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Pinterest Employees Demand Gender and Race Equality


The messages used words like disappointed, disheartened, angered, upset, ashamed, frustrated, infuriated, disillusioned, deeply saddened and disturbed. On Friday, 236 employees of Pinterest, a company known for its virtual pinboards, expressed solidarity on an internal chat app with three former co-workers who have accused the company of racial and sex discrimination and retaliation.

Many of the employees also shared and signed an online petition calling on Ben Silbermann, Pinterest’s chief executive and co-founder, to change the company’s policies.

Then they logged off, staging a virtual walkout.

The series of actions were the latest in a growing employee movement of discrimination lawsuits, harassment accusations and walkouts over injustices across the tech industry and the investors who fund it.

The Pinterest accusations stand out because they include some of the highest-ranking executives at the $21 billion company. In a lawsuit this week, Françoise Brougher, Pinterest’s former chief operating officer, accused the company of sex discrimination, retaliation and wrongful termination. When she spoke up about a sexist remark from a colleague, she was fired, the lawsuit alleges. She followed the suit with a lengthy blog post, “The Pinterest Paradox: Cupcakes and Toxicity,” which was widely shared in tech circles.



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