Introducing Catalyze Tech

Editor's note: Snap VP, Diversity and Inclusion, Oona King sent the following memo to all Snap team members on October 28.

Hi Team,

When we released our first Diversity Annual Report in 2020, we talked about our own need to significantly improve within Snap -- and also to work to open-source the future of DEI (diversity, equity & inclusion). We believe the tech industry must work together to find collective solutions that drive deep, systemic change.

For this reason, in early 2020 Snap convened a group of leading DEI experts, think tanks, and academics. After meeting biweekly for a year, I’m thrilled our coalition has today released The Action To Catalyze Tech Report. The ACT Report calls on tech companies to commit to bold, collective action by open sourcing DEI best practices, and collaborating on systemic solutions. ACT Report provides a blueprint for action that businesses at all stages -- from startups to mature companies -- can implement to drive change. 

As part of the pledge, all company signatories commit to developing company-specific strategies to pursue or enhance activity around the four ACT Report recommendations:

  • Model and incentivize inclusive leadership: recognize DEI as a business imperative;

  • Operationalize DEI throughout the business: apply a DEI framework to how different groups are impacted by HR systems (hiring, promotion, retention); how money is spent (supplier diversity), and how products are designed and built (product inclusion);

  • Share DEI demographic data with a proposed industry body, the Tech Equity Accountability Mechanism, incubated by the Aspen Institute, with the goal of creating industry wide standards to track and measure progress; 

  • Transform future pathways into tech for underrepresented talent: help tackle deep-seated educational inequalities that lock underrepresented groups out of tech. 

Over 30 CEOs from leading technology organizations including Airbnb, Apple, Cisco, Dropbox, Etsy, Google, LinkedIn, Netflix, Twitter, Salesforce, Snap, Spotify, Uber and many others have committed to be founding signatories of the ACT Report. Together, these founding signatories represent more than 1,000,000 tech employees. You can read the full report here.

Next week, we will build on this by hosting the first annual Catalyze Tech DEI Innovation Summit. Kicking off at 9:00 am PT on Wednesday, November 3, this virtual event brings together CEOs and leaders from signatory companies, DEI experts and other special guests to discuss how to put the report’s recommendations into actions, and additional solutions. You can watch the live stream here.

I’m immensely proud of our team’s cross-functional effort to deliver the ACT Report: we aspire to change tech’s approach to DEI for a generation. But I’m also profoundly aware of the continued work we need to do together, and I thank all of you who have DEI top of mind as we build out our plans for next year and beyond. I remain deeply excited by what we can achieve both at Snap and across our industry - we all know it’s time to step up, and I thank you for doing so.

Oona 

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