/  08.19.2020

Pinterest, the image sharing and social media platform, has hired a Black person to their Board of Directors.

On Monday (Aug. 17), Andrea Wishom who serves as president at Skywalker Holdings became the first Black person appointed to the board. 

In early June and July, Pinterest was accused of racism and poor pay by its former employees. 

Ifeoma Ozoma , Aerica Shimizu Banks and a few unidentified individuals told the Washington Post they were being mistreated by their white peers. When the company claimed to stand in solidarity with Black lives, Ozoma called them out and shared some of the experiences she’d had while working at the company. According to her, she’d been “doxxed by a white male colleague,” and she claimed management was against her for requesting that health misinformation on their platform be limited and asking that images of weddings at former slave plantations be restricted.

Following the allegations, a campaign was created calling for Pinterest to increase pay for black employees. Employees arranged a walkout, and a website stood in solidarity with Ozoma and Banks. 

Pinterest CEO and co-founder Ben Silbermann confessed his company “needs to be better,” and guaranteed a person of color would soon be hired.

Silberman, who has followed through on his promise describes his new hire as a “passionate advocate for building a company culture of respect, integrity, inclusion and support. Wishom, he believes, will help in Pinterest’s quest of growth and improvement.

“I’ve been a Pinner since 2011 and having a one-of-a-kind platform that helps us achieve our goals and dreams is needed now more than ever,” Wishom said in a press release. “Part of meeting this moment is looking outside the expected and bringing different perspectives to the table,” she added. “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.”

After learning of the news, Ozoma expressed she is neither impressed or satisfied. “Pinterest is doing what many organizations steeped in the practices of white supremacy do – distracting from the issues at hand,” she tweeted. “Instead of apologizing/paying us equitably for our work, they’ve said ‘We added one of *you* to our board, so be grateful.’” 

“We are not grateful for the performative gestures,” she went on. “We, and the many employees who protested on Friday, demand real action. Make me, @erikashimizu and @FrancoiseBr whole. Pay us for the value we brought to @Pinterest. THEN work on addressing the toxic culture.”

Ozoma also urged the company to “remove the “leaders” who discriminated and retaliated against us, but who are still gainfully employed,” clarifying her attack is not on Wishom but on Pinterest.



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