After a damning article detailed working conditions at the feminist startup
Thinx as being full of “dysfunction and hypocrisy,” its founder and former
chief, Miki Agrawal, is fighting back.
Agarwal stepped down as the company’s chief executive earlier this month
a Racked piece detailed harsh conditions, along with a lack of feminist values behind the
scenes while the company openly touted it in its marketing.
You can find more details on that here:
Agrawal told her side of the story in a
Medium post. She calls the Racked account “a true game of telephone,” but
admits that she made mistakes along the way.
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The company saw speedy growth and, Agrawal wrote, “Like any Co-Founder/CEO,
all I did was the best I could under these crazy circumstances.”
Agrawal explained that she didn’t focus on human resources at the company
“because [she] was on the road speaking, doing press, brand partnerships,
editing all of the creative and shouting from the rooftops about THINX so
[the company] can keep going.”
One of the largest criticisms against Agrawal and the company was a lack of
maternity leave. Here’s her response:
We haven’t had any pregnant women until now which is why we didn’t really
have a real policy in place for that. Like any start-up when faced with
something new, you do your best in solving it as it arises. Our first
employee just gave birth (10 days ago) and she is getting 5 weeks paid
leave plus we found out that she can take an additional 2 weeks on paid
disability leave too. And then we’ll figure out a system where she can
either work from home for part of the time and we were also planning on
getting an in-house nanny for the office. These were all things we were
talking about recently because it only came up recently and we too
are learning as we go. We can’t predict everything immediately as a
start-up and simply need a little benefit of doubt. This is super standard
for so many companies.
A Thinx spokesperson was vague on the details of Agrawal’s future at the
At the moment, we’re working together with Miki Agrawal to redefine her
role at the company as she moves on from CEO of Thinx, Inc. We’re also
making moves to put new leadership and policies in place so Thinx can
continue to grow and thrive.
Agrawal directly addressed the Racked article in a statement to
“It was deeply troubling to read that article, as it doesn’t reflect the
reality of what happens at Thinx. Like any startup in growth mode, growth
often brings change, and with it, evolution of the team.”
It’s a good lesson and reminder that a lack of clearly defined HR policies
and procedures today could portend a major PR issue in the future.
What do you make of Agrawal’s response, PR Daily readers?