Pinterest’s Board of Directors special committee, formed in June with diversity issues in mind, issued its recommendations on Wednesday, and co-founder and CEO Ben Silbermann said in an email to the staff posted on the company’s blog it was published that it is a management team obliged to follow these recommendations.
Silbermann said the committee worked with WilmerHale to come up with their suggestions on how to improve the culture and work environment at Pinterest, and he noted that it took the leadership team some time to process everything, as it was at the same time as the report every other employee received.
He wrote: “After a brief review, I was encouraged to see that many of your suggestions reflected the efforts we have already made to build a culture in which all employees feel included and supported. I was also encouraged to see new suggestions and approaches that we can implement to improve our culture. “
Silbermann also highlighted steps Pinterest has already taken in this direction, including:
- Tyi McCray joined the company in August as global leader for inclusion and diversity.
- Andrea Wishom, president of Skywalker Holdings, joined the Pinterest board of directors in August, along with former executive vice president of programming and strategy for ABC Family’s Freeform channel, Salaam Coleman Smith, in October.
- Pinterest has implemented a diverse slate requirement for new hires, especially at higher levels.
- The inclusion training for employees has been revised and expanded.
- Business goals have been set to increase the representation of content displayed on Pinterest for pinners.
- Pinterest has partnered with the NAACP to form an Inclusion Advisory Board.
Highlights of the Special Committee’s recommendations included:
- The company’s leadership team should define their vision, form an implementation team, advocate for diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), and invest in and empower their DEI team.
- Employees should be educated about inclusiveness and unconscious prejudices.
- Pinterest employee communities should be strengthened.
- DEI should be highlighted when recruiting.
- Pinterest’s most valuable resource is people, and they should be treated as such.
- Trust and transparency need to be added to decisions that affect pay and promotion.
- The investigation process into allegations of incidents such as discrimination, harassment and retaliation must be applied in a clear, transparent and consistent manner.
Silbermann concluded: “Where do we go from here? In the last few months I have met employees from all levels, teams and regions. So many of you have been open about your concerns. So these recommendations are not surprising. But they were still difficult to read. I want Pinterest to be an inspiring company with the best culture we can build. We have made progress this year. It’s going to be a long road that requires continued focus and commitment. We’re not there yet. But with hard work, I know we’ll get there. I look forward to working with all of you to deliver these recommendations in 2021. “