Pinterest Appoints Black Executive Amidst the Charges Against Gender Discrimination

Pinterest appoints its first black executive board member after two employees at the company alleged the charges of gender discrimination. The new board member executive Andrea Wishom is the former Harpo Studios executive and also serves as the President at Skywalker Holding, LLC.

In a press release, the CEO and co-founder Ben Silbermann of the Pinterest said that “For the past few months, the board has been meeting with many great candidates, and Andrea stood out for several reasons.” He conveyed that Andrea has spent her career beyond Silicon Valley and she “has a vision for reimagining the board/employee relationship. We welcome her creativity and authenticity, and I’m honored to grow Pinterest alongside her.”

Andrea Wishom issued a public statement on the grandeur opportunity Pinterest board has given to her. “In this unprecedented moment in time, I’m excited to join the board of a global company that has provided exploration and inspiration to so many, including myself. I’ve been a Pinner since 2011 and having a one-of-a-kind platform that helps us achieve our goals and dreams is needed now more than ever,” she said.

Last month, Pinterest reported a revenue of USD 272 Million with an increase of 4% year-over-year. It also mentioned that the users have increased by 36% year-over-year to 416 Million. According to the Chief Marketing Officer at 4C, the advertisers have surged their budget by 20% if compared to last year.

Allegation on the Company

The company’s reputation scrambled when two black employees named Ifeoma Ozoma and Aerica Shimizu Banks working at Pinterest public policy team claimed in a Twitter post that they were underpaid and mistreated from their managers. In one of the viral tweets, Ozoma wrote “I hope that she is paid fairly, and not the way that I and other Black women at the company have not been paid fairly and have been dismissed.”

Last week, the former Chief Operating Officer Francoise Brougher filed a lawsuit stating her dismissal from the company was unrelated to her performance but reflects over the pattern of gender discrimination. “I believe that I was fired for speaking out about the rampant discrimination, hostile work environment, and misogyny that permeates,” she said. However, this has not been the first few instances of sexism claims in tech companies. In 2012, Reddit’s former CEO Ellen Pao filed a lawsuit against her last firm Kleiner Perkins. Moreover, a group of employees at Google and Oracle sued the firm respectively over similar allegations.

Pinterest has hired an investigation team to look over the allegation matter. In a recent company’s data, it has hired 96 Hispanic and 64 Black workers which represents almost 5.5% and 3.7% of the total workforce respectively. Furthermore, USA Today reported that there’s one Hispanic woman in a senior management role and no African Americans.

An anonymous petition has been running with the name “Change at Pinterest” which states that there should be at least 25% women and 8% underrepresented minorities within two layers of reporting to the CEO. They are demanding complete transparency about promotions and compensation package. As of writing, 427 people have signed the petition which needs more 73 signs to make it up to the 500 signs.