Inspiration starts with inclusion
At Pinterest, we’re on a mission to bring everyone the inspiration to create a life they love. When we say “everyone,” we mean everyone. And when we say “inspiration,” we believe that starts with inclusion. For our global workforce (Pinployees) and users (Pinners) to be inspired, we want them to feel safe, welcomed, valued and respected for their individuality. And to spark creativity, they must be exposed to new ideas, methods and options. That’s why every day at Pinterest, our Inclusion & Diversity (I&D) work strives for Pinclusion.
A note from Nichole Barnes Marshall, our new Global Head of Inclusion and Diversity:
“In reflecting on the work that took place in 2021, it is apparent that our I&D efforts are increasingly embedded throughout the company, and as a result, people on Pinterest are better able to create a life they love. I’m inspired by the progress we’re making in bringing the ultimate goal of I&D to fruition: ensuring employee representation becomes more reflective of the world we live in, actively engaging our Pinterest workforce in inclusive practices and equitable systems, continuing to build a platform that reflects our diverse population of 400+ million monthly global Pinterest users and partnering with organizations dedicated to justice, equity and wellness.
In this report, we will share our work and progress in 2021. While we have many updates to share, we recognize that there is still more to be done. Every day we’re taking action on our commitment to do right by our global Pinterest community, people on Pinterest and partners.” – Nichole Barnes Marshall (she/her/hers), Global Head of Inclusion and Diversity at Pinterest.
Identities are complex and always evolving. We’ve updated our reporting from past years to more accurately represent how employees identify and honor their whole selves. The following data reflects our updated methodology over the past three years.1
To better represent who works at Pinterest, last year we announced our ambitions to provide more opportunities for employees to share information about who they are. This included moving beyond the gender binary, disaggregating data to understand the diversity of people of Asian descent, and applying a more global lens to our demographics, where possible. To start this work, we’ve updated our methodology to more closely align with how employees currently self-identify and we’ve updated the data for the past three years to show year-over-year comparison. We acknowledge that there remains more work to be done for additional specificity.
At the end of 2021:
- 51% of all employees globally self-identified as women (up from 49% last year and 47% in 2019)
- 33% of global leadership roles were held by women (up from 30% last year and 25% in 2019)
- 30% of engineers globally self-identified as women (up from 29% last year and 25% in 2019)
- 16% of US employees self-identified as Black, Latiné or Hispanic, American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian and/or Pacific Islander (up from 12% last year and 10% in 2019)
- 10% of US leadership roles were held by employees who self-identified as Black, Latiné or Hispanic, American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian and/or Pacific Islander (up from 9% last year and 3% in 2019)
- 10% of US engineers self-identified as Black, Latiné or Hispanic, American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian and/or Pacific Islander (up from 8% last year and 7% in 2019)
2021 representation, including gender2 and race3 at the company, in leadership4 and in our engineering organization5. See our Methodology section for more data and additional information6.
Progress towards 2025 goals
Last year we announced our intention to increase the representation of women in leadership by 20% by 2025. At the end of 2021, 33% of leadership roles were held by women, putting us halfway towards our target since we set it. We are encouraged by our progress and expect to meet this goal ahead of our original timeline.
We also set a goal to increase representation of US employees who self-identify as Black, Latiné or Hispanic, American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian and/or Pacific Islander7, to 20% by 2025. At the end of 2021, 16% of our employees self-identified as such putting us halfway towards our goal since our commitment.
This progress is both encouraging and an invitation to revisit our goals and timelines to challenge ourselves to advance the work faster and farther.
Having a greater diversity of voices represented in our workforce will remain a priority, and as we continue to grow, we will maintain a focus on equitable recruiting and hiring systems. Last year we advanced the following practices and programs as part of our hiring process:
- Diverse slates approach8: We remain committed to our diverse slate approach, ensuring that qualified candidates who are women, Black, Latiné or Hispanic, Indigenous, Native Hawaiian and/or Pacific Islander are interviewed for open roles. In 2021, 82% of open roles adhered to our diverse slates approach.
- Hiring programs:
- We hosted our 6th Engineering Apprenticeship Cohort, and our first Product Apprenticeship cohort. These programs increase opportunities for candidates from non-traditional backgrounds and people who are women, LGBTQ+, Black, Latiné or Hispanic, Indigenous, Native Hawaiian and/or Pacific Islander to enter the tech industry. Based on the success of the programs, we are excited to expand the apprenticeship cohorts by over 50% in 2022.
