Pinterest has shared its latest Inclusion and Diversity update, which highlights the various ways that the platform is working to maximize inclusion, and improve its hiring and management processes to ensure equal representation within its business approach.
This became a much bigger focus for the platform over the past year, after the #BlackLivesMatter movement prompted some former Pinterest employees to share their experiences at the company, which outlined a culture of racial and gender bias.
That prompted Pinterest to reassess and redesign its diversity efforts.
As explained by Pinterest:
“This year the impact of the global pandemic changed how we live and work, and the resurgence of racial justice movements spanned the globe. These events pushed us to have important conversations and reinforced the need to be deliberate about our own culture. We listened to employees as they shared their experiences and are committed to doing better. More to improve our culture, more to improve our product, and more to bring inspiration to people around the world.”
That renewed approach does appear to be having an impact – according to Pinterest’s data, it’s seeing improvement on several key fronts, at least from a staffing perspective.
Pinterest also notes that it’s steadily improving its hiring rates, in line with this renewed focus.
These are still only proportions of the company’s overall hires, but it is good to see Pinterest taking a more focused approach to address internal diversity, which will ideally help the company build a more inclusive workplace culture as a result.
Pinterest further notes that it’s adhering to three key principles in its updated hiring practices:
- Ensuring at least 80% of open roles in the U.S. adhere to a diverse slates approach, guaranteeing that women and candidates from underrepresented races and ethnicities are interviewed for open roles
- Expanding our apprenticeship program from Engineering to the Product team. This program increases opportunities for candidates from underrepresented races and ethnicities to enter the tech industry
- Focusing on skills and capabilities in our interview process to attract talented candidates from outside of the tech industry
In addition, Pinterest also says that it has now achieved pay equity across gender and race in the US, and it’s implemented new, internal training programs to help foster inclusion in the workplace.
Pinterest is also evolving its external products and tools in line with these same principles, including improved machine learning systems, which are now being specifically assessed for bias, and representation of creators in the app.
“We work with retailers and creators from diverse backgrounds to make sure content on Pinterest represents the diversity of our global Pinner base. Last year, we set a goal that at least half of our managed creators come from underrepresented backgrounds. We have met this goal and are amplifying these voices in features like the Today Tab, Shopping Spotlights the Pinterest Shop, and are providing financial support through the Creator Fund. We also use our platform to celebrate important cultural moments, elevate organizations aligned with our values and provide education about social issues including an 8-week editorial series with emotional experts, coined “Friday Feels”, which focused on emotional well-being and shared resources on our Today Tab to #StopAsianHate.”
Given the various elements of division that are present within modern society, these initiatives can play a key role in maximizing inclusion – because it’s often social platforms like these that provide a window to the wider world. And if that window has a limited perspective, that, in turn, ensures that users are equally limited in their understanding.
As such, these are critically important elements of focus, for Pinterest and all social platforms, and it’s good to see Pinterest making progress on several key fronts.
Of course, hiring rates and education programs are only one part. As noted, Pinterest has traditionally done well in meeting its hiring goals, but even so, problems still permeated within its internal culture.
These are not solutions within themselves, but Pinterest’s broader focus, and the implementation of various new initiatives, will hopefully yield positive results for a more inclusive culture at the company.
You can read Pinterest’s full 2021 Inclusion and Diversity report here.