20,000 signatures reached
To: Ben Silbermann, Co-Founder & CEO of Pinterest
Tell Pinterest: Pay your Black employees what you owe them!
We demand that Pinterest CEO, Ben Silbermann, issue an apology for the pay inequity he allowed his Black employees to experience under his watch, and that he hire an independent third party to evaluate employee pay by race and gender, with a full commitment to giving his current and former staffers the back pay they are owed.
Why is this important?
Last week, Pinterest CEO, Ben Silbermann, released a statement expressing solidarity with his Black staff in light of the recent protests against the police brutality our community is facing, and committed to taking action to support them, saying that “our Black employees matter.” The problem? Under Silbermann’s watch, Pinterest has not only underpaid its Black employees, but it has retaliated against those willing to take a stand against them with racist threats, intimidation, and harassment. And when one white employee went as far as to doxx a Black co-worker for speaking up, the company failed to do enough to protect her. While it’s easy to appreciate the wave of corporations, brands, and celebrities who are seeing the importance of publicly affirming their stance against racism, Pinterest needs to do much more than issue a statement to meaningfully support Black people. Company values or statements mean nothing unless they’re backed up by the leadership, the payroll, and the operations. If he really believes his Black employees matter, Ben Silbermann owes his current and former Black staff an apology, an independent third party evaluation of employee pay by race and gender, and a commitment to giving them the back pay they are owed.
Five years ago, “Black lives matter” was a controversial statement. Today, though structural white supremacy and racism persist, the leadership and political power of Black people have made the cost of failing to affirm this truth too high even for corporations like Pinterest to ignore. But we’ve seen how easily companies jump from diversity & inclusion messaging to underpaying their own Black workers, discriminating against Black customers, and harming Black users and community members. Pinterest is no exception. Ben Silbermann simply cannot claim to care about his Black staff without expecting us to examine the ways his actions contradict his words. Corporations that have anti-Blackness built into their business models need to follow up their statements against racism with concrete action.
In this moment we are publicly interrogating the harms Black people face from the institutions like the police that claim to keep us safe. But the fact is that plenty of corporations also bear responsibility for violence, harm, and discrimination against Black people, whether they carry it out, enable it, or profit from it. We deserve more than lip service from the companies that rely on us as workers, creators, and cultural ambassadors. Tell Ben Silbermann to put his money where his mouth is. Tell Pinterest to issue an apology, hire an independent third party to evaluate employee pay by race and gender, and give its Black employees the back pay they are owed immediately.