Former COO sues Pinterest, accusing it of gender discrimination, retaliation and wrongful termination

Human Capital: Ex-Pinterest employees who alleged discrimination say ‘no progress has been made’

This was fairly the week for Pinterest and never in a great way. While the corporate settled the gender discrimination lawsuit introduced forth by its former COO, the hefty $22.5 million settlement highlighted a number of the tech business’s inequities. 

Meanwhile, Airbnb outlined some new targets round variety and inclusion, regardless of having not produced a variety report since final 12 months, when it disclosed its 2018 knowledge. 

All that and extra on this week’s version of Human Capital. Sign up right here to get this text in your inbox each Friday at 1 p.m. PT.

Pinterest settles gender discrimination lawsuit for $22.5 million

Pinterest introduced it had settled the gender discrimination lawsuit introduced forth by former COO Francoise Brougher. In August, Brougher sued Pinterest, alleging gender discrimination, retaliation and wrongful termination.

As a part of the settlement, Pinterest can pay $20 million to Brougher and her attorneys, and each Pinterest and Brougher will commit $2.5 million towards “Advancing ladies and underrepresented communities” within the tech business, the corporate wrote in a submitting.

On Black ladies laying “the groundwork for another person to swoop in and accumulate ‘progress’”

Before Brougher filed go well with in opposition to Pinterest, former Pinterest staff Ifeoma Ozoma and Aerica Shimizu Banks publicly alleged racial and gender discrimination whereas working on the firm. I spoke with Ozoma and Banks in regards to the settlement and the way it in comparison with their outcomes. 

On a name with TechCrunch earlier this week, Ozoma and Banks described a double normal of their experiences in comparison with Brougher’s. While Brougher acquired a $20 million payout, Ozoma and Banks acquired lower than one 12 months’s value of severance. Here are some pertinent phrases they shared on the settlement:


This follows the time-honored custom in America the place Black ladies come ahead, blazing a path, revealing injustice and white ladies coming in and reaping all the advantages of that.

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So we, like in lots of, many, many different circumstances, Black ladies put ourselves on the road, shared completely every part that occurred to us, then laid the groundwork for another person to swoop in and accumulate ‘progress. No progress has been made right here as a result of no rights have been made with individuals who hurt has been carried out to.

Pinterest agrees to undertake DEI suggestions

Pinterest dedicated to adopting the suggestions from its particular committee of the board of administrators. The committee fashioned earlier this 12 months in June, shortly after two former staff, Ifeoma Ozoma and Aerica Shimizu Banks, went public with their allegations of racial and gender discrimination whereas working at Pinterest. 

Here are a number of of these suggestions:

  • obligatory unconscious bias coaching for each worker, together with managers and executives
  • supply extra trainings on inclusivity and unconscious bias
  • embody “various staff” in interview panels with job candidates
  • reward staff for his or her efforts to assist and promote DEI
  • publish a variety report twice a 12 months for at the least two years; after two years, publish the report yearly
  • set up standards for promotion eligibility
  • improve Pinterest’s harassment and discrimination coverage
  • create a centralized office investigations workforce to make sure constant and honest outcomes

Gig employees are prepared for battle as we enter the brand new 12 months

Over on Extra Crunch, I did a deep dive into what’s subsequent for gig employees and firms in mild of the passage of Prop 22. 

The gist is that Prop 22 doesn’t mark the top of the battle of the standing of gig employees. Companies want to pursue related laws somewhere else whereas gig employees are gearing up for an additional battle.

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Moving ahead, it’s exhausting to foretell the place corporations like Uber and Lyft will go subsequent, Brian Chen of the National Employment Law Project stated, however it’s probably they’ll wish to go to large markets.

“Places the place they know there’s been on-the-ground employees organizing and activists they’d lastly wish to stomp out, and the place enforcement has been sturdy in opposition to the corporate,” he instructed TechCrunch.

Chen pointed to New York, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Washington, Oregon and Michigan. Wherever these corporations carry the battle subsequent, Chen says NELP shall be closely concerned in preventing again. As will employees.

“We already know corporations are doing this proactively, so we have to be doing this proactively as properly,” Bain instructed me. “I believe there’s a lot we’re going to be up in opposition to. It depends upon a number of the people who find themselves appointed in labor positions and what their precise rules and values are, however I’m a bit of extra optimistic. Things that weren’t attainable to do beneath Trump will simply be actually troublesome to do beneath Biden, however not unimaginable.”

You can learn the total, 2,318-word story right here.

Gig Workers Rising to launch app to assist employees perceive their rights beneath Prop 22

Gig Workers Rising is gearing as much as launch an app to assist gig employees perceive their new rights and advantages beneath Prop 22. 

“[…] employees know that gig corporations have a historical past of creating and breaking guarantees to employees,” the positioning states. “These firms depend upon you not understanding your rights and being unable to advocate for the advantages you’re owed.”

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Earlier within the week, Lyft outlined the advantages that at the moment are accessible to drivers. 

Airbnb units new DEI targets

Airbnb, which not too long ago went public and have become a $100 billion firm, not too long ago set two targets to attempt to enhance variety on the home-sharing and experiences firm as a result of it “is nowhere close to happy with the established order,” the corporate wrote in a weblog put up.

By the top of 2025, Airbnb is aiming for 20% of its U.S. workforce to be underrepresented minorities, which incorporates of us who self-identify as American Indian or Alaska Native, Black or African American, Hispanic or Latinx, Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander. Currently, underrepresented minorities make up simply 12% of the corporate’s worker base.

The second aim is to extend the illustration of ladies to 50% by the top of 2025. 

Intel’s variety report breaks out underrepresented ladies knowledge for first time

Some highlights from the report:


  • Representation of Hispanic staff elevated from 10% to 10.5% 12 months over 12 months
  • Representation of underrepresented minorities within the exec stage decreased to eight.4% from 8.8%
  • Underrepresented ladies in exec roles elevated from 1.8% to 2.4%

TechCrunch Sessions: Justice 2021 tickets on sale

Lastly, tickets at the moment are accessible for TC Sessions: Justice 2021. Don’t fear, it’ll be a wholly digital occasion and tickets are simply $5 a pop. 

The occasion is going down out of your front room on March 3, 2021. Already, we’ve lined up audio system like Backstage Capital founder and Managing Partner Arlan Hamilton, Kickstarter Union co-organizer Clarissa Redwine and Ethel’s Club/Somewhere Good founder and CEO Naj Austin. 

More to return!


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