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Championing Our People
Activision Blizzard is committed to a diverse, inclusive, and welcoming workplace. Our continued success directly relates to our ability to attract, develop, and retain diverse and exceptional talent. As we introduce new initiatives to maintain a model working environment for all our employees, we enhance our company culture, foster inclusivity, and further commit ourselves to excellence.
Over the past year, we’ve reframed how we think about DE&I. Our DE&I vision is 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, we announced the addition of Kristen Hines as Activision Blizzard’s first Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer. She has helped us continue to prioritize our commitment to DE&I, reframe how we think about DE&I, and embed DE&I in everything we do as an organization.
We have also made meaningful progress against our 2021 goal to increase the combined percentage of women and non-binary employees at the Company by 50% over five years.
Level Up U
In 2021, we committed to investing $250 million over ten years to accelerate employment opportunities for diverse talent in the gaming industry. In April 2022, we took an important step in making good on that commitment and invested approximately $19 million to launch Level Up U. Level Up U is a groundbreaking, scalable, immersive talent training program that creates opportunities for developers.
Through Level Up U, we aim to remove barriers to employment and introduce new talent to Activision Blizzard, while also reshaping the industry’s talent pool. Level Up U serves as a low-risk entry point for engineers from all backgrounds looking to begin a new career path. Participants are paid as full-time engineers throughout the program’s duration and regardless of background or experience, the program can help them obtain their first job, opening up opportunities for them in game studios around the world.
Level Up U was successful beyond our expectations. After completing a rigorous online assessment of their programming and problem-solving skills, more than 100 engineer applicants were hired into the Level Up U class. The selected applicants came from a broad range of backgrounds, including finance, defense, tech, and military fields. The cohort was also deeply diverse, including:
45% of participants who self-reported as either a woman or non-binary person
40% of participants who self-reported as Hispanic or Latinx, Black or African American, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, Asian, Native American or Alaska Native, or more than one of these identities
10% of participants who self-reported as Veterans
Following their graduation from the program in October 2022, over 100 Level Up U engineers were placed in a broad range of full-time engineering roles, including those focused on gameplay, tools, automation, user interface, and AI.
We are proud of Level Up U’s success. With time, we hope to see others in the gaming industry adopt similar programs, particularly as we share out best practices and support industry-wide efforts.
“If we keep making more programs like [Level Up U] and keep finding ways to include [a] more diverse talent pool, it's only going to help us...not just make our company grow, but [make] everyone feel better, feel more inclusive…and…I would like to think hopefully would make the world a little bit better.”
In 2020, King launched the internal “Kicking Glass” mentorship program for women. The program’s success resulted in the Activision Blizzard Together@ABK mentorship program, scaled globally across our 10 Employee Network Groups (ENGs). We finished the year with 644 registrants, 476 mentorship sessions, and a 3.9/4 star satisfaction rate from mentees. The program enabled us to connect mentees and mentors from different ENGs, departments, and business units across the Company. Our hope is that Together@ABK will continue to empower our workforce through meaningful connections, a more resilient community, and opportunities for growth.