- We developed the Ken Coleman Exceptional Talent Program to facilitate the creation of new positions and hiring flexibility with a focus on building diverse teams of senior engineers, product managers, designers and people managers. This includes focusing on talent who are Black, Latiné or Hispanic, Indigenous, Native Hawaiian and/or Pacific Islander.
- Degree requirements: We removed degree requirements from 90% of our job postings to make sure that we can attract qualified and talented candidates from a broader range of educational or career paths.
We believe that innovation and inspiration happen when people feel safe and empowered to share different perspectives—and when these perspectives are incorporated into key business decisions. While we’ve made significant updates to our inclusive hiring practices, we’re also going to great lengths to ensure our global Pinterest community feels seen, heard and valued.
At the beginning of this year, we updated our values based on collective feedback from across the company and with guidance from the Pinterest Change Network – a group of employees established in 2020 to advise on company initiatives aimed at enhancing our inclusive culture. All five of our evolved values incorporate aspects of Pinclusion, but one new value is worthy of expanding on here: Create Belonging. Through this value we each take responsibility for creating a culture of belonging by valuing individual identities, perspectives and life experiences. Additionally, divergent thinking, honest debate and real-time feedback are understood as the fuel for innovation and growth and by extending ourselves to others we build strong connections and support the well-being of our people.
We welcomed Donna Douglass Williams to lead our first ever Ombuds Program, thoughtfully designed in response to employee feedback. The Ombuds Office is focused on giving every employee the opportunity to engage confidentially with trained professionals for impartial and independent support in navigating challenging situations in the workplace. Donna joins Pinterest with experience leading the Ombuds Offices at MD Anderson Cancer Center, the United Nations and the World Health Organization.
Our Communities empower all of our Pinterest workforce through meaningful connections within and across groups, promoting allyship and enriching our workplace and platform. They drive skill building, professional development, recruiting, retention and volunteerism for their members. They engage our Pinterest workforce around critical topics and share insights that help make Pinterest a more inclusive platform for all Pinterest users. All of our Pinterest workforce are welcome and encouraged to join any of the Communities.
In 2021, we made progress in developing the structures that support our Communities. In addition to officially compensating our Community leadership members, we formalized their roles and have members of our I&D team focusing solely on Community operations and strategy. We have 10 Communities in the US and 15 chapters globally who contribute to business initiatives and are a space for connection and celebration.
In addition to our Pinterest Communities, we are deeply appreciative of groups such as Caregivers, Muslims, PinPlanet and Pinside Out (supporting mental health) that also contribute to the innovation of our platform and shape our culture.
We evolved our employee feedback program in 2021 by involving an external partner and introducing a set of survey questions specific to I&D. We are regularly studying that feedback to track differences in employee experiences, particularly within underrepresented groups. Based on what we learn, we actively solicit more detailed insight to identify ways to increase belonging across the workforce.
At Pinterest, we’re committed to evolving with the changing nature of our workforce. We recognize the unique needs of our trans and non-binary Pinployees when it comes to benefits. Our medical plans follow the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) standard of care and our US medical benefit plans include coverage for transgender services like hormone therapy, fertility, gender affirming surgery and counseling. Additionally, in December we introduced new family benefits for all Pinployees globally which went into effect at the beginning of this year.
Learning and development
An informed and engaged workforce is the cornerstone to building an inclusive culture. We launched the following I&D learning opportunities across the company:
- Two courses from the Transgender Training Institute to help our Pinterest workforce learn about foundational concepts, terminology and basic strategies for supporting transgender, non-binary and gender nonconforming people.
- A coaching program and a new inclusion module to help leaders adopt key inclusive leadership skills.
- Team education pilots around inclusive team building and psychological safety.
- Ongoing workshops for managers to learn how to adapt their management style to be more inclusive and supportive.
Belonging through product
As a visual inspiration platform, we have an opportunity and a responsibility to ensure our product not only makes people feel inspired, but also represented.
Supporting diverse representation
We are building more inclusive products with features like AR Try on and skin tone ranges, and in 2021 we also introduced hair pattern search which enables Pinterest users to refine hair searches by six different hair patterns: protective, coily, curly, wavy, straight and shaved/bald. We also introduced the option for people on Pinterest to select pronouns which appear next to their name on their profile. As our product evolves our teams will continue to focus on introducing features that allow Pinterest users to feel recognized and represented in their searches.
