Pinterest’s former COO sues for alleged gender discrimination


Pinterest users create virtual pinboards.


A former chief operating officer has accused Pinterest of gender discrimination and retaliation. In a lawsuit filed Tuesday, ex-COO Francoise Brougher alleges that she was marginalized and excluded from important decisions for refusing to “take a back seat to her male peers.” Brougher, who worked as COO for two years, said she was terminated in April for objecting to demeaning and sexist treatment. 

“Pinterest’s female executives, even at the highest levels, are marginalized, excluded, and silenced,” Brougher said in a statement published on Medium. “According to Pinterest, I was fired not for the results I achieved, but for not being ‘collaborative.’ I believe that I was fired for speaking out about the rampant discrimination, hostile work environment, and misogyny that permeates Pinterest.”

Pinterest, a lifestyle-focused social network whose audience is around 70 percent female, didn’t immediately respond to CNET’s request for comment. In a statement to The New York Times, a spokeswoman said Pinterest is reviewing the suit, adding that it’s committed to a culture in which “all of our employees feel included and supported.”

In June, two former Pinterest employees, both black women, said they experienced racial discrimination and faced retaliation after raising concerns about unfair pay in the workplace.

Silicon Valley has long struggled with diversity and has faced repeated accusations of gender bias. Numerous tech giants, including Facebook, Twitter, Uber and VC firm Kleiner Perkins, have also been accused of gender discrimination. 

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