Questions raised over Snapchat's diversity and "toxic" culture

Tyrone Stewart

Evan SpiegelA former software engineer at Snapchat parent Snap has criticised the company for its lack of diversity and for its “toxic” and “sexist” culture.

In a farewell email sent in November 2017, obtained by Cheddar, Shannon Lubetich listed all traits that can describe an engineer, including being kind, compassionate, homosexual, a person of colour, and a woman.

“It's fine if this list doesn't describe you. But it's not fine if you think, consciously or subconsciously, that these traits prevent you from being a good engineer,” the email reads.

“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.”

In sending the email to her around 1,300 engineering department colleagues, Lubetich shone a light on the diversity issues within the tech company and all her former workmates talking ‘for weeks’ about the issues raised.

On the back of Cheddar making the email public, Lubetich decided to speak out and discuss the overall male-dominant culture that exists within the Snap offices. Examples mentioned including the hiring of scantily-clad women dressed as deer for a party, hut tub parties, and “a dick-measuring contest”.

Snap CEO Evan Spiegel has reportedly been trying to improve things in recent months, promising a more inclusive culture and more transparency with his employees.

Speaking at Recode’s annual code conference, Spiegel said that the letter was a wake-up call for the company and led to it hiring external consultants to help find ways to improve.