Using our hair pattern tool.
Policies and Creator Code
We continue to encourage our creators to uphold the Creator Code, a policy we introduced in 2020 designed to keep Pinterest a positive and inspiring place. And last year we launched a policy that prohibits all ads with weight loss language and imagery from our platform.
To help people on Pinterest shop their values, we launched a feature that allows eligible verified merchants to showcase their brand values and/or communities that they are aligned with on their profiles. Some of the identities merchants can select from include: Black, Latiné, Asian Pacific Islander, Indigenous, Woman, LGBTQ+ or Disability-owned.
It’s our mission to inspire everyone to create a life they love – both on our platform and in their lives. Carving out a more inclusive space requires action. This is why we provide financial support to—and partner with—organizations dedicated to justice, equity and wellness.
Our Pinterest Elevates Program (formerly known as Community Rebuild Program) is part of a larger initiative at Pinterest to amplify underrepresented businesses and enhance their digital marketing. Stemming from our core mission to create a platform that builds a sense of belonging, Pinterest Elevates offers both monetary and strategic support to help uplift business owners who are people of color, have disabilities, are LGBTQ+ and/or women.
Our Creator Fund program continues to provide support for creators from communities who’ve been disproportionately underrepresented on our platform. Given its success, we're making an even more robust investment with more opportunities for creators to participate and get hands-on support to evolve their content creation skills on Pinterest. The Fund supports creators of color, those with disabilities and members of the LGBTQ+ community.
Philanthropy and partnerships
Pinterest's social impact and philanthropy team has explicitly identified racial equity as a core crosscut for all of their work. For instance, in 2021 Pinterest committed $10 million to fund organizations that are increasing awareness of mental health and emotional wellbeing, addressing stigma and isolation, and advancing innovations in the field, all while explicitly tackling racial and other disparities in access to mental health care. As part of this commitment to emotional wellbeing, Pinterest donated nearly $3.5 million in grants in 2021 to organizations focused on emotional wellbeing services and resources for underrepresented and historically marginalized groups. Those partners and projects include:
- The Steve Fund: extensive partnerships with mental health experts and researchers from communities of color to develop interventions, programs and services, and knowledge-building activities that optimally support the needs and priorities of young people of color.
- The Trevor Project: multifaceted mental health support and crisis services for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning (LGBTQ+) youth.
- The Jed Foundation: research on Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) student mental health, the centering of equity in resources and programming, and new content with a focus on BIPOC youth.
- Active Minds: career pathways tool intended to encourage the next generation of diverse young people to pursue career paths, graduate school programs and fellowships, and volunteer opportunities in the mental health field.
- Tipping Point Community: POC9-Led: Impact Through Equity initiative is investing in leaders of color to deliver more equitable outcomes; plus, a mental health initiative is addressing inequities and gaps in the mental health care system in the Bay Area.
- Coffee Hip Hop and Mental Health: normalizing therapy and breaking down the stigmas surrounding mental health conversations in black and brown communities in Chicago.
We are excited to grow these partnerships and explore new ones in 2022.
In 2021 we reengaged in a substantial, multi-year partnership with /dev/color, and in November Pinterest became the flagship sponsor for the inaugural /dev/color conference. /dev/color is a global career accelerator for Black software engineers, technologists, and executives. We are proud to have /dev/color advise us on building community, supporting leadership development opportunities for Black technologists, and opportunities to connect and share knowledge through their signature events.
Inclusion Advisory Council
The Pinterest Inclusion Advisory Council, launched in 2020, comprises leaders from some of the top civil rights and justice organizations in the country:
- Eris T. Sims, Chief of Staff, The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
- John C. Yang, President and Executive Director, Asian Americans Advancing Justice - AAJC
- Maria Town, President and CEO, American Association of People with Disabilities
- Sonal Shah, Founding President, The Asian American Fund (TAAF)
- Nikki Pitre, Executive Director, Center for Native American Youth
- Rhonda Allen, President and CEO, /dev/color
- David Johns, Executive Director, National Black Justice Coalition
- Rodrigo Heng-Lehtinen, Executive Director, National Center for Transgender Equality
- Elsa Marie Collins, Founding Principal, Poderistas
- Judith Browne Dianis, civil rights and social justice leader
- Joshua DuBois, Founder and CEO, Values Partnerships
Over the course of 2021, the Inclusion Advisory Council met with Executive Leadership and Community leadership to shape internal conversations on product development, push Pinterest on the refinement of demographic data within the company, present research and best practices from their relative areas of expertise and advise on recruiting, onboarding and retention initiatives.
