Pinterest has pledged $ 50 million to revamp its corporate culture and promote diversity as part of an agreement to clarify allegations that it discriminated against women and people of color, according to court documents and statements by plaintiffs and the company.
The settlement was announced Wednesday by Seth Magaziner, the Rhode Island general treasurer who acted on behalf of the Rhode Island Employees’ Retirement System, and other Pinterest shareholders who sued the company, known for its colorful virtual bulletin boards .
The shareholders had accused the Supervisory Board of Pinterest of not having reacted to a culture of discrimination and retaliation against women and people of color. Shareholders argued that by allowing the discrimination to persist, the board was not acting in the best interests of the shareholders.
The allegations came to light when two black women members of Pinterest’s public policy team, Ifeoma Ozoma and Aerica Shimizu Banks, publicly criticized the company’s treatment of employees, according to court documents.
As part of the settlement, an Audit Committee of the Board of Management will help monitor changes that are intended to create equal opportunities for employees. The changes require a board member to co-sponsor with the board chairman on diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, according to the plaintiff’s legal team.
The settlement also releases former employees from confidentiality agreements and creates an external ombudsman for employees and external parties Audits that review performance reviews, promotions, and payments across gender and race categories.
The deal was announced almost a year after Pinterest agreed to pay $ 22.5 million to settle a gender discrimination and retaliation lawsuit by Françoise Brougher, its former chief operating officer.
“We pushed for these major reforms to provide Pinterest employees with a fair and safe workplace and to strengthen the company’s brand and performance by ensuring that the values of inclusivity become central to the Pinterest identity.” said Magaziner in a statement.
Pinterest said in a statement Wednesday that it has “reached a resolution with certain shareholders who have raised concerns and raised derivative claims regarding corporate culture allegations last year.”
“Since that time we’ve worked hard to ensure that our culture reflects our goals and values as well as today’s solution,” said the company.