Activision Publishes Diversity Report and Aims to ‘Do Better’
(Bloomberg) -- Activision Blizzard Inc. said that almost half of corporate departures in the last year have been women, a statistic the video game publishing company is trying to change amid multiple lawsuits and investigations into alleged harassment and discrimination.
In a 2021 diversity report released Thursday, Activision said that women make up just under a quarter of full-time employees, which it says is on par with the industry as a whole. But Santa Monica, California-based Activision is behind its competitors in other areas, with underrepresented ethnic groups making up 36% of employees, compared with 40% for the industry as a whole.
“While representation company-wide is similar to our peer gaming companies in the United States, this is wholly inadequate in my mind,” Activision Chief Operating Officer Daniel Alegre wrote in a letter to employees. “We will do better.”
The report comes amid a months-long furor over Activision’s male-dominated culture. The company, known for hit video games like Call of Duty and World of Warcraft, was sued by California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing in July over allegations of sexual harassment, unequal pay and retaliation. The agency described a “frat boy culture” at the company and accused leadership of failing to take action.
Activision Blizzard employees have staged walkouts and signed petitions demanding Chief Executive Officer Bobby Kotick resign. The company has pledged to make it more inclusive and welcoming to its nearly 10,000 employees.
“While we have made great strides on a number of fronts this year, and in our games in particular, we hear you: there is undeniable frustration within the organization around our progress on, and responses to, workplace concerns,” Alegre wrote.
Alegre said some of the efforts to bring about change may take time to be felt across the company but that there would be “additional important changes in the new year.” Releasing the diversity report is part of Activision’s response to a demand for more transparency.
Among other findings in the report are that on the corporate level, women make up 47% of the workforce. Though women and people of color represent more than half of entry level positions.
The company said that it wants to increase the representation of women and non-binary workers by 50% to more than one-third of employees overall in the next five years and will tie diversity to performance metrics.
Activision also faces a legal deadline from the state of California to add more women to its board in the next month. Currently the company has two women on its 10-member board. Activision said last month it’s working on adding a new, diverse board member as part of a plan to eliminate workplace harassment and discrimination.
©2021 Bloomberg L.P.