Inclusion Insiders Council
In 2021, we launched the Inclusion Insiders Council, which is composed of thought leaders, subject matter experts and influencers from multiple industries representing many of the communities we seek to inspire. The Inclusion Insiders Council is designed to offer direct guidance and thought partnership on the direction of new marketing campaigns, product development and strategic priorities. Through their unique perspectives and various areas of expertise, the cohort is able to offer authentic feedback on and to their respective communities.
Inclusion Insider Councilmembers
- Alfred Edmond, Jr, SVP/Executive Editor-at-Large, Black Enterprise
- Angie Jean-Marie, Founder and Principal, Fait La Force Strategies
- April Reign, Founder, #OscarsSoWhite, Principal, Reignstorm Ventures
- Bobby Carlton, VR/AR Professional and Executive Director of Immersive Learning, Ready Learner One
- Cecilia Chung, Senior Director, Strategic Initiatives, The Transgender Law Center
- Dr. Chantrise Holliman, Motivational Speaker and CEO, Disturb the Universe
- Ebonie Riley, DC Bureau Chief, National Action Network
- Feminista Jones, Educator, Public Speaker and Community Activist
- Lauren Slim, AmeriCorps Vista, Mayor's Office of Phoenix
- Richard Fowler, Jr., Host, The Richard Fowler Show and Fox News Contributor
- Ryan Letada, CEO and Co-Founder, NextDayBetter
- Stephanie Santiago-Rolon, Founder, Elevated Music Industries
Inspiration doesn’t just start with inclusion. Belonging is foundational for our company's mission, and is core to how we make the connection between I&D work and company success now and in the future. We’re committed to making Pinterest a place and a platform where people feel inspired and recognized, and will continue to push for inclusive and diverse practices that actualize Pinclusion every day.
1Traditional classifications need to be evaluated regularly, as they evolve over time. That’s why we’ve updated our reporting from past years to more accurately represent how our employees are choosing to self-identify. We’ve made the following changes which are reflected in this 2021 report:
- Updated how we categorize the race or ethnicity of employees. Historically we have aligned closely with Equal Employment Opportunity Commision (EEOC) reporting guidelines, but now we are classifying employees who self-identify as more than one race/ethnicity as “Multi-race”. Only employees who self-identify as a single race/ethnicity are classified as the stated race/ethnicity. While numbers have not shifted dramatically, there are more employees who self-identify as Multi-race, and fewer employees in some of the single race/ethnicity categories. We believe this approach enables us to align more closely to how employees self-identify and is the right approach for our internal reporting. Our most recent EEOC reporting is available (password: Pinclusion) and we have recalculated the previous two years’ representation data in this report in order to provide a consistent comparison of year-over-year data.
- Specifying which demographic categories we are focusing on through initiatives, rather than grouping them together in a fixed “underrepresented” categorization. We acknowledge that demographics may be over- or under-represented based on factors like seniority in an organization, retention efforts or geographic location. We are intentionally evaluating the balance of our teams and organizations and not making generalizations about populations.
2Our gender data is global. Gender options for employees to select are: Male, Female or Not Declared. These options do not encompass the range of identities which may be relevant for our employees, and so we have work to do to expand our options.
3Race and ethnicity data currently comprises only our U.S.-based employees. Decline to State is an option for our employees to actively select.
4Leadership comprises employees in levels L7 and above.
5Engineering consists of employees that report into the engineering organization, excluding executive assistants.
6Some numbers may not add up to 100% due to rounding. For numbers larger than 1%, we round to the nearest whole number. For numbers smaller than 1% we report as <1%. 0% would mean no employees self-identify in that way and is therefore not depicted in our visualizations.
7Our metrics pertaining to the goal of increasing representation of employees who self-identify as Black, Latiné or Hispanic, American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian and/or Pacific Islander includes employees who are Multi-race when inclusive of the identities listed above.
8Diverse slate approach (DSA): at least two candidates from underrepresented backgrounds (defined differently depending on the context of the role) at the final round interview stage.
9POC: People of color.