Girls Who Code is a non-profit organization working to increase the number of women in computer science fields. It has ended its partnership agreement with Activision Blizzard due to ongoing allegations of harassment and “assault” at the company.
Girls Who Code stated in a statement that “Our priority has been and will always be to stand up to women and another underrepresented group in tech and ensure they are given support and stability as they pursue a career in computer science.”
“Activision’s news proves that our priorities have been fundamentally misaligned.” “We cannot continue to work with a company so contrary to our values.
Girls Who Code stated that the nature of the tech sector means it only works with companies that are open to addressing the effects of racism, sexism, and harassment on workplace culture and company practices. While it works with partners to address their weaknesses, there is a limit to what they can do, and Activision’s allegations have gone beyond that.
Girls Who Code’s two-week Girls Who Code Summer Immersion program is open to junior, senior, and sophomore girls. It gives them exposure to tech jobs, introduces them, and provides them with support from “a supportive sisterhood” of girls in technology. Blizzard is a sponsor of this program since 2018. But it’s not the only one. P&G and AT&T are also 2021 partners. These include Logitech and Humble Bundle, Rockstar, and Electronic Arts. Lisa Su, who is the president and CEO of AMD, isn’t a tech company.
Girls Who Code stated that they stand in solidarity and support Activision’s bravery to share their experiences. They hope they receive the justice and accountability that they deserve. We stand by their colleagues who have also suffered from the consequences of this failure in company leadership.”
Activision Blizzard is currently in turmoil after California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing filed suit against it in July. The lawsuit alleged widespread discrimination and sexual harassment and a “fratboy” workplace culture. This week, the situation got worse for CEO Bobby Kotick and the company.
Just one day after similar criticisms of Activision Blizzard by Phil Spencer, Xbox boss, and Sony Interactive CEO Jim Ryan, the Girls Who Code statement was released. A petition was also signed by approximately 1,600 Activision Blizzard employees calling for Kotick’s resignation.