Issues include being paid well under industry standard. Racked reports that “several sources say they either took a pay cut or accepted a below-market-rate salary,” and when they tried to negotiate for more, even after taking on more responsibilities or higher titles, they were shamed and “dismissed as ungrateful” by founder and then-CEO Miki Agrawal.
There was no HR representative at the company, so Agrawal seems to have handled staffing issues herself, with decidedly mixed results. According to Racked:
“Whenever anybody would try to negotiate with her, [Agrawal] would go back to the fact that we’re young, and just be like, ‘Oh, you’re in your 20s. You don’t need a lot of money,'” says one former employee.
She treated it “as if it were selfish to take a salary representative of your worth,” says another.
Ironically, given the girl-power branding of both Agrawal and the company she founded, the only employees who succeeded in getting a raise were “two of the few white men who worked at the company,” according to one of George-Parkin’s sources.
Racked writes that Agrawal has stepped down as CEO, though the founder told Jezebel, when the women’s site reported the same news, that she remains the “SHE-EO.” That is also how she is currently listed on the company’s website. In an email to Jezebel, Agrawal shrugged off the bad press, writing, “Like every other start-up, there’s turnover in the first few years. THINX is no different, we have growing pains too, but now we are on the right track.”
George-Parkin characterizes the staff problems as rather more dramatic, writing, “according to several sources, 10 people have left the 35-person company since January.”
The company is making adjustments. For example, “the board of directors is actively looking for a ‘professional CEO'” and “the leadership team said it planned to hire someone to handle HR,” according to Racked.
In the wake of the article, others have stepped forward to air grievances, including model Tyler Ford, who says she backed out of a deal to appear on behalf of THINX after being offered an “abysmal amount of money” and being treated poorly.
CNBC reached out to a THINX spokesperson about these allegations, and she replied, “Our leadership is getting to the bottom of these allegations, and, as ever, we are actively working to address and improve our corporate culture. We look forward to updating the community as new leaders and corporate processes are put into place. Thank you, everyone, for bearing with us in the meantime.”