everyday sexism

Joanna Coles Was the Lowest-Paid Member of Snapchat’s Board in 2016 — and the Only Woman

Joanna Coles. Photo: Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for Fragrance Found

Snap Inc., the parent company of Snapchat, submitted its SEC filings last week, and aside from showing how ridiculously expensive it is to compete in the tech world, the filings also illuminated an interesting discrepancy when it comes to the compensation of its board members. According to Fortune, the company has nine directors on its board. Of those, only one is a woman: Hearst chief content officer Joanna Coles. And based on the numbers in the February 2, 2017, filing, Coles made significantly than her male counterparts in 2016.

From Fortune:

In 2016, Snap paid Coles $110,866 in total compensation, including a $35,000 salary retainer. The next lowest-paid directors, on the other hand, made almost ten times that much: G100 Companies CEO Scott Miller and Intel Security Group senior vice president Christopher Young each received nearly $1.1 million each in 2016—and they only started in October.
The biggest differentiating factor in Coles’ pay is the number of shares she received in Snap. Lafley, for one, received almost all of his compensation in stock, 162,762 shares worth more than $2.5 million, that vest over the next four years. But even with other board members’ vesting requirements, Coles is still getting much less than her male counterparts. While Lafley’s stock award works out to 40,691 shares per year. Coles, who is awarded stock on an annual basis, only received 7,488 shares for 2016.

The article goes on to point out that Snap’s highest-paid director, A.G. Lafley, who joined the board in July, made more than $2.6 million for the year; his salary retainer is six times Coles’s.

A Snap spokesman pointed out that an amendment to the filing made available after February 2 said Coles was awarded 52,736 shares of stock in January of this year, which puts her on par with the other two lowest-paid board members. According to the spokesman, Coles’s shares were dramatically less in 2016 because she’s on a different pay cycle than her colleagues.

A study published in November by the University of Missouri and the University of Delaware found that, while “diverse” (female and minority) directors are more likely to be appointed to boards of larger, more visible firms, they’re also compensated 3 to 9 percent less than their white male counterparts.

This story has been updated with comments from Snap Inc. We’ll continue to update this piece as we receive more information.

Joanna Coles Was the Lowest-Paid Member of Snapchat’s Board