Blizzard are launching an initiative to hire more women into its workforce and encourage them to stay for longer. The move is part of an attempt to increase the percentage of women and underrepresented minority groups working for the company, and was announced in an internal email received by Kotaku.
Blizzard feature heavily on our list of the best PC games.
According to the email, which comes from Blizzard president Mike Morhaime, only 21% of the company’s staff are women. Women also “leave [Blizzard] at a higher rate than men.” These numbers aren’t that odd for the wider games industry, which Blizzard roughly fall in line with, but they’re still hoping to be able to improve them.
Morhaime mentions that the company does not plan to set quotas for the number of women it hires, but will instead encourage employees to refer qualified women to open positions. It will also look to encourage more women to the company from conferences and universities, and plans to organise partnerships with groups like Girls Who Code. These partnerships will be part of a wider attempt to encourage more women into games development and computer science.
Blizzard have already taken steps to improve the work environment for women, including the introduction of a council of women from various positions within the company. The aim of this group is to encourage company leaders to “think through ideas to attract more women and make Blizzard a more rewarding and enjoyable place for women to work.” Other changes will include better networking options for women, including a “Women @ Blizzard” summit, due to begin next year.
The move is the start of a movement which will attempt to improve Blizzard as a place for women and members of minority groups to work. The company’s games have struggled with gender issues recently, as this video of sexist abuse in Overwatch shows.