Pinterest has a new global head of diversity.
According to AdWeek, Nichole Barnes Marshall has been named the company’s new global head of diversity. She comes to the company from Bath & Body Works, where she served as chief diversity, equity, and inclusion officer.
But as AfroTech previously reported, Marshall will undoubtedly have a long road ahead of her.
In January 2020, Pinterest released its annual report, where they claimed they were reaffirming its commitment to diversity and inclusion. But the numbers told a very different story: white people make up most of the total company employees (45 percent), with Asians closely following (44 percent). The figures representing other racial groups remain paltry, with Hispanic or Latinx individuals constituting six percent, followed by Black people at four percent. Alaska Natives and Pacific Islanders and employees of two or more races represent one percent of employees.
Amidst the backlash surrounding this annual report that prompted Pinterest to hire a global head of diversity, the company chose Tyi McCray to fill the position that was first created in 2016.
Unfortunately, McCray’s hiring wasn’t enough to stem the tide turning against the popular visual platform. In August 2020, Pinterest’s former chief operating officer Francoise Brougher filed a lawsuit against Pinterest, alleging that she was unlawfully terminated for bringing up issues, including sexist comments directed toward her, to then-chief human resources officer Jo Dennis and Silbermann. Brougher eventually settled with the company in December 2020. The company agreed to pay $20 million to Brougher, plus devote $2.5 million to “advancing women and underrepresented communities in the technology industry.”
What happened to Pinterest's prior Global Head of Diversity?
Tyi McCray was Pinterest’s first-ever global head of diversity. She came on board with the company in August 2020. But her hiring was amidst a flurry of controversy. According to Protocol, McCray’s hiring came just two months after Pinterest was accused of discrimination and retaliation by two former employees, Ifeoma Ozoma and Aerica Shimizu Banks.
But when she left the company, McCray said she was proud of the work she’d done.
“I’m proud of the work I’ve done during my time at Pinterest,” she said. “We’ve increased the number of women and candidates from underrepresented races and ethnicities interviewed for open roles, we expanded our apprenticeship program to increase opportunities for women and diverse candidates, and set bold diversity goals for the future.”