Activision Blizzard Employees Demand Anti-Discrimination Reform

The committee has submitted a list of demands to Activision Blizzard.

A group of 12 Activision Blizzard employees have formed an anti-discrimination committee to combat sex and gender discrimination at the company, following a wave of allegations against the company.

According to a new report from the Washington Post, the committee has gathered a list of demands which they submitted on May 24 to Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick, diversity officer Kristen Hines, and chief human resources officer Julie Hodges.

“My hope in joining the committee is that we don’t let the fervor 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 sizable portion of my day, having to think about the inaction of leadership.”

The list, which spans four pages, demands that workers should be able to meet with the equal employment opportunity coordinator on diversity and inclusion initiatives--who was appointed as part of the federal sexual harassment settlement in September 2021--as well as end undocumented chats with human resources and a restriction on retaliation against employees who file disputes.

Activision Blizzard shared a long statement with GameSpot in which it addresses a number of issues raised by the committee. “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,” the spokesperson in a statement. “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.”

Regarding retaliation, the spokesperson said, "We have a strong policy prohibiting retaliation and act on any substantiated claims of retaliation. In October, the company shared that any Activision Blizzard employee found through our investigative processes to have retaliated against anyone for making a compliance complaint will be terminated immediately."

The committee, amongst other things, also wants an end to mandatory arbitration in discrimination cases, along with the introduction of private lactation rooms after there were claims of breastmilk being stolen. Both of these demands have already been implemented according to an Activision Blizzard spokesperson, including locks being installed on fridges.

Additionally, the demands also include the creation of an employee trans network similar to how the company already has a women’s network in order to support employees before and after a transition. Software tools that wipe employees' deadnames are also included in the list. Activision Blizzard noted that it attempts to use chosen names when not legally required to do otherwise, adding, "We have an LGBT+ network that includes trans employees in leadership roles. Within the group, there is a trans working group who have provided recommendations that have been implemented."

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