Changemakers need to make more change

Visha Kudhail, Director of Business Marketing EMEA at Pinterest on why courage and responsibility is key to drive change within the industry

Visha Kudhail

Marketing Leader Pinterest


‘Changemakers’. In our industry we know this term very well - it’s a term applied to those businesses and people that are pushing boundaries; but here’s the thing, without positive action behind it, it can quickly lose its meaning and ultimately its impact. To further realise cross-industry change for women, as changemakers we need to focus on the driving elements to continue achieving success. And that means, responsibility and courage.

In our interconnected world, cultures are formed through micro-interactions, whether that’s via advertising, social media engagement or the hybrid-workplace. At Pinterest, we believe that with hundreds of millions of people engaging with our platform, we have the responsibility to ensure our output is positive. We want to build a personal place for people, free from social pressure, where they feel empowered to share the ideas they find and make them a part of their offline lives.

A healthy and positive environment doesn’t happen by accident, it’s done through consistent, deliberate work.

Visha Kudhail, Director of Business Marketing EMEA at Pinterest

A healthy and positive environment doesn’t happen by accident, it’s done through consistent, deliberate work. We introduced our first misinformation policy change in 2017 and proactively developed machine learning to prevent, detect and remove content that may harm the public’s well-being, safety or trust. A first mover on this five years ago, we’ve continued to innovate on public health misinformation, banning harmful weight loss ads as body positivity is needed in ads and tech platforms to enforce a healthier and truer representation of people today, and most recently climate misinformation.

Creating a safe environment also means elevating those underrepresented, however, with billions of unique images, and more created daily, it’s a mission hard to scale. Despite this, we saw the opportunity and felt the responsibility to redefine representation online so everyone feels seen. We launched our inclusive skin tone filter, which allows our users to customise search results by skin tone range, followed by our hair pattern search product, making it easier to find inspiration no matter your hair type. Diversity and inclusion in- product is not a ‘nice to have’. It’s a must-have for ourselves, yes, but also the generations behind us.

These innovations are not about being firsts, they are about fulfilling our promise as a technology platform that wants to be a force for good. We know the internet began with so much promise and for a long time people thought it was inherently good. We’ve seen over time that's not always true, with more bullying and anxiety online than ever before. The courage comes from experts, and feedback from our Creators and Pinners, proving there is a genuine need for the products that better reflect our society. Inclusion sits at the heart of innovations, and as female leaders we have the duty to enable two-way conversations, building the evidence to take decisive action.

This approach is also what accelerates success in our careers, and drives equality in our industry. As a WACL Future Leader Award Winner, I felt my role was to support and inspire others, and co-founding the FUTURES Network helps to mutually develop past winners’ leadership skills. Similarly, an inspired culture at Pinterest is a key driver of inclusivity at the company and giving our communities a voice. As Pinterest grows even further internationally, last year it felt timely for me to work with the business and launch [email protected] -  which is an internal network that supports and advances women at Pinterest, and now as exec sponsor of the group I support and mentor a team of trailblazing women that aims to influence how we think about recruitment, leadership coaching, uncovering unconscious bias in lock step with our internal D&I and Talent teams. This partnership opens our aperture as a business and in turn directly impacts our global community of users. 

The creative and marketing industry has a huge role to play in helping women rise up. Confident ideas, rooted in a real understanding of our environments and events like RISE, bringing bold and inclusive voices together, will enact change. Change that is truly positive and inspiring.

Let's be those changemakers for positive action, together.

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Guest Author

Visha Kudhail

Marketing Leader Pinterest


Formerly Director of Business Marketing, EMEA at Pinterest, Visha led marketing Pinterest for business audiences across Europe, driving its positioning and awareness across the region over the past 3 years. Prior to Pinterest she worked across YouTube Ads marketing at Google, going on to lead industry brand and reputation for both Google and YouTube in the UK. Before that, she spent twelve years at Thinkbox - the marketing body for commercial TV, leading TV campaigns, large scale events and initiatives with leading industry bodies in the UK. Visha is a 2013 WACL Future Leaders Award winner, and in 2015 co-founded the FUTURES Network to bring all winners together to support and inspire each other as they continue to develop into even stronger female leaders. Visha champions diversity and in 2020 she launched Pinterest’s EMEA chapter of Women@ and then became the Exec Sponsor for the global group. She is a huge supporter of industry initiatives that recognise and celebrate diverse communities. Visha is also an Advisory Board member for OK Mentor, was awarded 2021 BIMA 100’s Champion for Change and recently was awarded Best Marketing Leader at the 2022 Global Women In Marketing Awards.

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