Meet Andrea Wishom, Pinterest’s First Black Board Member Appointed After Protests Against Racial and Gender Bias

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Andrea Wishom

Pinterest has announced a new addition to its board and for the first time, the image sharing and social platform appointed a black person. Andrea Wishom, the new appointee, is also the third woman to be added as part of the board of the picture-dicovery tech company.

Wishom has a strong background in operations management, particularly in overseeing the efficient running of complex media enterprises.

She joined Kron TV as minority trainee from 1992 to 1993 where she learnt more about media and production. She would later join Harpo Productions and began producing the Oprah Winfrey show.

Andrea Wishom
Andrea Wishom

From 2000 when she joined Harpo Productions, she became a part of Oprah Winfrey’s team and rose through the ranks. From producer, she took on the role of Supervising Producer.

Some of the programs that highlighted her 22 years of working with Harpo Productions include “Oprah’s Farewell at The United Center,” “President Barack and Michelle Obama,” “The Legends Ball” (2005), and “Oprah Winfrey Presents: Legends who Paved the Way” (2014). She launched and developed the programs for The Oprah Winfrey Show and OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network.

She moved through Oprah’s enterprise and became the executive vice president of programming, production, and development when Oprah launched her cable network in 2011. There, she developed and launched the cable network’s highest-rated show, “Oprah’s Next Chapter.” She occupied the role of vice president for 4 years.

One of the shows she executively produced, Super Soul Sunday, won a GLAAD award in 2015.

She joined real estate company, Skywalker Holdings, in 2015 as Chief Operations Officer and currently serves as President of the Group.

Pinterest’s selection of Wishom meets its multifaceted needs

Pintrest is planning to expand into content and media and someone with the skills and experience of Wishom is pivotal to achieving that goal.

“I’ve spent my entire career inspired to take on challenges both creatively and culturally. I’m particularly interested in Pinterest’s expansion into content and media”

Andrea Wishom

Pinterest is also experiencing unrest among its staff who feel the company discriminates based on race and gender. A couple of days ago, the staff staged a virtual walkout and sent messages to the #qanda and #pinployees-global channels on Pinterest’s Slack workspace.

The message they sent read like this, “I am [upset/angry/shocked/unhappy/whatever you’re feeling] about the racial and gender discrimination that has happened at Pinterest, and am leaving work early today. Join me. changeatpinterest.com.”

A petition is also being signed by the employees clamouring for change, transparency and proper representation.

On August 11, former Pinterest COO Françoise Brougher sued the company for gender discrimination, retaliation and wrongful termination. Prior to that, Aerica Shimizu Banks and Ifeoma Ozoma also accused Pinterest of discrimination.

This makes Pinterest’s selection of Andrea Wishom a two-fold win for the company. It now has a black female board member which is a significant attempt to depart from being racially and gender-biased. It also has someone with skill and experience to herald its expansion into content and media.

Pinterest will be working on resolving its internal issues and business expansion plans with Andrea Wishom.


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