It is becoming more and more apparent that the world we live in is full of leaders figuring out ways to shift accountability. With this in mind, it comes as no surprise that Snap Inc, the parent company of Snapchat released a statement that the company believes “diversity is about more than numbers”. Step 1 of unaccountability: Make a statement that is true and shifts attention away from yourself.
I can only thing about my time in high school and wish I could have argued “well education is about more than grades” when applying for college. The issue at hand here is that the company has not released its workplace diversity numbers and it seems to be doing everything it can to avoid doing so. While I’m actually not against them keeping their workforce numbers hidden, (their a company they can do what they feel is best for profit sake, as long as its legal) it is extremely obvious to myself that the company is looking to benefit from the popularity of diversity without actually supporting it. According to Snap Inc’s statement “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.” Step 2 of unaccountability: Give specifics that aren’t really specific. The company describes an organization looking to expand its connection with diversity and makes general claims that are hidden as specific.
“convene at conferences” well which conferences?
“host the hackathons” oddly worded.
“invest in the institutions that bring us amazing diverse talent every year”. I looked up this claim on Google and found NOTHING (put in snap invests in diversity or snapchat invests in diversity)
Finally Snap states that “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.” Step 3 of unaccountability: Admit you’re currently struggling but plan to do better. This last one is genius because if anyone presses them further on diversity they can simply refer that person back to the released statement.
Is Snap concerned about its diversity numbers? Who knows. If the company is making millions / billions with its current 1800 person workforce and is happy with its current business model then they should continue with it. My criticism comes from the the lack of diversity numbers itself. If you don’t support diversity (not saying Snap doesn’t), then don’t support diversity. I would argue that a lack of diversity in a corporation is not sustainable in the long run, but I can only theorize at this point.
The purpose of releasing workforce numbers is to set a benchmark of where a company is and how it can improve. Whether they have 1 woman or 1,000 doesn’t matter to me when they start off, but it does set the bar so people and other companies can lend a helping hand if they need it. Clearly Snap thinks they have their situation under control and that’s fine, but until they put forth an effort that shows accountability, we have to take everything they say on the topic with a grain of salt.