Pinterest shareholders sue the CEO and board of directors over toxic work environment, racism, and sexism

Both Fast Company and The Verge reported on December 1 that one of Pinterest's institutional investors, the Employees’ Retirement System of Rhode Island, filed suit on November 30 accusing Pinterest senior management of "breach of fiduciary duty, waste of corporate assets, abuse of control, and violations of federal securities laws" for facilitating a "systematic culture, policy, and practice of illegal discrimination on the basis of race and sex".  The lawsuit requests a discovery process and trial by jury.

The full legal complaint is available on scribd:

Here are the article links, with some extracts from the Verge article below.
Shareholders sue Pinterest over pattern of race and gender discrimination

Pinterest shareholders sue over ‘toxic’ work culture
Top executives ignored allegations of discrimination, complaint says

Pinterest shareholders are suing the company’s top executives, including CEO Ben Silbermann, for allegedly enabling a culture of discrimination. The toxic work environment has hurt the company’s reputation, leading to a user boycott and financial harm, the complaint alleges.

The CEO “repeatedly placed himself before the Company, surrounding himself with yes-men and marginalizing women who dared to challenge Pinterest’s White, male leadership clique,” the complaint says. The company ignored or silenced employees who tried to speak out...

Issues with Pinterest’s internal culture first surfaced in June, when Ifeoma Ozoma and Aerica Shimizu Banks went public with allegations of racial discrimination and retaliation. The women helped lead some of Pinterest’s most high-profile initiatives... but were underpaid compared to white male colleagues.

Two months after Ozoma and Banks came forward, Pinterest’s former COO Françoise Brougher sued for discrimination and retaliation. She said she was left out of key meetings, given gendered feedback, and underpaid compared to her male colleagues, according to The New York Times. When she spoke out about her mistreatment, she says she was fired.

Many readers of this list will recognize the pattern of "when you speak up about a problem, you get fired", which is now repeating itself yet again in the case of Google's firing of Dr. Timnit Gebru.

- Bruce


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