Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion 2022 Look-Back
In 2022, we increased the representation of Activision Blizzard King employees who identify as a woman or non-binary by two percentage points.
At Activision Blizzard, we’re striving to be a place where our employees and players see themselves reflected in the company and in our games, know that their voices matter, and feel like they belong. In April 2022, I took on the role of Activision Blizzard’s first Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer. I was excited to join a company that’s prioritizing its commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) and setting ambitious goals. We’ve taken meaningful steps along that journey and are excited to share the impact we had in 2022 in our first yearly update.
Over the past year, we reframed how we think about DE&I. Diversity representation numbers are important and we’ll share our 2022 progress later in this Look-Back, but it goes beyond just numbers. Every employee should feel seen, heard, and valued. We are investing in our people, our business, and our community to do the important work both in and out of our games. To lead these efforts, we’ve added world-class talent to our already capable DE&I team and embedded DE&I leaders within each of our businesses to meet their unique needs.
We're working with teams globally to enact policies and encourage behaviors that create diverse, equitable, and inclusive environments. These environments are where our people will thrive, be their most innovative, and make the best games. With strong foundations set in 2022, we have the structure in place to work towards our goals and are excited to bring you along the journey with us.
Our purpose is to embed the policies, processes, and behaviors that create and cultivate a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment to ignite innovation and deliver epic entertainment for our players.
ENSURING OUR PEOPLE ARE SEEN, HEARD, AND VALUED
In 2022, we focused even more on fostering a culture of inclusion and belonging where everyone can thrive, which included looking across our technology and systems.
We know that addressing someone using the correct name pronunciation and pronouns is critical to acknowledge a person’s full identity and helps build a culture of safety and inclusion. So, we looked at how our internal systems and collaboration tools could help us do that. In partnership with our Information Technology and People Experience teams, we added the option to include pronouns and name pronunciation in Slack and Workday and put into practice the use of preferred names over legal names, where legally acceptable. We know there is more work to be done and we are committed to continuing to make our internal systems more inclusive.
Our global Employee Network Groups (ENGs) lay at the heart of our organization and provide safe spaces for connection, growth, learning, and leadership for many of our employees. They also influence the core of our business through cross-Network collaboration on important topics like including pronouns in our systems, and new character creation features in our games.
In addition to our ENGs, we’ve created opportunities for connection through new people-focused programs. A few of these include:
Press Pause, a series of roundtable discussions that create a safe space for courageous conversations not typically had in the workplace, and shine a light on the experiences of our employees from different backgrounds
Walking the Talk@ABK, a video series featuring our employees who champion DE&I from across the business and around the world, and spotlighting the impact of their initiatives and efforts
DE&I Community of Action (CoA), a space for DE&I champions from all parts of the company to connect, share best practices, explore educational opportunities, and grow personally and professionally
Together@ABK Mentorship Program, a mentorship program launched in collaboration with our ENGs to help create a deeper sense of community among employees and help them grow
We’re also working to embed DE&I values and practices into every level of the organization and across the employee lifecycle. In partnership with the ABK Talent team, we’re reimagining how we think about our talent pipeline and how we make the recruitment experience more welcoming for all. We continue to evolve our recruiting practices to encourage people from all backgrounds to apply for our open roles. This approach paved the way for new programs like Level Up U, and amped up our recruitment presence at events like Black Tech Fest in the U.K. and Call of Duty Endowment (C.O.D.E.) Bowl, helping us reach more potential candidates and create a more diverse pipeline of talent.
Changes to how our job descriptions are written also encourage diverse applicants. For example, research shows that women and members of other underrepresented groups tend to not apply to jobs when they think they may not meet every qualification, when, in fact, they often do. To address this, we added language to encourage people to apply even if the applicant believes they don’t meet all requirements.
“We love hearing from anyone who is enthusiastic about changing the games industry. Not sure you meet all qualifications? Let us decide! Research shows that women and members of other under-represented groups tend to not apply to jobs when they think they may not meet every qualification, when, in fact, they often do! At Activision Blizzard, we are committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment and strongly encourage you to apply.”
