Economy

Pinterest reaches $ 22.5 million settlement in gender discrimination lawsuit

Pinterest Corporation It agreed to pay $ 22.5 million to settle claims of gender discrimination and reprisals against it Chief Operating Officer Françoise Brueger, as Silicon Valley faces mounting pressure to address issues of discrimination and diversity within its ranks.

Mrs. Brueger lawsuit Pinterest in August, claiming that Social media The company has maintained a culture of secrecy among senior male executives which has resulted in it being excluded from meetings and decision making.

In one blog, the company was accused of a hostile work environment for women and that “female executives, even at the highest levels, are marginalized, excluded and silenced.”

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Ms. Brueger, former CEO of Square Inc. And Alphabet Inc. Google, Was hired in 2018 and became Pinterest’s first female COO and one of the company’s best female personalities. She said she was expelled in April.

“Pinterest understands the importance of promoting a diverse, fair and inclusive work environment, and will continue its business to improve its culture,” the company said in a joint statement with Ms. Brugger. The company settled the lawsuit without admitting any liability.

Pinterest will pay Ms Brougher and her attorney $ 20 million and invest $ 2.5 million to advance women and underrepresented communities in the tech industry, according to the statement.

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The company has been publicly accused of other cases of gender bias and racial discrimination. In June, two former employees, Evuma Ozuma and Erika Shimizu Banks, who are black, said they were paid less than their male counterparts and were retaliated for speaking about it.

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Their criticism led to a wave of support as employees posted messages on Slack channels supporting the allegations and pushing for improvements in the company. Employees asked supporters to use the hashtag #changeatpinterest and sign a petition calling for an end to discrimination and retaliation in the company.

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Soon after, the firm said it had hired a law firm to conduct an independent review of its workplace culture.

In August, the company appointed Tay McCray as global head of inclusion and diversification, reporting to co-founder and CEO Ben Silberman.

Pinterest has added two black women to its board of directors. The photo-sharing company brought in veteran media director Andrea Wachom and former Walt Disney CEO Sallam Colman Smith as directors.

In the statement, Ms. Brugger said she was encouraged by Pinterest’s actions to help employees feel included and supported.

Sarah E. Needleman contributed to this article.

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