Pinterest employees are walking out today to demand change at the company. The walkout is directly in response to recent accusations of racial and gender discrimination at Pinterest.
Organizers of the walkout are encouraging employees to post the following message in the #qanda and #pinployees-global channels on Slack: “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.”
In addition to the walkout, there’s a petition circulating throughout the company demanding systemic change. The change they seek entails full transparency about promotion levels and retention, total compensation package transparency and for the people within two layers of reporting to the CEO to be at least 25% women and 8% underrepresented employees.
Two days ago, former Pinterest COO Françoise Brougher sued the company, alleging gender discrimination, retaliation and wrongful termination. Prior to that, Aerica Shimizu Banks and Ifeoma Ozoma also accused Pinterest of discrimination.
“These are not isolated cases,” workers wrote in the petition. “Instead, they are representative of an organizational culture that hurts all Pinterest workers, and keeps us from achieving our mission of bringing everyone the inspiration to create a life they love. We recognize that Pinterest has been a leader in diversity and inclusive hiring, with the diversity goals for new hires. It’s become clear that this is not enough, and that the diversity goals need to apply from the top down, not just the bottom up. Not only will diverse and inclusive leadership prevent discrimination and harassment among workers, it will help us build a product that is relevant on a global scale.”
Beyond the walkout and petition, organizers are asking employees to overlay their company profile picture on Slack with the faces of Ozoma, Banks and Brougher.
“The leadership and employees at Pinterest have a shared goal of building and fostering a company we can all be proud of,” a Pinterest spokesperson told TechCrunch. “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, and we will ensure an open dialogue that leads to progress to make Pinterest the place we all know it can be.”
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