Snapchat CEO responds to claims of 'sexist' culture

Embattled tech CEO Evan Spiegel has confirmed the company hired a scantily clad woman dressed as a deer to serve food to staff

Snapchat CEO responds to claims of 'sexist' culture

Photo credit: cellanr/flickr

A former Snap employee has highlighted the company’s “sexist” culture via an email sent to employees on her last day of work.

Shannon Lubetich, a former Snap engineer, wrote in November how the tech giant was not promoting diversity in its ranks. Now, Snap CEO, Evan Spiegel, has spoken out to thank the worker and her memo – labelling it a “wake-up call”.

Speaking to Recode, Spiegel also confirmed that the company hired a scantily clad woman dressed as a deer to serve food at a party last year – a move that he called “frustrating, to say the least”.

Speaking to the publication, he added: “Obviously we're constantly thinking about how to have the culture that we want and how to reinforce the values that we want."

"We're thinking about it even more because obviously the company is growing so fast, and so to take on that challenge of the company growing that quickly, hiring people that quickly and reinforcing the culture and values is really challenging."

However, the CEO also praised the company’s HR process – citing a time when Lubetich complained to HR about a VP making a penis joke at work. HR then reportedly spoke to the worker in question and explained that it wasn’t appropriate behaviour.

We spoke to Dr Sarah Saska, CEO and co-founder of Feminuity, who explained the importance of fostering an unbiased and open culture.

“If we take a step back and think about gender relations, at least in Western culture, at a high-level we’ve socialized women to cater to men and we’ve socialized men to feel entitled to women’s time, attention, and even bodies,” she told us.

“Well, the world is changing hard and fast and we all have a lot of re-learning to do, especially in terms of issues of consent. The workplace is a great place to practice this, but people need resources and spaces to talk through these questions and scenarios.”


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