December 01, 2020

Pinterest Inc., its CEO, and board members were hit with a shareholder derivative suit alleging race and gender discrimination by executives has harmed its financial position and reputation among its largely female user base.

The Employees’ Retirement System of Rhode Island alleges that two Black female employees, Ifeoma Ozoma and Aerica Shimizu Banks, were retaliated against “for seeking equitable leveling and pay” and left the company in May 2020 after “it was clear that their requests for fair treatment and pay would only lead to further retaliation.”

Another female employee—Francoise Brougher, who was Pinterest’s top female executive and the first chief operating officer—sued the company in August 2020, alleging gender discrimination and retaliation, the complaint says.

These instances of discrimination were not isolated cases, but are representative of an organizational culture that hurts all Pinterest workers, ERSRI alleges.

Benjamin Silbermann—Pinterest’s co-founder, CEO, and board chair—"perpetuated and approved of the discrimination at the company,” the complaint says.

And the individual defendants—top executives and board members at Pinterest—breached their fiduciary duties to the company “by perpetrating or knowingly ignoring the long-standing and systemic culture of discrimination and retaliation at Pinterest,” the plaintiffs allege.

The complete story can be accessed here.