This originates from a letter from AFL-CIO requesting Activision Blizzard and EA to enact policies with the goal of diversifying. Specifically, the policy argues that including qualified men and women of color in interviews would improve,
"…workforce diversity by requiring that the initial pool of candidates from which new employees are hired by the Company shall include, but need not be limited to, qualified women and minority candidates."
It’s worth noting that this policy would not explicitly tell the companies who can or cannot be hired. It does, however, broaden the pool of potential candidates. Motherboard noted that adopting this policy could potentially be voted on during a future shareholder meeting. However, it looks like Activision Blizzard is attempting to rope in the SEC to prevent such a vote. An Activision Blizzard attorney stated in a letter,
“While the Company has implemented a Rooney Rule policy as envisioned [for director and CEO nominees], implementing a policy that would extend such an approach to all hiring decisions amounts to an unworkable encroachment on the Company’s ability to run its business and compete for talent in a highly competitive, fast-moving market."
Yesterday, January 28, COO Daniel Alegre released the following statement according to GamesIndustry.biz. We’re including this statement in full:
"Activision Blizzard is committed to inclusive hiring practices and to creating a diverse workforce; it is essential to our mission. Vice completely mischaracterized the SEC filing made by our outside attorneys. In fact, our hiring practices are rooted in ensuring diversity for all roles. We engage in this aggressively and successfully. Our objection was rooted in the fact that the AFL-CIO proposal failed to adequately consider how to apply these practices in all of the countries we operate in.
Our games have uniquely influenced popular culture and have helped to increase tolerance and inclusion through their connectivity as well as the heroes we portray and our stories that celebrate diversity, equity and inclusion in so many powerful ways.
In order to ensure that our games stay true to our mission--to connect and engage the world through epic entertainment--we require that all candidates of all backgrounds, ethnicities, genders, races and sexual orientations are considered for each and every open role. We aggressively recruit diverse candidates so the workforce provides the inspired creativity required to meet the expectations of our diverse 400 million players across 190 countries. We remain committed to increasing diversity at all levels throughout Activision Blizzard worldwide."