Female creative director claims she was ‘erased’ from Pinterest’s founding

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A creative director filed a lawsuit Monday against online bookmarking site Pinterest and its two co-founders, alleging he helped create the idea for the site but never received any recognition or payment.

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Christine Martinez, a creative director and storyteller, alleged that she co-created Pinterest and made it clear that she expected to receive funding if her ideas were successful. But after the company went public in 2019, which raised nearly $1.4 billion (£1 billion), it got nothing, she says.

Pinterest did not respond to requests for comment. Co-founders Ben Silberman and Paul Cyra, who are named in the suit, did not respond to messages sent on social media.

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Pinterest, which is popular with female users and co-founded by three male executives, has faced allegations of gender discrimination from female employees over the past two years. In December, Pinterest agreed to pay $22.5 million (£16.2 million) to settle a lawsuit from its former chief operating officer, François Brauger, who alleged gender discrimination and retaliation.

A few months earlier, two former Pinterest public policy executives, Ifoma Ozoma and Erika Shimizu Banks, alleged in a viral Twitter post that they were underpaid and faced racist comments from their manager.

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one in Washington Post In the investigation, several women said that women employees were thrown out without warning and sometimes scolded and the officers did not face any consequences. Pinterest said at the time that it had hired an outside law firm to conduct an independent review of the company’s culture.

Ms. Martinez was never an official Pinterest employee and had no written contract. But she said she was involved in some of the initial brainstorming that resulted in the company in early 2008, including the marketing strategy and the firm’s name. Pinterest was launched in 2009.

As the site launched, she said, she promoted the company on “Good Morning America” ​​and created a training class for brands “in consultation with Silberman and Cyrra.” Their involvement ended around 2012.

Ms Martinez’s lawsuit points to the fact that the majority of Pinterest users are believed to be women. Ms Martinez alleged that she helped Mr Silberman and Mr Saira create features that would attract and inspire female users. He connected them with bloggers and creators, she said in an interview on Monday.

“They were trying to make a product for women, but they are not women,” he said, adding that he helped them understand their customer base and prepare the site for it.

Ms Martinez said she, her now husband and Mr Silberman were all best friends and she never doubted that Mr Silberman would recognize her for the work she had done.

“I realized that for me, the IPO was the day I got passed,” she said. “I was passed over for money, recognition, credit.”

According to the complaint filed in California Superior Court, Ms. Martinez advised two of Pinterest’s co-founders on key elements of the company’s vision, including thinking of a “social media platform where users will create visual stories that tell themselves and others.” where these visual expressions can be arranged in a way that expresses the personality and style of each user.”

The complaint alleges that the co-founders came to him repeatedly for ideas and connections.

The complaint alleges, “They divided among themselves $2 billion (£1.4 billion) of the $14 billion (£10 billion) in equity value on the day Pinterest went public, and paid a single dollar to the plaintiffs.” Didn’t pay.” “They erased the plaintiffs from the history of the creation of Pinterest.”

Ms Martinez is seeking payment for her work in an unspecified amount.

Washington Post

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Credit: www.independent.co.uk /

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