Turmoil at Pinterest Puts Black Woman on the Board

Published On August 19, 2020 | By Tom Huskerson | News and Analysis

As a social media platform Pinterest has been a feel good place to be. Unlike Facebook, it has been a place that left you feeling clean and fulfilled without sucking too much information from. But alas, there is a storm in this serene place.

According to Bloomberg former chief operating officer Francoise Brougher is suing for alleged gender bias and wrongful termination. In her lawsuit Brougher alleges her employment was terminated after speaking up about gender discrimination by the website’s male-run leadership team. Her complaint escalated criticism of the management, publicly and internally. Pinterest was already in the spotlight after dealing with allegations by two other employees on its policy team who also alleged racial and gender discrimination. After those allegations became public CEO Ben Silbermann called parts of the company’s culture “broken.”

Employees of the company made their feelings known when 350 of them signed onto a protest and virtual job action. Pinterest employs roughly 2,400 people. Because their employees were already working from home they signed off the company’s computer system. A protest strategy borrowed from Facebook employees. Pinterest had planned to announce a new board member but didn’t want its board announcement to compete with attention on the employee protest.

Pinterest has now added Andrea Wishom to its board of directors. Wishom is president of real estate company Skywalker Holdings and former Harpo Studios executive. Wishom will become Pinterest’s first Black board member and third female board member.

In a statement Wishom said, “I’ve spent my entire career inspired to take on challenges both creatively and culturally.” I’m particularly interested in Pinterest’s expansion into content and media. I’m equally interested in Ben’s (CEO Ben Silbermann) vision of having a new type of conversation between employees and the board itself. Part of meeting this moment is looking outside the expected and bringing different perspectives to the table. There are real challenges to address, and that responsibility is not lost on me. I’m committed to listening and sharing my perspective and providing guidance as Pinterest continues to make positive strides forward.”

Pinterest is certainly facing some challenges. But a new voice and some color on the board can’t hurt.

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About The Author

Tom Huskerson Bio Born in Richmond Virginia Tom Huskerson is a military veteran who settled in California after his discharge. Tom attended Santa Barbara City College where he began his writing career as a campus reporter. He worked as an intern news reporter for the Santa Barbara News-Press writing feature stories before moving on to San Francisco. At San Francisco State University Tom studied broadcast communications and began to focus on the Internet. He completed his graduate thesis on Internet advertising. Tom was the first student to ever focus on the Internet as a graduate student at San Francisco State University. After graduation he went to work for Zona Research in California’s Silicone Valley. As a research associate Tom supported senior analyst writing on the latest developments in the Internet industry. During the dot com boom Tom worked for several web businesses as a market researcher and analyst. As a writer and researcher Tom has authored various technical works including a training program for Charles Schwab security. Other projects included professional presentations on workplace violence and hiring security contractors. Tom has also written both fiction and non-fiction works and blogging for a travel website. He has published two books of short stories and completed two novels. Tom is the owner of Scribe of Life Literature and EbonyCandle.com. Tom is not the chief editor for the OnTechStreet. com. A news and information blog that focuses on tech news for African-Americans. The blog is the result of his desire to inform the African American community of the dangers and benefits of the cyber age. In his blog Tom reports on information security, new and analysis, scams and hoaxes, legal happenings and various topics that arise from the age of information. Tom believes that technology is a necessary tool for black people and they should know what is happening. Tom writes believing that techno speak is for the professional and that valuable information can be communicated using plain language. As a result he has embraced the motto, Less Tech, More Knowledge.

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