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Blizzard Starts Drive To Recruit More Women and Ethnic Minorities (bbc.co.uk) 310

An anonymous reader shares a report: The company behind games like World of Warcraft and Overwatch has started a drive to recruit more women and ethnic minorities. The information is in a leaked internal email from Blizzard's CEO, seen by the website Kotako. It claims 21 percent of Blizzard's employees are women, and although that's similar to the rest of the gaming industry, it says it wants to do better. The company claims the initiative will focus on finding more female employees and getting them to stay on longer. At the moment women are leaving at a higher rate than men but it says it'll fall short of setting "quotas."
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Blizzard Starts Drive To Recruit More Women and Ethnic Minorities

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 11, 2017 @12:23PM (#54992159)
    why, because they are better programmers? If that's not the reason, your shareholders may want to have a word with you.
    • Getting sued by various anti-discrimination organizations or receive fines from the government is a real cost that shareholders care about. If you want to boil this down to making money, then doing the bare minimum to comply is the right business choice, and the skill of your programmers is irrelevant to that equation.

    • I'm sure that'll end well. Just ask Goolag, er, Google.

    • by x0ra ( 1249540 )
      it's doesn't matter if they know how to code. The only thing that matter is that Blizzard hope not to get an "anti-diversity" oppressive culture headlines in national medias. So from this point of view, it's beneficial to shareholders.

      We're really in an era no different from the USSR "who's the best communist" era.
    • The fact that that's the only thing you think matters is telling. I say that as someone who hires programmers. For instance, in addition to wanting a candidate to be a good programmer, I also want him to bathe, and to not be an egomaniacal dipshit. One could credibly argue the set of non-bathers and egomaniacal dipshits skew male.
      • Don't forget the introverted mouth breathers who spend all day watching pornhub on the companies computers. Or the extroverted brosephs who think it's hi-larious to drop a deuce in someone's filing cabinet. Gonna go on a limb and say they skew male too.
    • 1. Diversity brings up more ideas and ways of doing things. We grow up with different problems and challenges, these help model our adult self's.
      2. Offers a larger talent pool to pick from. If people are not applying to your company because it seems like it will be an uphill battle, they probably wont apply.
      3. Good PR. Keep the press off your back because you have for a culture of BROgrammers.

      Especially in the west coast the culture of these companies are hostile to women and minorities. Where often if h

    • Isn't it good enough reason to say "because they're equivalent programmers"?

    • by SirSlud ( 67381 )

      Because we self select, and don't hire the best programmers.

  • by John Jorsett ( 171560 ) on Friday August 11, 2017 @12:26PM (#54992175)
    ... to have some of the men declare that they feel like and wish to be treated as women. Then they could be counted as such, right?
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Using past Slashdot submissions, let's track what happened to the GNOME desktop environment project after it started engaging in identity politics, instead of just focusing on software development.

      On June 15, 2006, Slashdot featured the story "GNOME Reaches Out to Women" [slashdot.org]. We can see this as the beginning of the troubles to come.

      As we progress through the submission titles from 2007 through to just last week, we can see the decline:

      • by Raenex ( 947668 )

        The rise of the smart phone ruined Gnome more than identity politics. If Gnome had done nothing but chase identity politics, at least the interface wouldn't have changed drastically. Instead, some hipster douchebags got control of the interface and starting chasing after Apple and smart phone designs. The hipster douchebag is the disease. Identity politics and stupid new interfaces were the symptoms.

        • GNOME was ruined the day they chose a half finished graphics toolkit because they were precious snowflakes and got triggered by KDE using Qt. In other words, on day one.
  • Sounds Good (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Oswald McWeany ( 2428506 ) on Friday August 11, 2017 @12:27PM (#54992187)

    At the moment women are leaving at a higher rate than men but it says it'll fall short of setting "quotas."

    I think "Quotas" are what most people object to that object to hiring more women and minorities. No one wants to feel like they missed out on a job because they were the wrong sex or race. Not men, women, Europeans, or Africans.