We also implemented “Textio,” a writing tool that helps make the job description language more inclusive and gender-neutral. In 2022, the Talent team revised more than 5,500 job descriptions using Textio as a tool.
We’ll continue to measure the impact of these changes, as we’re confident this work will contribute to our goal of becoming the most welcoming and inclusive company in the industry. We also believe this will help us meet the commitment we made in 2021 to increase the percentage of women and non-binary employees by 50% over five years.
As we’ve matured along our DE&I journey, we’ve expanded internal visibility into our representation data to help track progress and maintain accountability. We’ve also evolved our classifications of race, ethnicity, and gender, and made changes to the way we report our data. We worked with our people, ENGs, and benchmark data to land on categories that work for our employee population.
These changes include separating “Woman” and “Non-binary” gender identities in our representation data and reporting on those who self-identified as “Something Else.” In our 2022 data, the percentage of employees who have self-identified as “Non-binary” is 1%, and we hope that our efforts to create a more inclusive environment will increase feelings of safety among employees and lead to increased self-reporting.
We’ve also moved away from reporting racial and ethnic data as one group (“underrepresented ethnic groups”) and will report on each distinct racial and ethnic group. We believe that distinct reporting on racial, ethnic, and gender data will help reduce feelings of “othering” that grouping identities together can create.
In our new report of representation data, we’re also sharing our hiring and retention data broken down by gender, race, and ethnicity. This is the first time we’re sharing this data and will therefore serve as our baseline or starting point moving forward.
2022 DE&I Data Methodology
MAKING DE&I INTEGRAL TO THE WAY WE CONDUCT BUSINESS
Beyond creating an inclusive environment for our people, it is absolutely necessary to focus on inclusive game and content design. We’re here to make great games and one of our biggest opportunities for impact is through the worlds and characters we create. We’re working across the company to equip our game developers with the knowledge and resources to make games that are more accessible to gamers with varying abilities, tell more stories through different lenses, and show characters with diverse backgrounds.
We’ve led the industry in diverse representation in our storytelling and this has enabled us to build strong connections with our community. Our teams have made this common practice and we see it across our games, including the many King franchise games celebrating Pride Season and the LGBTQ+ community with in-game experiences. We’ve also found ways to use in-game experiences to honor the veteran community. When players purchase items such as the Call of Duty Endowment Protector Pack in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II and in Call of Duty: Warzone 2.0, they are directly contributing to the Endowment’s mission to place unemployed and underemployed veterans in the U.S. and U.K. into high-quality jobs. Additionally, we’ve created in-game activations to drive awareness about the Endowment’s mission through award-winning campaigns such as Call of Duty Veteruns—the first-ever in-game charity race.
Diverse and inclusive storytelling in our games has also received external recognition such as Blizzard’s World of Warcraft: Dragonflight’s recent GLAAD nomination for authentic LGBTQ characters and stories. We’re also working with organizations like the Center for Scholars and Storytellers to bring workshops, resources, and learning opportunities to our game developers across ABK to expand and evolve our reach.
In 2022, over 100 game developers were certified as Accessible Player Experience (APX) Practitioners through AbleGamers. Equipping our game developers with new capabilities has led to more accessibility features in our games.
In addition to making our stories more diverse and our games more accessible, we’ve also made investments in features and initiatives to ensure teams are fostering a fun and safe environment for our players across all our games. Some examples of our investments include setting expectations for player behavior and putting systems in place to encourage positive behavior and discourage disruptive play, giving players the opportunity to report offensive behavior, and using a combination of human moderation and tools to address reports of misconduct in a timely manner or to prevent them altogether.
We’re already seeing positive results from these efforts and will continue to monitor and report on our progress.
