Pinterest employees hold virtual walkout to protest discrimination

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Pinterest employees are today staging a virtual strike to protest discrimination and retaliation in the company. In a petition posted to the anonymous networking app Blind on Aug. 13, employees called for solidarity with three prominent women who recently accused the company of racial and gender inequality.

The petition encourages employees to overlay their Slack avatar with the faces of the three women. He also asks them to sign up for Slack today at 1:00 p.m. PT, after posting the following message: “I’m [upset/angry/shocked/unhappy/whatever you’re feeling] about the racial and gender discrimination that happened at Pinterest, and I’m leaving work early today. Meet me. changeatpinterest.com. “

The move follows news that former COO Françoise Brougher is suing Pinterest for sex discrimination and reprisals. Brougher, who joined the company in 2018, says she was paid less than her male colleagues, did not attend important meetings and received gender-specific comments. After talking about her mistreatment, she was fired, according to her complaint.

The review of Pinterest’s treatment of women began in June 2020 when Ifeoma Ozoma and Aerica Shimizu Banks, two black women who worked on the political team, accused the company of racial and gender discrimination on Twitter. The news sparked a firestorm, in part because Pinterest is a company that caters specifically to women and has been praised for leading the tech industry on policies banning racism and misinformation on the platform. . These are policies that Ozoma and Banks helped create.

In a statement, Pinterest said it respects the employees’ decision to step down. “The leaders and employees of Pinterest have a common goal of building and promoting a business that we can all be proud of,” said a spokesperson. “We know we have a real job to do and recognize that it is our duty to create a diverse, equitable and inclusive environment for all.

But internally, the support has been more measured. “Pinterest will not deter any member of our community from using their voice to show their support for social justice and ensure a fairer business,” Tyi McCray, head of corporate diversity and inclusion, wrote on Slack on August 13.

The company also said it will announce a new addition to its board of directors today.

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