Snap says “diversity is about more than numbers”

Next Story

Snap sees risks in Brexit, hacking and China’s Great Firewall

Snap Inc., the parent company of Snapchat and Spectacles, included in its filing to go public a brief tidbit on diversity. Unlike tech companies like Apple, Google, Twitter, Facebook and several others, Snap has not released a diversity report. At the end of 2016, Snap employed 1,859 employees, but Snap won’t say how diverse it is.

“That’s because we believe diversity is about more than numbers,” it reads.

Snap says that it is focused on developing a team of people with diverse backgrounds, as well as creating an inclusive culture for them. For Snap, the company says it’s about having a culture “where everyone comes to work knowing that they have a seat at the table and will always be supported both personally and professionally.”

Regarding concrete things Snap has done around diversity and inclusion, the S-1 states that the company has challenged its management team to set the tone of inclusion among their teams, and invested in community outreach and internal professional development.

“We still have a long and difficult road ahead in all of these efforts, but believe they represent one of our biggest opportunities to create a business that is not only successful but also one that we are proud to be a part of,” the S-1 states.

Here’s the full bit about diversity:

We fundamentally believe that having a team of diverse backgrounds and voices working together is our best shot at being able to create innovative products that improve the way people live and communicate. There are two things we focus on to achieve this goal. The first—creating a diverse workplace—helps us assemble this team. We convene at the conferences, host the hackathons, and invest in the institutions that bring us amazing diverse talent every year. The second—creating an inclusive workplace—is much harder to get right, but we believe it is required to unleash the potential of having a diverse team. That’s because we believe diversity is about more than numbers. To us, it is really about creating a culture where everyone comes to work knowing that they have a seat at the table and will always be supported both personally and professionally. We started by challenging our management team to set this tone every day with each of their teams, and by investing in inclusion-focused programs ranging from community outreach to internal professional development. We still have a long and difficult road ahead in all of these efforts, but believe they represent one of our biggest opportunities to create a business that is not only successful but also one that we are proud to be a part of.

Last year, Snap came under fire for a couple of filters that many people called out as being racist. The first was a Bob Marley filter that basically enabled some sort of digital blackface. The second time it had to do with a lens that was supposed to be a take on anime characters. Instead, there was an outcry about Snapchat enabling yellowface.

Although Snap says it believes diversity is about more than numbers — which it is — I do hope the company will release a report, simply for the sake of transparency and opportunities to be held accountable.

Featured Image: J. Emilio Flores/Corbis/Getty Images