Pinterest settles gender discrimination lawsuit with former COO for $22.5 million

Pinterest today announced it has settled the gender discrimination lawsuit brought forth by former COO Francoise Brougher. In August, Brougher sued Pinterest, alleging gender discrimination, retaliation and wrongful termination.

As part of the settlement, Pinterest will pay $20 million to Brougher and her attorneys, and both Pinterest and Brougher will commit $2.5 million toward “Advancing women and underrepresented communities” in the tech industry, the company wrote in a filing.

“Pinterest recognizes the importance of fostering a workplace environment that is diverse, equitable and inclusive and will continue its actions to improve its culture,” Pinterest and Brougher said in a joint statement detailing the settlement. “Francoise welcomes the meaningful steps Pinterest has taken to improve its workplace environment and is encouraged that Pinterest is committed to building a culture that allows all employees to feel included and supported.”

Shortly after Brougher went public with her claims, Pinterest employees staged a walkout in response to her accusations as well as in response to the claims of two former Black Pinterest employees. Prior to Brougher’s claims, Aerica Shimizu Banks and Ifeoma Ozoma accused Pinterest of racial discrimination.

In addition to the walkout, a petition circulated throughout the company demanding systemic change. The change they sought entailed 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.

Since then, Pinterest has notably made some changes at the board level. A couple of days after the walkout, Pinterest announced Andrea Wishom as the company’s first-ever Black board member. In October, Pinterest added its second Black board member, Salaam Coleman Smith.

Pinterest says it has also enhanced its hiring and interview processes to try to improve diversity at senior levels, updated its inclusion training and launched an internal wiki detailing how Pinterest makes compensation decisions.

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