Is getting a job at Snapchat even an option for women?
There’s a reason women in STEM is a big talking point in Silicon Valley: Because very few companies actually commit to getting more women behind the scenes. Of course, you can’t fix the problems you don’t know about, and a lot of major tech companies try to cover up their diversity reports for this reason.
Snapchat, for the first time in its nine year history, publicly released its diversity report, showing the lack of diversity among its normal hires, let alone its management team. Of course, this comes after a series of lawsuits in 2019 from laid-off women with allegations of discrimination in the company.
While it’s great to see that Snapchat is at least acknowledging that its employees are mostly white men, what matters now is the steps Snapchat will take to fix that. Unfortunately, all we’ve seen are vague promises.
What the numbers say
It’s great to see nearly 33% of all Snapchat employees are women, but out of all the tech team employees, only 16% are women. That means less than a fifth of women are working hands on developing new technologies for the company. Even more disheartening, less than 10% of tech team leaders are women.
Of course, the majority of these women are also white, as black and hispanic Snapchat employees make up 4% and 7% of the workforce, respectively. So while there’s room to grow in hiring women, there’s a lot of need for improvement in hiring POC women to the team.
After releasing the report, Snapchat made a commitment to get more POC and women on their teams, and more importantly, in leadership positions. By 2023, the company wants to double its number of women, especially in technical positions, and by 2025, it wants to double the number of underrepresented minorities.
But that means only 32% of tech employees will be women, and still less than 10% of employees would be black. The commitment to hire more diverse employees is noble, but Snapchat is going about it the wrong way. If they want to get more women and POC into tech jobs, Snapchat needs to start at the beginning.
Snapchat surprisingly is also quite philanthropic, as they also announced at the same time of their diversity report a “CitizenSnap” report, which shows the company’s commitment to fixing environmental and community problems.
The company is trying to even out its carbon footprint, only putting out the same amount as its fixing, and making sure all employees that work at their HQ are paid a living wage. Both are admirable missions, but neither truly fit the community side.
If Snapchat really wants to get more women and POC in STEM, they would help donate funding to underserved communities to build STEM programs. A major reason why it’s hard to find these people in STEM is because those who had a better education are the ones who get invested in STEM in the first place, and then are also the ones with the resources to attend college and further their STEM studies.
While there are a significant number of women and POC looking for STEM jobs and Snapchat should hire these people, they can also help build the next generation of STEM at the same time. If they want to offer jobs at Snapchat to more diverse candidates, they should commit to making more at the same time.