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Pinterest Ex-COO Sues the Company for Gender Discrimination

By Eric Volkman – Aug 12, 2020 at 2:21PM

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Francoise Brougher claims that female executives at the hobby-pinning website operator "are marginalized, excluded, and silenced."

Pinterest (PINS -3.52%) is the target of a lawsuit from one of its former top executives. In a lawsuit filed on Tuesday, former COO Francoise Brougher is suing the hobby-pinning website operator for gender discrimination. She alleges that she was fired by the company after she spoke out about such issues.

Brougher's suit also claims that she was excluded from key meetings and was paid less than Pinterest's male executives.

Judge banging a gavel.

Image source: Getty Images.

On the same day she filed the lawsuit, Brougher wrote a lengthy article in Medium about her experiences. In it, she claimed that her experiences reflected an ingrained culture of sexism at the company that is particularly inappropriate given its audience.

"Although 70% of Pinterest's users are women, the company is steered by men with little input from female executives," she said. "Pinterest's female executives, even at the highest levels, are marginalized, excluded, and silenced."

A spokeswoman at the company was quoted by The New York Times as saying that "[o]ur employees are incredibly important to us."

The spokeswoman also said that Pinterest aimed to foster a workplace in which "all of our employees feel included and supported." According to her, the company is currently undergoing a review of its corporate culture and conduct by an unnamed third party.

Brougher's legal action comes shortly after a similar lawsuit was filed in July against fintech company Carta by Emily Kramer, that company's ex-vice president for marketing. That legal action is pending.

On Wednesday, Pinterest stock was up by 3.5% in mid-afternoon trading, well outpacing the gains of the wider market.


Eric Volkman has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Pinterest. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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