Pinterest continued to take steps to fix what CEO Ben Silbermann called "broken" culture in June, and partnered with the NAACP to form a new advisory board on inclusion.
The new group will meet regularly with Pinterest executives – including Silbermann and Tyi McCray, who joined the company in August as global leaders for inclusion and diversity – to review progress on diversity goals and make recommendations Further encourage the creation of inclusive features and content to provide guidance on corporate culture.
Additional organizations and experts will be selected to join the council based on their extensive experience in addressing key issues in underserved communities.
Joshua DuBois will be part of the Inclusion Advisory Council. He was the director of Barack Obama's presidential campaign and is currently the CEO of Values Partnerships, a social impact consulting firm.
Former Pinterest employees, Ifeoma Ozoma and Aerica Shimizu Banks, took to Twitter in June to share their complaints, including questions about salary and leveling, and retaliation they allegedly faced after speaking. They are both black women who held the title of public policy and social impact manager before leaving the company in May.
Silbermann then wrote in an email received from Bloomberg News and confirmed as correct by Pinterest. “What I've learned in the last few weeks is that parts of our culture are broken. In all honesty, I didn't understand how much work we have to do. That's not an excuse, this is a failure in leadership, and it does me really sorry that I let you down. I am grateful that so many of you have had the courage to honestly and openly share your experiences. "
He admitted the company lacks diverse representation, particularly in leadership roles, and said that executive recruitment plans are now "embedded" in core role expectations and performance reviews for Pinterest's leadership team.
Silbermann also promised to add a colored person to Pinterest's board of directors by the end of the year to keep that promise with the appointment in August of Andrea Wishom, president of Skywalker Holdings, and former executive vice president of programming and strategy for Freeform for ABC Family Salaam Coleman Smith Canal in October.
Silbermann said in a statement, “We continue to take steps to make Pinterest a company with an inspired culture where all employees are empowered and valued as we develop a product that reflects our diverse population of pinners around the world . Developing our strategies and measures together with experts in this field will help us bring about meaningful and lasting change. "
McCray added, “Inclusion and diversity are not just a value. Making the best decisions and building the strongest teams is fundamental. Dedication to this work is a priority across the organization, and we are incredibly grateful to the NAACP and Joshua DuBois for their partnership. "
Yumeka Rushing, NAACP's chief strategy officer, said, “This moment of reckoning requires all organizations not only to reaffirm their commitment to continuing to build a diverse, equitable and inclusive culture, but also to take the steps necessary to move forward. We're excited to be working with Pinterest to bring diverse voices together and drive impactful change. "
And DuBois added, “We are proud to partner with Pinterest on this very important advisory board. This board will be central to ensuring that Pinterest is listening, learning and engaging with communities, and we believe this will have a significant impact. "