After Pinterest shared a public response in support of the #BlackLivesMatter protests back in June, the two employees criticized the company, saying that despite its public commentary, its own culture was not in-line with its supportive sentiments.
Former employee Ifeoma Ozoma outlined the way that she was treated on the basis of race within the company, and how she felt compelled to keep such quiet in the interests of professionalism.
I am SO proud of the initiatives I led in my time there – addressing health misinfo decisively is no longer novel thanks to that work. I just wish it wasn’t sullied by the racism, gaslighting, & disrespect from my manager, skip level, and the company’s legal & HR leadership. 7/
— Ifeoma Ozoma (@IfeomaOzoma) June 15, 2020
The revelations forced Pinterest to re-assess its systems, and initiate a special committee review, which how now been released, outlining eight key areas of focus for Pinterest moving forward.
The key elements of focus in the report are:
- Focus on the Foundation – The report calls on Pinterest’s leadership to model the behavior they want to see throughout the company
- Champion Diversity, Equality and Inclusion – The report recommends increase investment in Pinterest’s Inclusion and Diversity team
- Prioritize People – The report also calls for people to ‘elevate the function that supports employees’ in order to build a stronger culture
- Build Trust and Transparency in Decisions that Impact Pay and Promotions – Creating a more equitable, transparent system of advancement
- Set Clear Expectations – Establish more defined policies to protect employees
- Give Employees the Tools They Need to Succeed – Pinterest should train employees on the company values
- Investigate with Consistency and Care – Ensure all workplace concerns are investigated and adequately addressed
- Support from the Board – The report also recommends that Pinterest’s board undergo training in diversity, equality and inclusion, and commit to establishing a more defined approach on workplace culture
The full report details specific steps for each recommendation, providing a clear path for Pinterest to improve its approach, and its internal culture.
It’s a good summary of the key issues of focus, which all organizations could stand to learn from, and hopefully, it will provide Pinterest with a way forward to evolve its approach and maximize inclusion within its teams.
For a platform that focuses on creativity, and positivity, it still seems somewhat surprising that Pinterest has had such embedded issues within its workplace culture, but hopefully, with a clean slate, and new processes to guide the way forward, it can improve its approach on each front.