The Drum Awards Festival - Extended Deadline

-d -h -min -sec

Snap Joanna Coles Media

Snapchat's only female director was paid a lot less than her male counterparts in 2016


By Rebecca Stewart, Trends Editor

February 8, 2017 | 4 min read

Hearst Magazine's chief content officer Joanna Coles is Snapchat's only female board member, and in 2016 she got paid a fraction of what her male counterparts earned according to the upstart's recent IPO filing.

snapchat Joanna Coles

Snapchat's only female director was paid a lot less than her male counterparts in 2016

Snap, the messaging app's parent company, published the details of its $3bn IPO last week, outlining for the first time unseen figures around growth and giving an insight into challenges and opportunities facing the business. However, the S-1 document also contained information around its board members, citing that Coles was the only woman on the nine-person board.

Currently five directors are being paid for their roles, with the others already owning large amounts of Snap stock. Coles earned less than any of the male non-employee directors on the board – ie everyone except chief executive Evan Spiegel and chief technology officer Bobby Murphy – by an entire decimal point last year.

Snap has responded by saying that the info contained in the IPO filing does not reflect Coles' latest grant, which was issued in January 2017.

The document shows that in 2016 she was paid $110,866 in total including a $35,000 salary retainer. The next lowest paid directors' compensation came to almost 10-times that amount with both G1 companies chief Scott Miller and Intel Security Group senior vice-president Christopher Young, who just joined in October last year, earning just under $1.1m.

The highest earner on the board is former P&G chairman AG Lafley, who made more than $2.6m for the year.

The main differentiator between Coles and Lafley is the number of shares included in their packages, with the latter receiving the majority of his Snap income via a $2.5m stock award from the company.

Citing sources close to Snap, Axios has alleged that the makable difference in compensation was due to the fact that Cole initially inked a one-year deal while Young and Miller committed to four-year contracts.

Snapchat's lack of leadership gender diversity, however, is a problem shared by other social media companies. Facebook only has two women represented on its board of eight directors, while of Twitter's ten directors only three are female.

Twitter's chief of diversity Jeffrey Siminoff is leaving after just one year in the job, as is its HR chief Renee Atwood, who left for personal reasons. News of their departures follows on from Twitter's lacklustre 2016 diversity report which revealed the company's workforce is still very much white and male.

Snap has yet to release a diversity breakdown for its 1,859-strong workforce.

Snap Joanna Coles Media

More from Snap

View all


Industry insights

View all
Add your own content +