Pinterest pledged $ 50 million to reform its corporate culture and promote diversity as part of a settlement to resolve allegations of discrimination against women and people of color, according to court documents and statements from the plaintiffs and the company.
The settlement was announced Wednesday by Seth Magaziner, Rhode Island’s general treasurer, who was acting on behalf of the Rhode Island Employee Retirement System and other Pinterest shareholders who had sued the company, which is known for its colorful virtual signs. .
Shareholders had accused Pinterest’s board of directors of failing to respond to a culture of discrimination and retaliation against women and people of color. By allowing discrimination to continue, shareholders argued, the board did not act in the best interest of shareholders.
The allegations came to light when two black women on Pinterest’s public policy team, Ifeoma Ozoma and Aerica Shimizu Banks, publicly criticized the company’s treatment of employees, according to court documents.
Under the agreement, a board audit committee will help oversee changes aimed at creating equal opportunity for employees. The changes require a board member to act as a co-sponsor with the CEO on diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, according to the plaintiff’s legal team.
The agreement also frees former employees from nondisclosure agreements and creates an external ombuds office for employees and audits that review performance ratings, promotions, and compensation across all gender and race categories.
The settlement was announced nearly a year after Pinterest agreed to pay $ 22.5 million to settle a gender discrimination and retaliation lawsuit from Françoise Brougher, its former chief operating officer.
“We pushed through these radical reforms to support Pinterest employees with a fair and safe workplace, and to strengthen the company’s brand and performance by ensuring that inclusive values are central to Pinterest’s identity,” said Magaziner it’s a statement.
Pinterest said in a statement Wednesday that it had “reached a resolution with certain shareholders who raised concerns and filed derivative lawsuits over allegations made last year about the company’s culture.”
“Since that time, we have been working hard to ensure that our culture reflects our goals and values and today’s resolve,” the company said.