Since 2017, Snap has funded Codetalk, a programme that provides low-income, underemployed women in Los Angeles with skills, tools, training and professional development support for employment in the tech industry. The company also contributes to digital access for diverse users by developing products catered to the needs of people with disabilities. For instance, Snap launched custom stickers and three augmented reality (AR) lenses for users to fingerspell in American Sign Language (ASL). It is also among the few companies in the benchmark that has disclosed its indirect economic impact.
In partnership with various non-profits, Snap has provided education programmes and tools on financial literacy, coding concepts, and STEM topics to support teachers in under-resourced classrooms. Additionally, Snap expands access to education for at-risk youth and students through laptop donations to community-based organisations across the United States.
Snap demonstrates high-level cybersecurity oversight. It also has information security management certification aligned with international standards and considers privacy and data protection a key topic in its materiality analysis. Furthermore, it publishes a transparency report detailing government requests for user information. The company has a mechanism for reporting online harms to children and also allows youth to subscribe to Safety Snapshot, which educates them about digital security and cybersecurity.
Snap can consider carrying out a third-party impact assessment of its programmes for increasing digital access. The company can also disclose how it distributes the economic value it creates among its stakeholders.
While Snap has various skills training programmes, it has scope for greater transparency in reporting metrics and commissioning third-party assessments for these programmes. These assessments can help the company and its stakeholders better understand programme outcomes and identify areas of strengths and improvements.
Snap can enhance its support for open innovation by partaking in open-source projects. It can also consider providing support for social and non-profit start-ups and for start-ups whose founders are members of underrepresented groups. Additionally, the company can consider enhancing transparency around its approach to ethical considerations in its R&D.
Core Social Assessment
The core social indicators assess societal expectations of business conduct that companies should meet if they aspire to be part of a system transformation that leaves no one behind.
Snap does not have a public commitment for respecting human rights or the ILO core labour rights, and it does not place an expectation on its business relationships to commit to upholding the ILO core labour rights. The company does have a grievance mechanism that is accessible to workers and external stakeholders to raise human rights concerns and complaints. However, the company does not disclose if it engages with stakeholders whose human rights could be impacted by its operations. Snap also does not disclose a process to identify, assess and take action on salient human rights risks in its own operations and in its business relationships.
Snap publicly commits to respecting worker health and safety, and it places this expectation on its business relationships and monitors their health and safety performance. However, the company does not disclose a policy commitment stating that it does not require workers to work more than regular and overtime hours and does not explicitly state that it requires its business relationships to do the same. Snap does not have a public commitment or time-bound targets on gender equality and women’s empowerment. However, it has more than 30% female representation on its board. In relation to workforce diversity, the company provides a breakdown of employees in different employee categories by gender and race/ethnicity. However, it does not disclose against any other indicators of diversity, such as age group.
Snap has anti-bribery and anti-corruption policies, as well as a grievance mechanism for all stakeholders to raise relevant concerns. However, it does not describe the processes to identify its bribery and corruption risks and impacts in specific locations or activities covering its own operations. It also does not include anti-bribery and anti-corruption clauses in its contracts with business relationships. While the company has a global tax strategy, it does not disclose information regarding its income tax payments in individual tax jurisdictions. Moreover, Snap does not disclose its approach to lobbying and political engagement. Specifically, the company has no public statement indicating that it does not make political contributions, and it does not disclose its lobbying expenditures. As a tech company providing social media services, it also has an opportunity to make a public commitment to protecting personal data.