Activision Blizzard has made headlines for all the wrong reasons this year. News broke about the companies sexism, assaults, and the legal action that was being taken against it throughout 2020. Additionally, the company saw poorer returns than expected for its flagship titles like Call of Duty: Vanguard, and companies like Xbox questioned their relationship with the company in light of a myriad of allegations.
The company has now re-addressed its prevalent issue of a lack of diversity in a report.
President and chief operating officer (COO) Daniel Alegre sent a letter to employees that detailed the state of the company and the direction it wants to head toward in 2022.
The statement and the report
Alegre began by thanking staff before noting: “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.”
The COO went on to say: “Trust in leadership is critical, and I know that trust is earned through principled and committed action. Thanks to your input during listening sessions, all hands, and many 1:1s held across the company, we have doubled our efforts to bring about significant changes, some completed and some still in flight.”
In terms of what the company has achieved, Alegre draws attention to “a space to continuously update you on our progress and to share new approaches where we will invest” and work on workplace issues.
The company has committed to transparency when it comes to diversity data and has promised not to “sugar coat” figures. As a result, raw data has been made available publically.
From the report, Alegre highlighted two key figures: “Our employees who self-identify as women globally make up 24% of our overall workforce. That is identical to our peer gaming companies that publicly disclose this data. Within our business units, however, these numbers vary widely – with some exceeding this industry comparison and others behind. Importantly, women represented 29% of ABK (Activision-Blizzard-King) hires and 26% of ABK attrition in 2021.
“In the U.S., 36% of employees identify as a member of an underrepresented ethnic group (UEG). This lags behind the data available from our peers (showing 40% representation).”
With this data in mind, Alegre wrote: “While representation company-wide is similar to our peer gaming companies in the United States, this is wholly inadequate in my mind. We will do better.”
In the statement, there were several commitments for 2022. Firstly, Activision Blizzard will hire and add additional diversity, equity, and inclusion (D,E&I) leaders in the organization. On top of that, diversity goals will be attached to the performance goals of executive leadership.
Activision Blizzard will also invest in a learning and development (L&D) curriculum that has a focus on inclusion. On top of that, the company will launch manager and executive mentorship and sponsorship programs aimed at unlocking upward mobility for women.
The recruiting system will also be evolved and an ABK will launch. In the closing statement, Alegre committed to greater pay transparency and more progress reports.
Time will tell whether these plans are successful, but after the last year, these changes are imperative for the company’s future success.