According to an email leaked by website Kotaku, developer Blizzard is aiming to do more in representing diversity in the workplace with a "global diversity and inclusion initiative".
The studio has said that it is in line with the rest of the games industry when it comes to the balance of its workforce, according to company president Mike Morhaime, but it wants to do more. To help, the company will be partnering with organisations to help increase the number of women in the industry and retention of those employees. Girls who Code is one organisation that is named in the email.
According to Morhaime, Blizzard’s workforce is 21 per cent female, which is similar to the industry as a whole. However, the email identified that women are harder to retain as "they leave our organization at a higher rate than men." The focus isn’t just on female representation but also those minority groups who are considered "under-represented" who make up around 14 per cent of the Blizzard team.
The email also suggests that the company won’t be working to any quota in order to increase these numbers, but rather focus on improving the situation in general with more encouragement to job referrals to qualified women and to have a better recruitment policy around university, conferences and groups that focus on women’s representation in the industry.
The developer has already made steps when it comes to gender representation as it has an LGBTQ Council that meets monthly to discuss issues and help effect change at the studio. A similar women’s group has also been started according to the email, which has been conceived to “think through ideas to attract more women and make Blizzard a more rewarding and enjoyable place for women to work.”
Blizzard has been celebrated for its approach to diversity in the past with increasing female interns, although the games they have produced have come into controversy. The launch of Overwatch was criticised for over sexualisation of the character Tracer.
In the conclusion to the email on Kotaku, Morhaime said "“Our diversity initiative will require a commitment from every one of us, but especially from our leaders, managers, and hiring teams… We appreciate your dedication to help Blizzard achieve this goal.”