Statement from Marie-Claire Isaaman, CEO, Women in Games
The latest damning allegations of sexual harassment, toxicity and more fired at Activision and CEO Bobby Kotick via the Wall Street Journal make for very difficult reading.
Incidents of bullying, pay disparity, discrimination, a toxic male company culture, rape and cover-ups have been reported. Kotick has subsequently attacked the WSJ article and has re-iterated Activision’s new ‘zero tolerance’ policy via a video message to his employees.
The allegations are incredibly concerning, particularly coming on the back of a series of reports earlier this year regarding toxicity and harassment at Activision and other games publishers.
As women who work in games, we are saddened and angered to hear – once again – about victims/survivors of alleged unacceptable and toxic workplace practices; and dismayed and frustrated that bullying and sexual harassment are still issues in the games industry in 2021.
As activists, Women in Games is calling on the global games industry as a whole to protect women working in the industry, and to collaborate with us in our work to create an environment that is fair, supportive and welcoming of women. To that effect, we urge the collective industry to:-
- Stamp out toxicity, harassment and pay disparity within studios
- Ensure that leaders and leadership teams take responsibility for company culture, and accept responsibility for workplace misconducts
- Provide victims/survivors with a safe place to share their grievances and ordeals
We are calling on studios, publishers, trade bodies and other organisations to engage with us to achieve these goals. We are seeing more and more women bravely coming forward to share their ordeals. NOW is the time for us to act together.
In September 2021 Women in Games launched a Survey to fully understand these recurring issues within the sector. The results will inform our counter-actions to this continuing problem. It is open till 30 November 2021. We encourage women everywhere to complete this survey.
We also invite women facing harassment, abuse and discrimination to contact us and join our supportive community. Simply email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.
Photo by Nadine Shaabana on Unsplash