Games company Activision Blizzard promises changes amid sexism walkout at Irvine’s office



IRVINE, Calif. (KABC) – Workers at leading video game company Activision Blizzard today staged a day-long strike at the company’s Irvine office over allegations of sexism in the workplace, one day after the company announced a number of measures to respond to the charges. .

The video game company behind iconic games such as Call of Duty and World of Warcraft is the subject of a lawsuit filed by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, which alleges a “culture of brotherhood at work ”which includes the sexual harassment of women by managers.

Current and former employees on Tuesday issued a letter calling for “official statements recognizing the seriousness of these allegations and showing compassion for victims of harassment and assault.”

Later Tuesday, the company’s CEO Bobby Kotick responded with a letter to all employees outlining the new policies.

“I want to recognize and thank everyone who has come forward in the past and in the past few days. I appreciate your courage so much. Every voice matters and we will do a better job of listening now and in the future,” Kotick said. . in a Twitter post, in connection with the letter.

“Our initial responses to the issues we face together and to your concerns have been, quite frankly, mute. It is imperative that we recognize all perspectives and experiences and respect the feelings of those who have been abused in any way. I’m sorry we didn’t provide the right empathy and understanding, ” he wrote.

“We take swift action to be the compassionate and caring company you came to work for and to ensure a safe environment. There is nowhere in our company for discrimination, harassment or unequal treatment of whatever it is, ”the letter says.

The letter went on to say that Activision Blizzard had asked law firm WilmerHale to conduct a review of its policies and procedures “to ensure that we have and maintain best practices to promote a respectful and inclusive workplace. This work will begin immediately “.

Kotick also cited the following actions, with immediate effect:

Employee support: “We will continue to investigate every complaint and will not hesitate to take decisive action. To strengthen our capabilities in this area, we are adding senior management and other resources to the Compliance team and the Employee Relations team.

Listening sessions: “We know that many of you have inspired ideas on how to improve our culture. We will create safe, third-party moderated spaces for you to express yourself and share areas for improvement.”

Staff changes: “We immediately assess the managers and leaders of the company. Anyone who interferes with the integrity of our processes for assessing claims and imposing appropriate consequences will be terminated. “

Hiring practices: “Earlier this year, I sent out an email asking all hiring managers to ensure they have diverse candidate rosters for all open positions. We will add compliance resources to ensure that our hiring managers adhere to this directive. “

Changes in the game: “We have heard feedback from employee and player communities that some of our in-game content is inappropriate. We are removing that content.”

Founded in 1979 as the leading independent developer and distributor of video game software, Activision is present in more than 15 countries.

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