SHOWING UP FOR OUR COMMUNITY
The opportunity to drive positive impact reaches beyond our global gaming community. We’ve created bigger and better opportunities for future generations of game-changers, and developed partnerships that increase diversity in our industry, some of which include, Management Leadership for Tomorrow and Out 4 Undergrad. ABK has partnered with Hiring Our Heroes and Veteran2Industry to develop and support transitioning service members, and we've also invested in programs that provide underserved and marginalized communities with exposure to resources and career opportunities in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) such as the Entertainment Industry College Outreach Program (EICOP).
Our community engagement efforts span beyond recruiting-focused partnerships and expand our strategy of embedding DE&I into the business, and into the community. Our collaboration with Otis College of Art and Design on a Call of Duty-inspired digital fashion show is a perfect example of this. Activision Blizzard's drive to mentor and inspire the next generation of creatives, and Otis’s diverse population of students and commitment to removing boundaries for them, enables us to impact the future of digital arts with DE&I at the center.
DE&I is a journey, not a destination. On this journey, progress is the goal. Progress is never done.
In 2022 we set the necessary groundwork and made meaningful progress toward our ambitious goals. DE&I is a journey, not a destination. And for that reason, there is always more work to be done. As we look ahead to the rest of 2023, we’ll continue to evolve our work to positively impact employees’ lived experiences (i.e., how their lives and well-being are impacted by their experience at work). We’ll also continue to embed DE&I practices into every part of Activision, Blizzard, and King. For our people, this means continued focus on education, engagement, mentorship, and leadership development. For our business, we will continue to grow our inclusive game design capabilities and plan initiatives to encourage supplier diversity. In our community, we will grow our presence and build meaningful collaborations to encourage DE&I values across the gaming industry.
Our focus for the year ahead is building connections across all that we do. When people feel connected to themselves, their work, the organization, and each other, it brings a sense of purpose and belonging - and that’s our ultimate goal.
Thanks for taking a look back with us on our DE&I efforts. I’m optimistic about where we’re headed this year, and beyond.
🎮 Read more on how we’re making our games more accessible
💻 See how we’re fostering a fun and safe environment for our players
2022 DE&I Data Methodology
The data included in this presentation represent our best estimates based on data included in our systems. Data was pulled on 3/14/2023.
Our gender data is global, where permissible by local law, and represents employees’ self-selection between fields of “female,” “male,” “non-binary,” “other,” and “I do not wish to disclose.” In calculating gender representation, we consider the percentage of known employees (i.e., those who have not selected “I do not wish to disclose,” or have not identified in any way). Category language is changed in the visual data with “female” displayed as “woman,” “male” displayed as “man,” and “other” displayed as “something else.”
Gender representation data reflects regular, non-temporary employees with employee contract type “regular,” that were employed as of 12/31/2022.
Recruitment data by gender reflects regular, non-temporary employees that joined ABK at any point in time in 2022 with employee contract type "regular.”
Retention data by gender reflects regular, non-temporary employees with employee contract type "regular” and a “termination reason” of "voluntary” in 2022.
Our race and ethnicity data is limited to the United States and, like our gender data, represents employees’ self-selection. In this case, the fields from which employees select include “White,” “two or more races,” “Hispanic or Latino,” “American Indian or Alaska Native,” “Black or African American,” “Asian,” “Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander,” and “prefer not to say.” Again, in calculating ethnicity representation, we consider the percentage of known employees (i.e., those who have not selected “prefer not to say” or have not identified in any way). Category language is changed in the visual data with “Hispanic or Latino” displayed as “Hispanic or Latinx,” “Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander” displayed as “Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander,” and “American Indian or Alaska Native” displayed as “Native American or Alaska Native.”
Race and ethnicity representation data reflects regular, non-temporary employees with employee contract type “regular” and a “work location” in the United States that were employed as of 12/31/2022.
Recruitment data by race and ethnicity reflects regular, non-temporary employees that joined ABK at any point in time in 2022 with employee contract type “regular” and a “work location” in the United States.
Retention data by race and ethnicity data reflects regular, non-temporary employees with employee contract type “regular” and a “work location” in the United States with a “termination reason” of “voluntary” in 2022.