Snap Adds Former Google Exec As Its First VP Of Diversity And Inclusion


Forbes | May 24, 2019

The Forbes article, “Snap Adds Former Google Exec As Its First VP Of Diversity And Inclusion,” featured the firm's research, "A Leader’s Guide: Finding and Keeping Your Next Chief Diversity Officer." The article is excerpted below.

Snap Inc., the parent company of the popular multimedia messaging app Snapchat, announced on Thursday that it has hired Oona King as its first-ever vice president of diversity & inclusion. King, who most recently served as director of diversity strategy at Google, began her career in politics, and was the second Black woman ever to be elected to British Parliament in 1997.

King may well find her transition to Snap to be the most difficult of her career: Snap is one of the few large technology companies not to have released its diversity numbers, and the firm recently settled multiple allegations of gender discrimination.

But does Snap’s move reflect a genuine desire to improve an unwelcoming and seemingly toxic culture, or is it simply an attempt to keep up appearances? Will King be able to exert her influence on the leadership to effect real change or will she be relegated to compliance and reporting activities?

If past evidence is any indication, the prognosis is not great. A recent report on chief diversity officers (CDOs) by Russell Reynolds Associates found that while nearly half of the S&P 500 companies have a CDO, many diversity and inclusion initiatives are disconnected from business priorities and  more than half of the CDOs do not have sufficient resources to fulfill their responsibilities.

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