Snap hit with diversity and toxic workplace accusations

Snap hit with diversity and toxic workplace accusations

A former employee of Snap has spoken out about frustrations she voiced upon her departure from the company.

Cheddar reports that Shannon Lubetich sent out a company-wide email that suggested some within the company felt that women and people of colour could not be adequate engineers. Concluded the email: “It is my deepest hope that this company can be a place that is kind, smart, and creative. I'm just done fighting for it when very few other people seem to care.”

She has now added that she was “unhappy and frustrated with the internal response to me bringing any issues to HR”.

Cited incidents include the hiring of scantily dressed women for a summer party (although it is claimed that Snap boss Evan Spiegal was one of the people to raise concerns about this), descriptions of a boys club culture and specific allegations of inappropriate workplace joking by former senior VP of engineering Tim Sehn.

Girl power

“I sincerely apologize if I offended anyone with my choice of words or an off-colour joke,” Sehn has now offered in reply. “I always tried to make Snap engineering as inclusive a place to build software as possible. I understand how these incidents could undermine that hard work in a silly instant. I am by no means perfect but the feedback helped me grow.”

Snap has never publicly released data about its workforce diversity but did say that women account for 13 per cent of its tech roles and 22 per cent of its directors and senior managers.

In response to the allegations, Snap’s senior VP of engineering Jerry Hunter said that the company has “worked hard to make Snap a place where everyone feels respected and everyone can grow”, adding: “I’m excited about the progress that we have made this year, but know that we certainly have more work to do.”

Spiegel himself said of the allegations that “the letter was a really good wake-up call” for the company, TechCrunch reports, adding that the company hired external consultants in response to help it understand the ways in which it could best improve.

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