Activision Blizzard employees form anti-discrimination committee

They want "meaningful, long-lasting change"

A group of Activision Blizzard employees have formed an anti-discrimination committee and sent a list of demands to management.

According to the Washington Post, the group of 12 Activision Blizzard employees and former employees formed the committee to combat sex and gender discrimination at the company.

It comes after a wave of allegations against the studio.

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“My hope in joining the committee is that we don’t let the fervour die down until there is meaningful, long-lasting change,” said Emily Knief, a senior motion graphic designer at Blizzard. “At the end of the day, I would like to go into work and not have to think about anything but my work. But based on everything that has been happening, even well before it broke through the headlines, it has been taking up a sizeable portion of my day, having to think about the inaction of leadership.”

The committee submitted a four-page list of demands to Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick, diversity officer Kristen Hines and chief human resources officer Julie Hodges yesterday morning (May 24).

Bobby Kotick, President and CEO, Activision Blizzard in 2014 CREDIT: Javier Rojas
Bobby Kotick, President and CEO, Activision Blizzard in 2014 CREDIT: Javier Rojas

They want, amongst other things, workers to be able to meet with the equal employment opportunity coordinator (appointed as part of the federal sexual harassment settlement), the end of undocumented chats with human resources and a restriction on retaliation against employees who file disputes.

The list also calls for an end to mandatory arbitration in discrimination cases and the introduction of private lactation rooms, both of which have already been implemented according to Activision Blizzard spokesperson Jessica Taylor.

“We appreciate that these employees want to join with us to further build a better Activision Blizzard and continue the progress we have already made,” she said in a statement. “We look forward to understanding [employees’] concerns with regards to HR discussions,” Taylor said. “If employees are uncomfortable discussing this with HR then they should approach a senior leader whom they trust.”

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Activision
Activision office. Credit: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images.

“I want this committee to be the industry standard for worker protections,” said former Activision Blizzard employee Jessica Gonzalez. “Even though I am an Activision Blizzard alum, I am still very much involved in organising Activision Blizzard. Developers have and will continue to benefit from my activism and I can’t imagine not being there for my fellow workers, former or current.”

Yesterday, it was announced that employees of the Activision Blizzard owned studio Raven Software have voted to form a union.

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