Pinterest Inc. agreed to pay $22.5 million to settle claims of gender discrimination and retaliation by its former Chief Operating Officer Francoise Brougher, as Silicon Valley grapples with growing pressure to address discrimination and diversity issues within its ranks.

Brougher sued Pinterest

in August, alleging the social media company maintained a culture of secrecy among top male executives that resulted in her being left out of meetings and decision-making.

In a blog post, she accused the company of having a hostile work environment for women and that “female executives, even at the highest levels, are marginalized, excluded, and silenced.”

Brougher, a former executive of Square Inc.

and Alphabet Inc.’s

 Google, was hired in 2018 and became Pinterest’s first operating chief and one of the top female figures at the company. She said she was fired in April.

“Pinterest recognizes the importance of fostering a workplace environment that is diverse, equitable and inclusive and will continue its actions to improve its culture,” the company said in a joint statement with Brougher. The company settled the lawsuit without admitting any liability.

An expanded version of this report appears on

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