According to court documents and statements from plaintiffs and the company, Pinterest has pledged $ 50 million to rethink its corporate culture and promote diversity as part of an agreement aimed at eliminating allegations of discrimination against women and people of color.
The settlement was announced Wednesday by Seth Magaziner, Rhode Island’s chief treasurer, who was acting on behalf of the Rhode Island Employee Pension System, and other Pinterest shareholders who are suing the company known for its colorful whiteboards.
Shareholders accused Pinterest’s board of directors of failing to respond to a culture of discrimination and retaliation against women and people of color. Shareholders argued that by allowing continued discrimination, the board was not acting in the best interests of the shareholders.
The allegations went public when two black women from Pinterest’s public policy group, Ifeoma Ozoma and Aerika Shimizu Banks, publicly criticized the company’s treatment of employees, according to court documents.
According to the agreement, the audit committee of the board of directors will help oversee changes aimed at creating equal opportunities for employees. According to the plaintiff’s legal team, the changes require a board member to co-sponsor the CEO for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Initiatives.
The agreement also frees former employees from non-disclosure agreements and creates an external ombudsman’s office for employees and external employees. audits that consider performance ratings, promotions and compensation by gender and race.
The settlement was announced almost a year after Pinterest agreed to pay $ 22.5 million to settle a gender discrimination and retaliation lawsuit from Françoise Brouger, a former chief operating officer.
“We pushed for these sweeping reforms to support Pinterest employees by creating fair and safe jobs, and to strengthen the company’s brand and performance by making the values of inclusion central to Pinterest’s identity,” said Magaziner at his statement.
Pinterest said in a statement Wednesday that it has “reached an agreement with some shareholders who have raised concerns and are filing derivatives suits over allegations made last year about corporate culture.”
“Since then, we have worked hard to ensure that our culture reflects our goals, values and today’s decisions,” the company said.