Snap diversity report shows that the company made slow progress toward racial and gender diversity last year, with 47% of its employees being white and 65% male. However, there has been larger progress in some areas, with the company increasing the number of women on its board of directors to 50% from 37.5%.
Snapchat’s parent company detailed the results of its Diversity and Inclusion initiatives in 2020 in the report it released, citing “promising gains” in some areas, but admitting to falling short in others.
- Women in tech leadership roles from 2019 through 2020, to 13.7% from 6.7%, but still at low levels
- Snap’s board now contains eight independent directors, four of whom are women.
- Black women accounted for 5.1% of total hires, up from 2%.
- Hispanic and Latinx representation at the company slipped from 6.9% in 2019 to 6.8% in 2020.
- Asian representation in leadership fell to 14.3% from 16.5%.
There were also areas where Snap made progress in the right direction, but at a slower rate than it had hoped.
- Overall, underrepresented U.S. racial groups in leadership roles increased from 13.1% to 13.6%.
- Women’s representation across Snap increased from 32.9% to 33.1%.
“Disappointingly, we lost ground in other important areas,” Snap diversity report says. For example, representation for Hispanic/Latinx team members decreased slightly.
Another area for improvement is Asian representation in leadership. Snap considers this as a key equity metric in the tech industry broadly, as the Asian community is the most underrepresented group in leadership relative to their prevalence in tech’s workforce. This is also true at Snap, where Asian representation across the company is 34.4%, but Asian representation in leadership is 14.3%.
Weak points include:
- Hispanic/Latinx representation decreased from 6.9% to 6.8%.
- Asian representation in leadership decreased from 16.5% to 14.3%.
“Our 2020 data shows a mixed story – we made progress increasing representation in some important areas but in other areas we made smaller gains than we hoped,” Evan Spiegel, co-founder and CEO, and Oona King, VP, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion wrote on their note.
New representation goals
Snap says it is currently on track to meet its goals to double the number of underrepresented U.S. racial groups at Snap by 2025 and double the number of women in tech roles by 2023.
The company is committing to the following new representation goals, which aims to reach by the end of 2025:
- Increase underrepresented U.S. racial and ethnic groups to 20%.
- Increase women in tech roles to 25%.
- Increase women, and U.S. racial and ethnic groups by 30% in leadership.
As a tech company, Snap has also focused its diversity and inclusion efforts on the product, not just the people. This has resulted in initiatives around removing unconscious bias and racial insensitivity from coding language, machine learning, and even the mechanics of a camera.
“We are both rewriting our machine learning algorithms to remove unconscious bias and adopting inclusive design principles into the way we develop our products at the front end,” the company says in its report. “We are committed to building a more inclusive camera for Snapchat, one that is accessible to anyone, inclusive of everyone – in terms of age, status, skin tone, body size, ability, and language – and is shaped by diverse perspectives.”
The big IDEA
In 2020, Snap also launched a company-wide storytelling and conversations series called The Big IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Awareness). Team members, including leaders, share candid, compelling, deeply personal stories in front of an audience of Snap team members – on issues like race, gender identity, class, privilege, sexual orientation, mental health and disability status.
“The Big IDEA hasn’t just put a human face to issues that so many team members typically only consider at an intellectual level. It has also allowed people to interrogate their own discomfort and preconceived notions with curiosity instead of self-judgment – with vulnerability instead of shame. The series has spurred new conversations across the company, between managers and their teams, and across organizations,” Snap said in its diversity report.