Pinterest workers stage virtual walkout over discrimination claims
Three women have accused the company of racial and gender discrimination
Pinterest employees are staging a virtual walkout Friday following allegations of sexism from the social media site's former chief operating officer, Françoise Brougher.
Brougher, the top female executive at the company, filed a lawsuit with the San Francisco Superior Court on Tuesday alleging that she was fired in April after complaining about gender discrimination, according to the New York Times.
"Gender discrimination at the C-level suite may be a little more subtle, but it’s very insidious and real," Brougher, 54, told the outlet in an interview. "When men speak out, they get rewarded. When women speak out, they get fired."
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Her lawsuit comes on top of discrimination allegations from two former Black, female employees, Ifeoma Ozoma and Aerica Shimizu Banks. The two women tweeted about their experiences at the company in June.
"Ifeoma Ozoma, Aerica Shimizu Banks and Francoise Brougher have accused Pinterest of racial and gender discrimination. Even when unintended, all forms of discrimination and retaliation at Pinterest must stop," employees who organized the walkout wrote on their website.
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Employees have since coined the hashtag #changeatpinterest and planned the virtual walkout, set to start at 1 p.m. PT on Friday. Workers are encouraged to change their social media icons to a cartoon illustration of the three women together and post a message to two different company Slack channels.
A Pinterest spokesperson told FOX Business that the company will "ensure an open dialogue that leads to progress to make Pinterest the place we all know it can be."
"We know we have real work to do and recognize that it’s our job to build a diverse, equitable and inclusive environment for everyone. We respect and hear the employees who want to see a clear commitment to action," the spokesperson said.
"I am [upset/angry/shocked/unhappy/whatever you’re feeling] about the racial and gender discrimination that has happened at Pinterest, and am leaving work early today. Join me. changeatpinterest.com," the message reads.
Workers also created a petition calling to "put an end to all forms of discrimination and retaliation against Pinterest," which received 204 signatures at the time of publication.
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A Pinterest spokesperson told the Times that the company is reviewing Brougher's lawsuit and conducting an independent review of its culture and practices.