Angry current and former employees can create a PR disaster for a company. That is exactly what is happening to a company called Thinx. Thinx makes underwear that can be worn during menstruation as a substitute or supplement to traditional feminine hygiene products. It is known for integrating a feminist stance into it’s marketing and overall business strategies. However, women working for Thinx have exposed their mistreatment and the hypocrisies of the company in a Racked article. A lot of the negativity surrounds the CEO and co founder, Miki Agrawal, who has now recently stepped down from her position.
Agrawal was often described as a bully and a loose cannon. Many employees in the Racked article made comments about the hypocrisy that the company pushed feminism and women empowerment but their CEO would treat their mostly woman staff badly. Reviews on Glassdoor by employees are negative and call Thinx “feminist company that disempowers and undervalues its (majority woman) staff.”
Employees also complained about the high healthcare packages offered. One employee said she couldn’t even afford birth control. “It hurts to know that I’m giving my whole life to Thinx basically, like I work all the time, but I can’t even afford birth control. And what does that mean if we’re at a feminist company and I can’t afford to keep myself safe and protected?’ the employee said.
Employees also had a hard time negotiating salary increases or a change in title after being given more responsibilities. A former employee described Agrawal’s negotiating childish. Many of the employees were also being paid a below-market-rate salary.
The parental leave policies at Thinx were also very surprising for a “feminist” company. two weeks leave at full pay plus one week at half pay for the birthing parent, and one week leave at full pay plus one week at half pay for the non-birthing parent. For a company that promotes feminism, you would think that they would be better about a feminist issue like parental leave.
It is beneficial that Agrawal has stepped down as CEO because it would be bad to keep a CEO who does not actually live by what the company stands for. The company has also announced that they will hire someone to handle HR, which should have been done a long time ago.
I think Thinx is heading in the right direction. However, I think it may be hard for people to trust them again because they were preaching feminism but not practicing it.