Blizzard Launches Diversity Initiative To Focus On Women And Minorities

overwatch blizzard competitive
(Photo: Blizzard Entertainment)

Blizzard is working on a global initiative with the intent to have women and minorities represented more in their workforce, according to an internal company email.

The internal email in question that details the inclusion plans was received by Kotaku recently and was confirmed soon after by a representative from Blizzard. Within the email, Blizzard's president Mike Morhaime commented that only 21 percent of the company's employees are women and that "they leave our organisation at a higher rate than men." Morhaime also added that the numbers he provided were pretty consistent with the gaming industry as a whole, but Blizzard strives to do better in that field.

Minority groups make up an even smaller percentage of Blizzard employees at 14 percent, and while the internal efforts will first be directed at representing women more frequently with the company, the focus will soon shift to including minority groups as well.

As far as the methods for diversifying the workforce are concerned, Blizzard plans to avoid imposing a "quota" on how many minorities and women should fill certain roles. Instead, their intent is to have employees refer more women to open positions within the company so long as they're qualified for the job. More efforts to recruit women from relevant conferences and organizations are also part of their plans.

While the new initiative from Blizzard is certainly a step in the right direction for diversity in the gaming industry, it's definitely worth pointing out that this isn't the first time Blizzard has taken such diversifying measures in the past. The company has received criticism for some of their games in the past, but recent efforts seem extremely promising.

Overwatch is a prime example of this, both as far as the game's professional players go as well as the actual characters in-game. Getting the whole gaming community on board with diversity efforts has been something Blizzard has worked towards in Overwatch and other games, though that'll likely take longer than the internal efforts. Overwatch's growing roster of playable heroes features many unique characters from different regions and backgrounds with new characters continuing to represent more groups.

Diversifying the workforce within Blizzard and in the gaming industry as a whole will likely take some time, but Blizzard definitely seems committed to it.

[via Kotaku]