When McKenna Rogers landed a role on the finance team at Pinterest in 2018, she felt like she had arrived. She loved the platform — so much that she used it to assist with her wedding planning. Forbes had included Pinterest in a list of companies the year before where women want to work most.
Three years later, stories of racism and insensitiveness from disgruntled workers poked holes in Pinterest’s welcoming aesthetic. Ifeoma Ozoma and Aerica Shimizu Banks submitted allegations of racial discrimination at the company in June. Two months later former COO Françoise Brougher sued Pinterest for sexism and harassment against women and men. She explicitly called out Chief Financial Officer Todd Morgenfeld, who is a performance review had allegedly made offensive remarks and given her derogatory feedback.
The concerns with the finance team go beyond what Brougher described in her case. Interviews with four former workers indicate a pattern of unfair treatment in the department for women and people of color, including insensitive boss remarks and unequal pay and leveling.
The issues started for Rogers shortly after she began when her employer took a keen interest in her personal life. Rogers was separated from her husband and says her boss, as they both lived in the South Bay, frequently asked who she was dating about and offered to send her rides home. He told her all about his divorce when she eventually relented and let him drive her to the train station. As she said that through a previous job she met her boyfriend, she says that he shared the enthusiasm that she had been dating at work. The interaction left her extremely nervous.
The chances had started adding up. Rogers thought her manager hadn’t set specific targets and sometimes insinuated she didn’t meet his standards. For days at a time, he would leave the workplace, then go back and micromanage her job. He often routed her tasks through another team member, but that person was not Rogers’ boss. “There were a lot of very nice people at Pinterest but relationship-building was hard, there was so much backstabbing it was nuts,” says Rogers. “They were cutthroat. Everybody just tried to go up.
When Pinterest sent out a Pulse survey and followed up on the findings with staff, Rogers was frank about how she felt her boss might be changing. She hoped the details would remain private. She was taken aside by her boss later and berated. “Going with your input to my boss is disappointing because it makes me look poor,” McKenna recalls telling him. This contact was replicated in emails sent in 2019 by Rogers to the HR team which was checked.
Rogers sent a follow-up email to the HR team on August 8th, 2019, saying she and her manager had met and it hadn’t been going well. She said she’d work for the day from home as she didn’t feel relaxed in the office anymore.