Fired Pinterest executive speaks out about sexism in company

Pinterest's former chief operating officer Françoise Brougher has accused the company of firing her for 'speaking out about the rampant discrimination, hostile work environment, and misogyny' in the business. 

Brougher, who was the top female executive at the firm, left Pinterest suddenly in April this year with little explanation provided. 

But in a lawsuit filed on Tuesday, Brougher accused the $21billion virtual pinboard business of sacking her after she complained about sexist treatment. 

Brougher claims in a suit filed in San Francisco Superior Court that she was excluded from important meetings, paid less than male coworkers, and was given gender-specific feedback. 

Pinterest is is understood to be defending the claim. 

Brougher has accused the $21billion virtual pinboard business of sacking her after she complained about sexist treatment

Brougher has accused the $21billion virtual pinboard business of sacking her after she complained about sexist treatment

She alleges that ultimately she was fired from the position she had held since 2018 by CEO Ben Silbermann after raising concerns over her treatment.

'When men speak out, they get rewarded. When women speak out, they get fired,' she told the New York Times.

Brougher was responsible for the company's revenue as COO and had around 1,000 employees reporting to her. 

She only discovered she was paid less than male colleagues when Pinterest, which has a particularly large female audience, filed to go public last year. 

'Even at the very top ranks of a public company, female executives can be targeted for sex discrimination and retaliation,' the lawsuit stated. 

'Although Pinterest markets itself to women looking for inspiration, the company brazenly fired its top female executive for pointing out gender bias within Pinterest's male dominated leadership team.' 

Brougher referenced a culture of 'constant exclusion' and claims she was not invited to board meetings after Pinterest went public. 

Members of her team, however, were occasionally invited to those meetings without her knowledge, the suit adds. 

Neither was she invited on the 'road show' to meet with investors for the company's public offering, the suit claims. 

Brougher says she was excluded from meetings by Pinterest's CEO Silbermann (pictured) which made it 'impossible' to do her job

Todd Morgenfeld, Chief Financial Officer, at Pinterest Headquarters in San Francisco, California

Brougher says she was excluded from meetings by Pinterest's CEO Silbermann (left) which made it 'impossible' to do her job. Pictured right is Todd Morgenfeld, Chief Financial Officer, at Pinterest headquarters in San Francisco.

'When you are brought in as a No. 2, you are expected to advise the CEO,' she said. 'But when you are not in the meeting where the decisions are made and don't have the context, it makes your job harder.' 

The suit also alleges that Pinterest's chief financial officer Todd Morgenfeld asked her in front of colleagues, 'What is your job anyway?', as well as giving her feedback she believed to be sexist. 

Brougher claims that Morgenfeld raised his voice and terminated the call when she questioned him about this over a video chat. 

CEO Silbermann was dismissive of her concerns around Morgenfield, the suit alleges. 

Court records claim that Silbermann compared the situation to a domestic dispute. HR treated it as a legal matter, the suit added. 

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