY project, many head to Pinterest. Unfortunately, it appears as if there are serious problems among the executives responsible for this social media company. Both current and former workers say that there is a culture of gender and racial workplace discrimination at Pinterest.
A gender discrimination lawsuit filed by Francoise Brougher — the former COO — claims that she was treated differently than her male, white peers. According to her suit, her schedule for stock compensation vesting was different than her co-workers, which negatively affected her overall compensation. When she voiced her concern about this, she was purposely left out of meetings — even those in which she was the only employee with appropriate experience. She was fired a short while later.
Other employees have spoken up since Brougher filed her suit, and many even participated in a virtual walkout after she made her allegations public. Although Pinterest has yet to comment on the matter, it recently added two Black women to its board and created a new position that focuses on inclusion and diversity. These actions are apparently lacking, as shareholders filed a separate lawsuit alleging that top executives purposely ignored reports of discrimination and retaliation against people of color and women.
It can be extremely painful to be judged based on gender or race rather than one’s abilities. Many victims of workplace discrimination have to deal with more than just the emotional trauma of this experience, as they may earn less or have fewer opportunities for advancement. While there is nothing that can undo the pain that discriminatory employers have already caused, victims can seek purposeful change as well as compensation for their own damages when they choose to pursue discrimination claims.