Discrimination charges at Pinterest reveal a hidden Silicon Valley hiring problem

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Two Black women who worked at Pinterest went public with their stories of pay disparity and discrimination. Their experience illuminates tech’s wider problems with pay “leveling.” In July of 2018, Ifeoma Ozoma started a new job as the public policy and social impact manager at Pinterest. After working on the large public policy teams at Facebook and Google, she was excited to be the second person on Pinterest’s team, where her responsibilities included leading half of the global public policy team’s work. She believed she would be building the team from the ground up, with the head of public policy as her partner. Plus, Pinterest was pre-IPO, meaning that there was a significant financial opportunity to be had once the company went public. Read Full Story

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‘Blatant racism in practice’: For Pinterest whistleblowers, COO’s settlement is a slap in the face

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Critics say Pinterest’s $22.5 million settlement with its former COO highlights the company’s inequitable treatment of the Black women who first alerted the world to Pinterest’s discrimination problems. Earlier this week, Pinterest settled a gender discrimination lawsuit with its former chief operating officer for $22.5 million—one of the largest public individual settlements for gender discrimination in history. The seven-figure award goes to Francoise Brougher, once the number two executive at Pinterest, who says she was fired in retaliation for raising claims of pay disparity, discrimination, and exclusion at the virtual pinboard company. Read Full Story

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Former Pinterest executive: ‘I really hit the glass ceiling very hard’

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At the Fast Company Innovation Festival, Françoise Brougher talked about her experience with gender discrimination—and what companies can do to create a more equitable work culture. In April, Françoise Brougher was fired from her post as the chief operating officer at Pinterest. The news was delivered to her during a 10-minute video call, and, as Brougher later recounted in a Medium post , the only explanation Pinterest offered was that she was not collaborative and lacked “strong cross-functional relationships.” Read Full Story

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Why so many women in tech get told they’re ‘not strategic’

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A female tech executive breaks down what’s really going on when qualified women are hit with this often-bogus claim. When former Pinterest COO Francoise Brougher wrote last month about “rampant discrimination, hostile work environment, and misogyny” at the company she once led, her story cut to the quick for many women in tech. Brougher was fired in April after a successful two-year tenure when, she says, she spoke up about gender discrimination at the male-dominated social media giant. She has since filed suit . Read Full Story

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How Monica Lewinsky became a leading cyberbullying advocate

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From her essential work helping to craft harrowing PSAs to her growing clout as a producer, Lewinsky has devoted herself to stopping this digital scourge. It’s not a distinction Monica Lewinsky is proud of, but in many ways, she was Patient Zero for cyberbullying. Today, she is a leading voice in the fight against online public shaming and its effects on young people. Working with the ad agency BBDO New York over the past three years, she has helped craft a series of searing public service announcements that bring to life some devastating statistics: that 59% of American teens have been harassed online, and a UNICEF poll found that one in three teens in 30 countries had been subjected to some form of cyberbullying. “The Epidemic,” which was launched in October 2019 and attracted national media such as The Today Show and Teen Vogue , follows an average American teen …

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Why we need to bring the entrepreneurship narrative back to small-business owners

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If there were ever a time to elevate small business, it’s in the middle of a crisis. Melissa Mazzeo began her career with the goal of making a big impact on the world. Her first professional role was at a global public health organization, which took her to Uganda among other areas in need. Later, she went to Yale University for an MBA and master’s in environmental management. At that point, she was resolved to do something bold for a business student at an elite institution; she wanted to take over her mom’s small business. Read Full Story

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What the CROWN Act means for Black women at work

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The CROWN Act was meant to combat hair discrimination in the workplace. But some are worried about how fast real change will come. The job hunt can be difficult for anyone. But for Black women, even being perceived as professional can be its own feat. When Brianne Cash prepared for an interview with an insurance company early in her career, she was mostly concerned about how the interviewer would view her—specifically her natural hair. Read Full Story

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Why this AI engineer is using sci-fi to unpack tech’s biggest problems

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Data scientist S.B. Divya explains how her work influenced her new novel, and offers her thoughts on where technology is headed and why she remains optimistic. S.B. Divya’s new science fiction thriller, Machinehood , is set in a not-too-distant future when people have access to tabletop biotech labs that churn out everything from cures for new diseases to performance-enhancing drugs. But they find that taking such drugs is all but mandatory as they compete for paying gig work in an economy where more and more jobs can be done by artificial intelligence. Read Full Story

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Diversity and Inclusion in SEO: BIPOC and LGBTQ+ SEOs Share Their Experiences

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Posted by NicoleDeLeon People around the world are having important discussions about systemic racism, overt and covert bias, and how we can all do better. Understanding the problem is the first step. To get a sense of conditions within the SEO community, we asked people to take our Diversity and Inclusion in SEO survey as part of our ongoing project to study the state of SEO . Due to the subject matter and the way we reached out, our respondents were not a snapshot of the industry as a whole. We were very pleased to have 326 SEOs complete the survey, including a significant number of female, BIPOC, and LGBTQ+ participants. These are important voices that need to be heard, but as we analyzed the data, we were careful not to generalize the industry as a whole without accounting for potential sampling bias. We addressed this by looking at groups …

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MacKenzie Bezos unveils her first public philanthropic effort—with a famous partner

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MacKenzie Bezos and Melinda Gates are teaming up for a philanthropic effort to help women gain more power and influence by 2030. MacKenzie Bezos is dipping her toe into the public philanthropy world as a divorcée. Her first publicly announced project offers a glimpse into her interests: helping women from all backgrounds gain more power . She is teaming up with a famous peer, Melinda Gates, to launch the Equality Can’t Wait Challenge , which will give $30 million to the organizations with the best plans to expand women’s influence in the United States by 2030. Read Full Story

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