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Activision Blizzard staff past and present form anti-discrimination committee

Activision Blizzard staff past and present form anti-discrimination committee

Current and former members of staff at Activision Blizzard have created an anti-discrimination committee at the company.

That's according to The Washington Post, which reports that the 12-strong group is aiming to combat sex and gender discrimination at the Call of Duty giant. The committee submitted a list of demands at a meeting with CEO Robert Kotick, diversity officer Kristen Hines and chief HR officer Julie Hodges on Tuesday.

This includes that staff be allowed to meet with the equal employment opportunity coordinator, who was appointed as part of Activision Blizzard's settlement with EEOC – about diversity and inclusion initiatives. One entire page of the four-page list of demands is dedicated to private lactation rooms for women to breastfeed following allegations that breast milk was stolen in the past. 

“My hope in joining the committee is that we don’t let the fervor die down until there is meaningful, long-lasting change,” said Blizzard senior motion graphic designer Emily Knief said.

“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 sizable portion of my day, having to think about the inaction of leadership.”

Activision Blizzard spokesperson Jessica Taylor said in a statement: “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. We have, for example, already upgraded our lactation facilities, waived arbitration, hired new DEI and EEO leaders, and collaborated with employees to make our policies and processes more Trans inclusive, just to name a few issues the letter raises.”

This news comes in the wake of almost a year of negative press for Activision Blizzard over its allegedly toxic working culture. It also follows the formation of a union within Raven Software's QA department.


PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site PCGamesInsider.biz. In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for GamesIndustry.biz, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.

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