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Photo: Chesnot/Getty Images

Snapchat on Wednesday released its first-ever diversity report, showing that the company is still slightly behind its peers in terms of equal representation of people of color and women, especially on its technology teams, but that it's made progress adding more women to its leadership team.

Why it matters: It's taken a while for the 9-year-old Los Angeles-based tech firm to publicly confront its diversity shortcomings on paper. But incidents, like settlement payouts to laid-off women, have pushed the firm to take the issue much more seriously.

The big picture: The report was released at the same time that the CEOs of four of its tech peers — Facebook, Google, Amazon and Apple — were testifying on Capitol Hill about antitrust, capturing most of the attention of reporters and the tech industry.

Details: The report finds that while gender disparities are stark on certain teams, Snapchat has made some improvements.

  • Women still only make up 16% of Snapchat's tech teams and just 7% of its tech teams’ leadership.
  • Overall, women made up 32.9% of Snap’s global workforce in 2019, an increase of 0.9% from 2018. The company says it's added more women to leadership roles and has retained more as well.
  • Black and Hispanic people are underrepresented in Snap’s U.S. business, representing 4.1% and 6.8% of the workforce, respectively. In 2019, overall representation of these populations at Snap increased 0.6% and 0.5%, respectively.
  • Overall, Snapchat's leadership (director+ level) is 70.4% white, 16.5% Asian, 2.6% Black/African American, 2.6% Hispanic/Latino, 0.9% Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, and 7.0% multiracial.
  • Snapchat's senior leadership team (VP+) is 74.2% white, 12.9% Asian, 3.2% Black/African American, 3.2% Hispanic/Latino and 6.5% multiracial.

What to watch: Snapchat has committed to new diversity goals in the next three years.

  • It's aiming to double the number of women in tech by 2023 and double the number of underrepresented U.S. racial and ethnic minorities at Snap by 2025.

Between the lines: The diversity report was released in conjunction with Snapchat's first public "CitizenSnap" report, which details its work addressing environmental and community problems, including its carbon footprint and living wage commitment.

  • Snapchat says it's making its app carbon neutral "by cutting its energy use and buying qualified offsets."
  • It says it's committed to paying more than $70,000 per year to all employees working at its headquarters.

Go deeper

House GOP adds at least 10 women to their ranks

Republican congressional candidate-elect Nancy Mace. Photo: Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images

A record number of Republican women ran for federal office this year and so far the GOP has boosted the number of women in the House by at least 10 members.

Why it matters: The new representatives reflect a big win for the Republican Party — and a payoff in their efforts to recruit women to run for office. Only 13 women held seats in the House in the 116th Congress; those numbers are now expected to be at least 23 (the AP has called at least 12 races and two of the current female representatives are retiring).

Minnesota governor denounces alleged police violence against media

Law enforcement officers pepper spray freelance photographer Tim Evans (L) as he identifies himself a working journalist outside the Brooklyn Center police station on Friday. Photo: Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images

Gov. Tim Walz (D) spoke out Sunday over allegations that journalists covering unrest in the Twin Cities suburb of Brooklyn Center have endured police violence, telling CBS Minnesota: "Apologies are not enough, it just cannot happen."

Why it matters: Since violations of press freedoms came to national attention last year, with reports of journalists being arrested and assaulted while covering anti-racism protests, violent encounters with law enforcement seem to have become the norm.

7 hours ago - World

In photos: Students evacuated as wildfire burns historic Cape Town buildings

Firefighters try, in vain, to extinguish a fire in the Jagger Library, at the University of Cape Town, after a forest fire came down the foothills of Table Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa, on Sunday. Photo: Rodger Bosch/AFP via Getty Images

A massive wildfire spread from the foothills of Table Mountain to the University of Cape Town Sunday, burning historic South African buildings and forcing the evacuation of 4,000 students, per Times Live.

The big picture: Visitors to the Table Mountain National Park and other nearby attractions were also evacuated and several roads including a major highway, were closed. South Africa's oldest working windmill and the university's Jagger Library, which houses SA antiquities, were among the buildings damaged.