    Trying to be more appealing to women and minorities is a noble goal because in order to relate to all demographics of clients you need all demographics of staff. It's easy to miss out sometimes what another group might find appealing or offensive without valid representation.

    Appeal to minorities and all genders but don't set quotas. As long as Blizzard is really doing this and not just saying they are to look good- they're doing the right thing by my way of thinking.

    • Nobody will admit to quotas. Everyone says that they don't have quotas but then along comes the Feds, or a Jesse Jackson style shake down group, and essentially forces you to have quotas. Everyone can agree that quotas are bad for a number of reasons but if anything less than a perfect reflection of society at large is required then you have quotas. Silicon Valley told Jesse and crew to pound sand in the 90's but it looks like they will succumb fully to the latest version of a familiar scam.

      There's a hu

    • I wonder what these companies will do when they all have quotas and there still aren't as many women or other certain (i.e., non-Indian) minorities going into computers (or whatever field).
    • by Kohath ( 38547 )

      Appeal to minorities and all genders but don't set quotas.

      So just don't write down the numbers then.

    • by green1 ( 322787 )

      Nobody will admit to quotas, because then someone might sue for discrimination. Refusing to hire someone because they are white or male is still illegal discrimination, even if it's socially acceptable.

      As a result there will be no quotas, but good luck explaining to HR why you hired a white man for the job if there was ANY other option.

    • Trying to be more appealing to women and minorities is a noble goal because in order to relate to all demographics of clients you need all demographics of staff. It's easy to miss out sometimes what another group might find appealing or offensive without valid representation.

      Bullshit. One woman's opinion is not representative of what all women find appealing. Neither is a group of women's opinion, unless that group is a representative sample of the target population. And guess what—female software developers and technical 3D artists are by definition not representative, because they're a seriously unusual minority. For a representative sample, you just do short surveys and focus groups. You don't hire the people.

      Appeal to minorities and all genders but don't set quotas. As long as Blizzard is really doing this and not just saying they are to look good- they're doing the right thing by my way of thinking.

      Learning how to appeal to target audiences is called ma

  • by Colin Castro ( 2881349 ) on Friday August 11, 2017 @12:29PM (#54992211)
    She won't even play their games and hates them a shit load. They probably have other issues than hiring.
  • Gaming is much more mainstream than in the past and there are a lot more female gamers too.

    They want their games to appeal to a bigger audience.

  • Men are more likely to be willing to submit to gaming companies. Everyone knows they pay less and demand longer hours than the equivalent jobs in other industries. Women should consider themselves lucky they're only 21% of that workforce.
  • by Kohath ( 38547 ) on Friday August 11, 2017 @12:42PM (#54992317)

    The games business is notorious for terrible working conditions, terrible management, and a huge percentage of coworkers who are just plain jerks.

    Bad management means you have low job security and a high chance your work will end up getting thrown away when the project is cancelled.

    And whether your coworkers are jerks because they're misogynistic, or because they're trolls, or because they're SJWs, or because they're divas, or because they're just social misfits, it still sucks dealing with jerks all the time.

    On the other hand, it's a growing business, so even a bad job might lead to a good opportunity eventually.

  • I honestly wonder what management is hoping to achieve here. Is there some deficiency in their products which they hope can be solved by women? Are their current empoyees (men and women ) fundamentally incapable of providing a solution to this deficiency? Why? Or perhaps they find their women to be of significantly higher competency such that they are overworked? Are they further implying that men and women are fundamentally different and that men do not have the mental capacity that they're looking fo

    • Re:Management (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Kohath ( 38547 ) on Friday August 11, 2017 @12:56PM (#54992409)

      I honestly wonder what management is hoping to achieve here.

      Setting up a legal defense for future lawsuits by women and minorities.

      • by green1 ( 322787 )

        By risking one from white men...

