Activision Blizzard is currently facing serious ongoing allegations of harassment and mistreatment of marginalized workers. To learn more, please visit our timeline as well as our in-depth report on the subject.Activision Blizzard’s new Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer has some lofty ambitions.
Kristen Hines will join Activision Blizzard from April 25, 2022, and already has her sights set on increasing the number of women and non-binary employees by 50%.
“I’m excited to join a company that is prioritizing its commitment to [Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion], and making progress on the ambitious goals it has set for itself,” she said in an official statement. “In an industry with historical underrepresentation, I’m looking forward to leading the company’s efforts to further build a workplace that values transparency, equity, and inclusivity.”
Activision has confirmed that Hines will play a “crucial role” in the company’s efforts to increase the number of women and non-binary employees in its workforce over the next five years.
“Gaming has amazing potential to connect communities around the world and showcase heroes from all backgrounds,” she added. “I am looking forward to playing a part in expanding the landscape of talent who brings these compelling experiences to a broad base of players.”
Her appointment comes shortly after Activision Blizzard converted all QA testers to full-time employees. The move followed a walk-out by Raven Software devs following the layoff of “at least a dozen” QA contractors.
“Activision Blizzard has ambitious goals to become the most welcoming and inclusive company in the gaming industry,” said CEO Bobby Kotick. “We have already made significant progress ensuring the safety and well-being of our employees, and we are excited to have Kristen join our leadership team to help drive even greater improvement.”
Of course, this progress comes after a long and highly public string of harassment allegations that highlight a “toxic work culture” at the company, as well as the mistreatment of marginalized workers.
And while Hines’ appointment will hopefully go some way towards addressing these issues, it looks as though Activision Blizzard still has a long way to go.
“Kristen’s success leading complex transformation with measurable results makes her the right person to ensure we deliver on our diversity, equity, and inclusion commitments and build a model workplace aligned with our values,” said Kotick.
Activision Blizzard recently settled one lawsuit with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) for a staggering $18 million. The funds will be made available to compensate eligible claimants, enhance existing policies, practices, and training, and engage a third-party equal opportunity consultant approved by the EEOC.
Despite demands that CEO Bobby Kotick step down from Activision Blizzard, the controversial figurehead currently remains.
Although one lawsuit has since been settled, the long-running scandal of harassment and a “frat boy culture” continues with the California state’s lawsuit over gender discrimination.
Ryan Leston is an entertainment journalist and film critic for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter.
Source: IGN Video Games All