The developer has been underneath intense scrutiny over the previous yr for harboring a tradition of flagrant sexual harassment and sexism. The California Division of Honest Employment and Housing filed a lawsuit in opposition to Activision final July, saying the corporate had been complicit in rampant “frat boy” habits and had thus violated the state’s civil rights and equal pay legal guidelines. Activision govt Fran Townsend instantly responded with a company-wide electronic mail deflecting accountability for the lawsuit. This prompted 2,000-plus staff to signal a petition in opposition to the corporate’s “abhorrent and insulting” response.
Since then, executives have made unfastened guarantees to make the corporate a safer and fairer place to work. CEO Bobby Kotick acknowledged shortly after the lawsuit’s initiation that he’d be hiring a third-party legislation agency to conduct an unbiased overview of the corporate’s insurance policies. In observe, this didn’t go over properly: Kotick selected to work with the union-busting agency WilmerHale, leading to worker pushback. (It’s unclear whether or not the overview ever occurred after this.) Now Activision has determined to conduct its personal overview…of itself. And unsurprisingly, the corporate issued itself a transparent invoice of well being.
“What we have now come to appreciate over the previous a number of months is that there are a lot of truths about our firm—particular person and collective, experiential and data-driven—and generally they are often tough to reconcile… Certainly, a single occasion of somebody feeling diminished at Activision Blizzard is one too many,” a brand new Securities and Alternate Fee (SEC) submitting reads. Whereas there have been “some substantiated situations of gender harassment,” Activision has discovered no proof that “senior management or the Board had been conscious of and tolerated gender harassment or that there was ever a systemic subject with harassment, discrimination or retaliation.” The submitting additionally says that, opposite to worker allegations, “the Board and its exterior advisors have decided that there isn’t a proof to recommend that Activision Blizzard senior executives ever deliberately ignored or tried to downplay the situations of gender harassment that occurred and had been reported.”
An inside overview performed by the group being reviewed is greatest taken with a grain of salt. (Authorities entities and legislation enforcement companies often discover themselves freed from interior battle after conducting opinions of themselves, as an example.) One wonders what the findings of such a overview could be if it had been carried out by a 3rd occasion.
To its credit score, Activision says it has carried out a brand new company-wide zero-tolerance harassment coverage. It’s additionally allegedly tripled its funding in anti-harassment and anti-discrimination coaching sources, in addition to expanded its Ethics & Compliance group. Whether or not the corporate really enforces its shiny new coverage and makes use of its expanded sources, nevertheless, might be revealed over time.