Pinterest has added a new person to its board of directors, Andrea Wishom, who is the president of a real state company, Skywalker Holdings. This move has made Wishom Pinterest's first black board member and third female board member. Michelle Wislon was Pinterest's first female board member. She was appointed by the company in 2016 and was also Pinterest's first outside board member.
Wishom expressed her aims as part of Pinterest's board of directors in a statement in which she said that she is particularly interested in Pinterest's expansion into content and media. She further expressed her interest in the company's vision to have a new kind of conversation between employees and the board to bring different perspectives to the table. Wishom is ready to address the challenges within the company and said that she is committed to listening and sharing her perspective and providing guidance.
CEO of Pinterest, Ben Silbermann, said that he appointed Wishom months after meeting with candidates. He said that she stood out for a number of reasons. Among the reasons were Wishom's expertise in creating positive and inspirational content for global audiences, her passion for building a company culture of respect, integrity, inclusion and support, and her vision for redefining the relationship between employees and the board.
The announcement of Wishom's appointment was made after a virtual walkout that was staged by Pinterest employees as a response to gender and racial discrimination allegations. Former Pinterest COO sued the company over gender discrimination, retaliation, and wrongful termination. Prior to that, other former Pinterest employees also called out the company for the same issues.
Pinterest employees wrote in a petition that the company is being prevented from "achieving its mission to bring everyone the inspiration to create a life they love''. They said that Pinterest has been a leader in diversity and inclusive hiring, but it is not enough and that the diversity goals need to be ''applied from the top down and not just the bottom up.''. The employees stated that diverse and inclusive leadership will prevent discrimination and harassment among workers and help the company build a product that is relevant on a global level.
Pinterest employees further demanded a full transparency in terms of promotion levels and retention, compensation package and that the people within two layers of reporting to the CEO be at least 25% women and 8% underrepresentated employees.