For Activision Blizzard, 2021 has been a busy year and not always in the way the company hoped for. The company has been under investigation for discrimination, having a hostile workplace culture, with investigative reports, and strikes to end the year. Now there's a new letter released from president and COO Daniel Alegre with a 2021 representation data report and an acknowledgement that the company must do better.
The press release cites "undeniable frustration within the organization around our progress on, and responses to, workplace concerns" . He goes on to express understanding that there must be trust in the company's leadership and that trust is earned based on actions. He claimed that Activision Blizzard had "doubled our efforts to bring about significant changes, some completed and some still in flight" and calls for patience as change takes time. He also cites feedback the company received to be more open and transparent with data that can help keep it accountable.
As part of this unannounced effort at transparency, the company has released its first-ever representation report with data on gender and representation throughout Activision Blizzard King. Some of the data in the report shows that the overall company workforce is 24% women, which is similar to other companies in the industry. Women represented 29% of hires in 2021 but also 26% of attrition. Additionally, 36% of employees belong to “an underrepresented ethnic group”, which they say is comparable in the industry.
Facing widespread criticism for the investigations and violations, calls for new leadership, and even removal of the CEO, Activision Blizzard announced new policies intended to increase representation of women and non-binary workers. Alegre says that the 2022 focus will be on several points intended to increase representation, including tying yearly diversity goals to Executive Leadership performance goals, adding diversity leaders across the company, starting programs intended to increase hiring numbers of the underrepresented, including women, and workplace culture changes.
The statement does seem to mirror the insistence that it can clean itself up from within, something that others have been skeptical about. The goals outlined would take time to make any difference if they are going to work, but the company promises continued transparency going forward, starting with the report they released.