Activision stockholders voted late yesterday to approve an annual report documenting the company’s response to harassment and abuse in the workplace. The report would catalog any incidents of harassment that occur at Activision, as well as Activision’s response.
In February, New York State comptroller Thomas DiNapoli filed shareholder proposals with Activision and other companies including Starbucks and Tesla to request that they report on efforts to confront workplace discrimination. This request followed the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing’s lawsuit in 2021, which found that Activision had discriminated against its female employees. Only 20% of the company’s workforce was female, and women faced systemic sexual harassment as well as lower pay and uneven job assignments compared to their male peers.
Activision responded to this lawsuit with a statement that called its findings “distorted and in many cases false.” Shortly after this, a spokesperson for the company suggested that unionization wasn’t necessary, an opinion that Activision has repeated publicly several times, most recently in February. Despite this, subsidiary Raven Software successfully voted to unionize last month, which has kicked off other unionization drives within the industry.
Activision cleared itself of wrongdoing in an internal investigation last week, which stated that “there is no evidence to suggest that Activision Blizzard senior executives ever intentionally ignored or attempted to downplay the instances of gender harassment that occurred and were reported,” a claim that was quickly criticized. The company has also been opposed to yesterday’s vote approving the annual report on harassment, and recommended that stockholders vote against it. The vote itself is non-binding, but DiNapoli and others have called on the company to act swiftly and respect the vote.