Social media company Pinterest has agreed to pay $22.5m (£16.9m) to settle gender discrimination charges made by its former Chief Executive Officer.
The agreement with Francoise Brougher is the biggest award of its kind to be announced publicly.
The photo-sharing company known to have a heavily female user base said the action was part of a wider initiative to improve its culture”
The case came amid other condemnation from the former black female staff.
In a complaint filed in August, Ms. Brougher accused Pinterest of removing her from meetings after she had advocated for fair pay.
She said that Pinterest eventually fired her after she advocated for fair pay and raised questions about the gender-based remarks made by a colleague in the business.
The complaint claimed that the move “solidified Pinterest’s inhospitable environment for minorities and women”
Ms. Brougher, 55, worked at Pinterest from March 2018 until she was fired in April 2020. She managed a staff of around 1,000 employees.
In a tweet, Ms. Brougher said that she appreciated “the positive steps Pinterest has suggested to enhance its working environment and is encouraged that Pinterest is focused on building a country that enables all employees to feel more included valued”
The business and Ms. Brougher said that about $2.5 million of the settlement will be donated to groups working to advance minorities and women in the technology industry.
“Pinterest knows the importance of promoting a working environment that’s varied, equitable, and sustainable and can proceed its actions to enhance its cultural identity,” the group said during a statement.
After Ms. Brougher made her case public, some Pinterest staff staged a strike in response to her charges, as well as in rebuttal to the claims of discrimination by two former Black Pinterest employees. There was also a petition from the staff calling for change. Ms. Brougher’s lawyer, David Lowe, told journalists that the agreement was substantial for its size, charitable donation, and public release.
Sharon Vinick, employed lawyer who represents women and their rights in similar cases, told the NY Times that the dimensions of the settlement reflected the “seismic shift in attitudes towards gender discrimination”