by Ruth Reader
Originally published: March 3, 2017
With Snap’s IPO yesterday, the secretive company has opened itself up to public scrutiny—which involves disclosing its financial statements, legal problems, stock ownership, executive compensation and requires it to hold shareholder meetings. But one aspect of the company remains wrapped in a shroud of mystery—the gender and racial diversity of its workforce. In recent years, under pressure from shareholders and critics, tech giants from Facebook and Apple to Google and Twitter have started issuing diversity reports, and even non-public unicorns like Uber have said they will soon release their own report in a few months.
But not Snap, which is led by cofounders Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy and whose executive team is largely male. Its lack of transparency on the issue raises plenty of questions about its true commitment to a diverse workforce.
Buried inside Snap Inc.’s S-1 is an innocuous line 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.” But it also seems to resist the idea of quantifying this diversity: “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.”