Activision exec tackles both corporate and ‘game design’ diversity

Activision Blizzard has announced the appointment of Kristen Hines as Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer, effective Monday, April 25. Hines previously worked at Accenture, a consulting firm where she helped a number of companies grow their DEI initiatives. She will be part of the leadership team and will report to Director of Human Resources Julie Hodges.

“I am thrilled to join a company that is prioritizing its commitment to DEI and making progress on the ambitious goals it has set for itself,” Hines said in a press release. “In a historically underrepresented industry, I look forward to leading the company’s efforts to build a workplace that values ​​transparency, fairness and inclusiveness.”

Hines’ role will see her work on Activision Blizzard’s ongoing diversity initiatives, including the company’s pledge to increase the percentage of women and non-binary people in the workforce by 50% over the next five years. coming years. As the press release explains, it “will also partner with all game teams to ensure diverse and inclusive perspectives are included in the game’s design, including storylines, character development, gameplay and community interaction”.

“Activision Blizzard has ambitious goals to become the most welcoming and inclusive company in the gaming industry,” CEO Bobby Kotick said in the press release. “We have already made significant progress in ensuring the safety and well-being of our employees, and we are delighted to have Kristen join our leadership team to contribute to even greater improvement.”

Last year, a report alleged that Kotick knew about and suppressed reports of sexual misconduct at Activision Blizzard. Kotick called the report “inaccurate and misleading.” Following news of Microsoft’s planned takeover of Activision Blizzard, another report claims that Kotick is expected to leave after the deal closes.

In July 2021, the State of California filed a lawsuit against Activision Blizzard alleging years of workplace discrimination and harassment. The story has since embroiled CEO Bobby Kotick and prompted the US federal government to launch an investigation. It continues to expand and be of immense importance to the video game industry. You can keep up to date with all the developments so far in this regularly updated explanatory article.

Activision Blizzard announced last week that 1,100 temporary QA workers would be appointed full-time alongside raises for the position, as pressure from employee groups continues. However, the company quickly revealed that Raven Software’s quality assurance workers, many of whom work to unionize, will not receive the same raises.

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