Activision Blizzard COO says company has 'a lot of work to do' on diversity
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Activision Blizzard has warned of a long road ahead to improve diversity following the release of its first-ever representation report for 2021.
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According to the report, approximately 24% of its overall global workforce self-identifies as women, in line with its gaming competitors. However, the company acknowledged that those figures vary widely by business unit, with women accounting for 47% of Activision Blizzard corporate, 17% of Activision Publishing, 22% of Blizzard and 34% of King, which was acquired by the company in 2016. Women represented 29% of ABK hires and 26% of ABK attrition in 2021.
Meanwhile, 36% of Activision Blizzard's U.S. employees identify as a member of an underrepresented ethnic group, lagging behind data available from its competitors. Underrepresented ethnic groups accounted for 51% of Activision Blizzard Corporate, 33% of Activision Publishing, 34% of Blizzard and 60% of King.
"As you will see by viewing the full data set, we are not sugarcoating the data or cherry-picking only those points where we excel," Activision Blizzard Chief Operating Officer Daniel Alegre said in a letter to employees. "While representation companywide is similar to our peer gaming companies in the United States, this is wholly inadequate in my mind. We will do better. We have a lot of work to do as we build an organization where diversity is as much a core value as innovation."
ACTIVISION BLIZZARD INC.
The data release comes in an effort to increase transparency as the video game publisher works toward creating a more diverse, safe and inclusive workplace following several months of turmoil.
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The company's troubles stem from a discrimination lawsuit from California's Department of Fair Employment and Housing, which accused the company of paying female employees less than their male counterparts, providing them with fewer opportunities to advance, fostering a "frat boy workplace culture" and ignoring complaints by female employees of blatant harassment, discrimination and retaliation.