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Activision Blizzard touts 2022's diversity progress

Publisher saw modest representation improvements in 2022, but women and non-white employees also left the company at a higher rate

Activision Blizzard today released its Environmental, Social, and Governance report, detailing the company's efforts to improve representation in the company and reduce its environmental impact in 2022.

"Gaming is a cultural force, and for that force to reach as far as possible, we must attract and retain a highly talented and diverse workforce and build a welcoming and inclusive workplace," Activision Blizzard chief administration officer Brian Bullatao said in the preface of the report.

Given the gender discrimination lawsuit Activision Blizzard has been facing since 2021, diversity has been a known issue for the company. On that front, the company said that it had increased the percentage of employees who identify as women or non-binary to 26% as of November of 2022, up from 24% a year earlier.

Representation in management and middle management at the company has also shifted. From 2018 through 2020, men made up a static 79% of employees with direct reports. For 2022, 75% of people with direct reports self-reported as men.

The company has a goal to have women and non-binary people account for 36% of employees by 2026. Over the course of 2022, 32% of new hires self-reported as women, non-binary, or "something else."

Activision Blizzard also detailed its efforts to improve diversity along a race and ethnicity axis as well. 61% of the company's employees self-reported as white in 2022, down from 64% in 2021. The percentage of managers who were white also decreased from 70% to 68%.

Retention remains a problem, as non-male and non-white employees decided to leave the company at elevated rates relative to their representation in the company.

Women made up 27% of voluntary departures in 2022 while accounting for 25% of employees, while non-white and multiracial employees made up 42% of voluntary departures but 39% of the overall workforce.

Update: After publication, an Activision Blizzard representative offered additional data on this point, saying, "Overall, retention improved for the company in 2022, and we achieved a 13% voluntary turnover rate, compared to 17% in 2021. Additionally, we're recruiting and hiring women and diverse candidates at higher rates, 29% of all recruits self-reported as woman while 44% of all recruits self-reported as non-white candidates." /Update

In addition to hiring its first chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer, Activision Blizzard also said it had hired a head of inclusive game design and a chief ethics and compliance officer in 2022.

As for environmental concerns, Activision Blizzard said it established a decarbonization roadmap with a goal to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Looking forward, the company committed to publishing employee promotion rates by gender in its next ESG report, as well as promotion rates by race and ethnicity for its US staff.

It will also launch an annual diversity, equity and inclusion update, while the Activision Publishing division will "pilot a process to formally incorporate inclusive game design as a defined and expected component in high-level game approval processes."

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Brendan Sinclair avatar
Brendan Sinclair: Brendan joined in 2012. Based in Toronto, Ontario, he was previously senior news editor at GameSpot.
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