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Photo illustration by Greg Ruben / Axios

Joanna Coles is the only woman on Snap's board of directors. She also earns less compensation than her male colleagues, as first noted by Fortune's Valentina Zarya.

The knee-jerk reaction has been to assume this is just another example of tech industry sexism ― again, just a single female director ― but Axios has learned that it's a bit more complicated.

For starters, not all of Snap's directors are created equal:

  • Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy are company co-founders and senior executives, and neither are compensated for their work on the board.
  • Also unpaid are chairman Michael Lynton and venture capitalist Mitch Lasky (representing longtime Snap investor Benchmark Capital).

So the comparisons for Cole are really four other non-employee, non-investor directors.

  • One of them, Stanley Meresman, chairs the company's auditing committee (a position that often comes with added comp). So now we're down to three.
  • Two of these directors, Scott Miller and Christopher Young, both joined the board last October and receive the same $35,000 annual cash retainer as Coles (who joined in December 2015). The difference is that Miller and Young each received restricted stock units for 65,106 Class A shares, whereas Coles received only 12,370.

A source familiar with Snap says the difference is that both Miller and Young signed 4-year contracts upon joining, whereas Coles only agreed to a single year. That said, Coles is said to have subsequently agreed to a four-year contract last month (after the time period reflected in the IPO docs) that included virtually identical stock deals as were received by Miller and Young.

Snap declined to comment on specifics, although did confirm that "the S-1 does not reflect Ms. Coles' latest grant, which was issued in January 2017."

  • The final director is A.G. Lafley, the former P&G CEO who receives a whopping $200,000 per year (partially to offset travel) and got a 162,762 stock grant upon joining last July. Lafley does serve on two committees, although so does Scott Miller. This would lead me to believe that Lafley's comp is, in part, reflective of his resume more than his responsibilities.

So here's where we end: Coles earns basically the same as two of Snap's four other non-employee, non-investor peers. And less than two others ― one of which is justified, one of which is less so.

Coles did not respond to an emailed request for comment.

Go deeper

"Atmospheric river" swings Northern California from drought to flood

Satellite view of the bomb cyclone swirling off the coast of the Pacific Northwest and the atmospheric river affecting California on Oct. 24. Photo: CIRA/RAMMB

A series of powerful "atmospheric river" storms are delivering historic amounts of rainfall across parts of drought-stricken California and the Pacific Northwest — triggering widespread power outages and flooding.

Why it matters: The strong atmospheric river, packing large amounts of moisture, is causing Northern California to whiplash from drought to flood.

“You blew it”: GOP activist turns on corporations over vaccine mandates

The chairman of the American Conservative Union said on "Axios on HBO" he accepts "Joe Biden is my president, and I want him to succeed," but predicted Republicans retake the House and Senate in 2022 — with greater than 50% odds Donald Trump runs in 2024.

The big picture: In a joint interview with his wife, Mercedes, Matt Schlapp also refused to share their vaccination status. And he told corporate America "you blew it" by embracing vaccine mandates and liberal social stances that have alienated GOP voters and politicians.

4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Pelosi expects “billionaire’s tax” to pay for Biden social spending

Photo: Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Sunday she expects the chamber to pass the bipartisan infrastructure plan by week’s end, and alternatives to corporate tax hikes and a “billionaires tax” will be used to finance President Biden’s promised expansion to the social safety net.

Why it matters: Pelosi’s comments come as House and Senate leaders try to wrap up a deal. What will get cut — and how the remainder will be paid — are linchpins to a final agreement.

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