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Activision Blizzard Releases Employment Diversity Data

Activision Blizzard plans to release data about diversity at the company quarterly moving forward.
Activision Blizzard plans to release data about diversity at the company quarterly moving forward. / SOPA Images/GettyImages

Activision Blizzard released data Thursday about the diversity of its employees in 2021, offering a glimpse into the status of representation at the company.

Chief operating officer and president Daniel Alegre published a letter alongside the data, saying he and the rest of Activision Blizzard leadership knew they had to re-earn the trust of their employees after a series of investigations and lawsuits rocked the company over a reported culture of sexual harassment and gender-based discrimination.

"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," he wrote.

"While the initiatives may take time to be felt across the company, you will see additional important changes in the new year. Our (and my) commitment and resolve are unwavering."

Per the report, women make up 24% of the global Activision Blizzard King workplace, but the numbers vary widely across the company's many divisions.

  • Activision Blizzard Corporate: 47% women
  • Activision Publishing: 17% women
  • Blizzard: 22% women
  • King: 34% women

Meanwhile, under-represented ethnic groups (UEGs, per Activision Blizzard, and defined as multi-racial or non-white employees) account for 40% of employees across ABK — although those numbers only include employees in the United States.

  • Activision Blizzard: 51% UEG
  • Activision Publishing: 33% UEG
  • Blizzard: 34% UEG
  • King: 60% UEG

The proportion of women across ABK peaks at the entry level and senior vice president levels, with dips in representation at intervening rungs in the corporate ladder. UEGs, meanwhile, steadily taper off proportionally, peaking at 41% in entry level positions and dropping to 22% at senior vice president levels.

In 2021, 29% of Activision Blizzard's hires were women, and 40% were UEGs. The company has already publicly committed to increasing women and non-binary representation at ABK by 50% within the next five years, though it's not clear how non-binary employees factor into the data released Thursday.

Alegre named several key areas the company hoped to focus on:

  • Hiring additional Diversity, Equity and Inclusion leaders at the ABK and division levels
  • Tie yearly diversity goals to performance goals
  • Invest in learning and development curriculum around inclusion
  • Create manager, executive mentorship and sponsorship programs to promote upward mobility for women and UEGs
  • Continue improving talent and recruiting systems

This is the first time Activision Blizzard has released this kind of data, making it hard to measure its progress to date, but it says it will continue to release updates on the information quarterly moving forward. The full data is publicly available here.

"One of the key areas of feedback has been the need to share more information openly as a company," Alegre wrote. "I recognize that without being more transparent on important data it can make it harder to keep us accountable for progress where needed. That is not my intent, and this will change."

The data does not address compensation for employees. Pay disparity among employees of different genders was one of several problems outlined at the company in the lawsuits filed by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing.

Many Activision Blizzard employees are currently on strike over the firing of dozens of QA testers at the Activision-owned studio Raven Software.