Published On: Thu, Aug 13th, 2020

Former COO sues Pinterest, accusing it of gender discrimination, plea and prejudicial termination

Pinterest’s former arch handling officer has filed a lawsuit accusing a association of gender discrimination. Françoise Brougher, who says she was abruptly dismissed from a association in April, is suing a association to reason it “accountable for discrimination, retaliation, and prejudicial stop in defilement of a Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), and a Labor Code,” according to a Tuesday filing in San Francisco Superior Court. (The full content of a filing is embedded below.)

Pinterest pronounced in Jun this year that it had about 400 million monthly active users, many of whom are women. But a tip executives are all men. “Ironically, even yet Pinterest markets itself to women as a source of lifestyle inspiration, a association care organisation is masculine dominated, and gender-biased attitudes are prevalent,” a lawsuit says.

Brougher alleges in her lawsuit that she was hired with a reduction auspicious equity remuneration package than her masculine peers. She claims that she was also left out of pivotal decision-making by other executives; was subjected to a antagonistic work environment; and eventually dismissed by arch executive officer Ben Silbermann when she spoke adult opposite her treatment.

Before fasten Pinterest in Mar 2018, Brougher hold executive positions during Square, Google and Charles Schawb. In a Medium post published today, she wrote, “I have always been a private person, yet we am opening adult about my believe since if someone of my payoff and seniority is dismissed for vocalization out about these issues, a conditions is expected distant worse for people progressing in their careers.”

Brougher’s box opposite Pinterest comes dual months after dual Black former employees, Ifeoma Ozoma and Aerica Shimizu Banks, indicted a association of unsymmetrical pay, secular taste and retaliation.

At a time Brougher was hired, a lawsuit says she was told Pinterest’s house destined executives to accept backloaded equity grants. Her equity extend stipulated that usually 10% of shares vested in a initial year, followed by 20% a second year, 30% a third year, and 40% a fourth year. Brougher insincere this vesting report was customary for Pinterest executives.

When a association filed to go open final year, however, Brougher satisfied while looking during a S-1 filing that her masculine peers’ equity grants were not backloaded. Brougher’s remuneration was practiced after she lifted concerns with Silbermann, who destined her to Pinterest’s tellurian resources department.

Brougher says she was not invited on Pinterest’s IPO roadshow, notwithstanding being a COO and suggestive many of a company’s investors.

After Pinterest’s initial open charity in Apr 2019, Brougher says she was no longer invited to house meetings, even yet members of her organisation spasmodic were — infrequently though her knowledge. “As COO of Pinterest, Ms. Brougher no longer had suggestive rendezvous with a company’s board,” a lawsuit says.

“The abrasiveness trap”

Brougher’s fit also claims that she began receiving some-more vicious feedback, and cites a investigate by tech executive Kieran Snyder called “The Abrasiveness Trap,” that found women are assessed some-more negatively than organisation in 248 reviews collected from 28 companies of opposite sizes. Snyder found that 87.9% of reviews for women contained vicious feedback, compared to 58.9% of reviews for men. Their personalities were a concentration of critique in 75.5% of vicious reviews for women, compared to only 2.4% of a vicious reviews perceived by men.

The lawsuit says Silbermann criticized Brougher for “not being collaborative and told her that she did not have consistently healthy cross-functional relationships.” When Brougher asked him for some-more details, she claims “he told her to keep quiet, observant she should ‘be mindful’ of how she acted in a organisation setting.”

Pinterest’s arch financial officer Todd Morgenfeld also allegedly became “increasingly disrespectful” to Brougher commencement in Jan 2020, undermining her management by ignoring her and articulate directly to her organisation members.

In one meeting, Brougher says Morgenfeld sarcastically asked, “What is your pursuit anyway?” Silbermann would also wait to make pivotal plan decisions after meetings Brougher attended, assembly with one or dual masculine colleagues after she had left.

In February, a lawsuit says Brougher perceived a counterpart examination created by Morgenfeld, even yet she had not been asked to examination him. Despite Brougher’s work on Pinterest’s IPO, advertiser bottom and monetization plan in Europe, a lawsuit says a “Morgenfeld’s only criticism on her 2019 achievements was: “Seems to be a champion for farrago issues.”

During a video call with Morgenfeld on Feb 21, 2020, Brougher says she attempted to residence his feedback, yet that he became indignant during a call, lifted his voice, called her a liar and questioned a value she brought to Pinterest before unresolved adult on her.

After a call, Brougher says she texted Silbermann and told him it had not left well. On Feb 24, she met with Pinterest’s Chief Human Resources Officer Jo Dennis and pronounced she wanted to find a approach to work with Morgenfeld, yet was worried assembly alone with him. Instead of mediating between Brougher and Morgenfeld, a lawsuit alleges Dennis treated a matter as a probable authorised issue, sharpening it to Pinterest’s in-house counsel.

On a same day, Brougher also met with Silbermann. She says that Silbermann compared a conditions between Morgenfeld and Brougher to “an aged integrate fighting over who would make coffee,” a criticism a lawsuit calls a “gendered acknowledgement that trivialized her regard about sex taste by comparing it to a wife’s censure about domestic trouble.”

On Apr 2, a filing says Silbermann told Brougher that she was being dismissed and asked her to send her responsibilities to Morgenfeld over a subsequent month. He also told her to tell her organisation that she had done a preference to leave, that she refused to do. Brougher claims her stop cost her “tens of millions of dollars in mislaid gain and equity compensation.”

Brougher is being represented by law organisation Rudy, Exelrod, Zieff Lowe, that also represented Ellen Pao in her gender taste lawsuit opposite Kleiner Perkins.

TechCrunch has reached out to Pinterest for comment. In a matter to The New York Times, a Pinterest deputy pronounced a association is conducting an eccentric examination of a culture, policies and practices.

BROUGHER_VS_PINTEREST.pdf by TechCrunch on Scribd

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