News  |    |  April 15, 2021

For Big Tech whistleblowers, there’s no such thing as ‘moving on’

News article by Issie Lapowsky. Published in Protocol.


Last summer, just before she published a viral Twitter thread about the discrimination she said she faced at Pinterest, Aerica Shimizu Banks crunched some numbers to see how long she could afford to be persona non grata in the tech industry.

She had some stock and savings stored away, thanks to her nearly six-year stint at Google. But she’d also been spending money on legal fees in her negotiations with Pinterest and, “like many daughters of immigrants,” Banks said, she’d been simultaneously supporting her mother in Japan for a little over two years. Before she clicked “tweet” that day last June, alleging discrimination and retaliation at Pinterest, Banks did the math to see how long she could keep herself and her mother afloat.

“I planned for myself that if I become a pariah in the tech industry and no one will hire me, I can hold out for a year,” Banks said. [ . . . ]