Pinterest Planning To Make Major Changes To Its Policies Following Discrimination Claims

Pinterest has promised to make sweeping changes in its policies, compensation practices and hiring practices in the wake of damning allegations of discrimination.

The company is coming under scrutiny for discrimination in its support staff ranks and the removal of a white man from his role as head of engineering partly because of his previous comment in a TechCrunch interview that he “wouldn’t hire” a black person at the company.

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The alleged bias dates back to 2017 when Amy Howell, a male support staff member, was notified that she was not getting promoted to her position as head of engineering because her name was on her marketing ticket. She received an email from the company expressing her potential for promotion later, but claimed the response had been underwhelming.

More recently, Pinterest employee Veronica Roque filed a complaint with the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing. In her complaint, she claimed she had been blocked by colleagues and threatened with terminations because she was reported as a source of racial and sexual harassment against a female co-worker.

This led to the CEO Ben Silbermann saying that he regretted the high turnover rate amongst support staff and adjusting the company’s policies so that promotion would be based on “dynamism rather than loyalty” and the company’s values and academic background of potential employees would be factored into their evaluation as well.

Pinterest has also committed to addressing the definition of what constitutes harassment.

Pinterest

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The company has launched an internal review to make sure its recruiting practices are operating in a fair and inclusive manner, and Silbermann said that the tech giant would be commissioning a third-party data analysis to assist in its efforts to prevent discrimination.

He added: “It’s too early to say what impact this will have in the long run, but I am confident it will help us identify the systemic issues and take action on them.”

The changes Pinterest plans to make and the number of employees it has pledged to update its hiring practices will be revealed in November, according to The Wall Street Journal.

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