        Seems easy to prove discrimination if they brag about favouring women and minorities, and end up with more of them than the industry at large (or even more tellingly, more of them than the percentage of graduates of schools in that industry)

        The only way to actually end discrimination is to simply stop discriminating. And the first step to that would be having an honest answer of "I don't know, we don't keep those statistics because we don't discriminate based on race" when as

    • More female players in WoW would mean more revenue, but that's assuming that women are better at marketing to women and girls. I doubt that is Blizzard's plan and it has more to do with getting a feather in their cap for workplace diversity, and deflecting potential lawsuits for lacking diversity. Like most things, you don't want to be the worst offender in the industry when you're a high profile target with a lot of money to lose. If I were Blizzard, I'd take the minimal effort to make my company look bett

  • Instead of getting the BEST for anything, they will end up watering down their hiring process more likely, just to "look good" in the eyes of the public (and at their meetings). They can say see...see...see...we have minorities working here! Look at us! We are good because we have hired minorities! Just one example of what happens when you water down something, just to be politically correct. In the 70's...Miami-Metro Dade watered down the hiring process for police officers. They wanted to be politicall
    • Instead of getting the BEST for anything, they will end up watering down their hiring process more likely, just to "look good" in the eyes of the public (and at their meetings)

      So....you haven't played a video game in the last decade or so?

      Game companies do not get the BEST for anything, regardless of gender and race. If they did, you wouldn't need to wait for the 2nd patch before most games to come close to working properly.

  • Are they still in Playa Del Rey?
    Let them try to funnel their way into that nightmare.

  • Why are tech industries different than other industries? You don't see construction companies falling over themselves to try to hire more women. You don't see the healthcare and education sectors launching initiatives to recruit more men. Why is the tech industry unique in this endeavour?

    • by malkavian ( 9512 )
      Because construction is seen as hard work. Where women dominate, there's no political SJW angle to it, so that's brushed under the carpet and "men just don't want to" (part of that is men are scared to these days; much higher chance of some pupil trumping a molestation charge to ruin your career and having it taken seriously). The tech industry is seen as a 'clean office job, and probably not that demanding, so easy money'. So it's seen as a political thing to get people into cushy jobs. Many that go int
    • Why are tech industries different than other industries? You don't see construction companies falling over themselves to try to hire more women.

      The fact that you don't see it just means their PR departments are not working as hard.

    • Nursing and teaching DO try to recruit men. You just don't see it here because this isn't "slashnurse" or "teacherdot".
    • You don't see construction companies falling over themselves to try to hire more women.

      Actually there have been efforts to recruit more women in construction. They've had some success with roadwork at least.

      You don't see the healthcare and education sectors launching initiatives to recruit more men.

      It has been pointed out in various women in tech discussions that the thing you just said....actually does happen. There are and have been on-going initiatives for YEARS to recruit more men into nursing and teaching. Slashdotters don't know about them because well...they're tech-bro aspies who don't know much about social services/nursing/education.

  • Question (Score:4, Interesting)

    by HanzoSpam ( 713251 ) on Friday August 11, 2017 @01:06PM (#54992495)

    Can anyone name a benefit to diversity that's anything close to compensation for all the bullshit we've had to endure achieving it?

    • by geek ( 5680 )

      Can anyone name a benefit to diversity that's anything close to compensation for all the bullshit we've had to endure achieving it?

      The root of the word "diversity" is "divide". The goal of these programs is not to appeal to people or broaden demographics or provide better products. It's to divide what they call the "status quo" in which one group of people is made the villain (white men) and the other group(s) are made the victims.

      All these programs do is pit one group of people against another. They fail in their basic concept and thus, always fail in their execution. In the end, Blizzard loses. I give it maybe 5 years and the layoffs

    • 1) Labor savings. Since other employers are passing over women and minority employees, they will accept lower pay.

      2) Lawsuit protection. Your diversity program can be used as a shield when sued by a women or member of a minority group. Your 80% white male actual workforce can be used as a shield when sued by a white male.

      3) Positive PR. The number of people who like diversity programs greatly exceeds the number of people who do not. The latter is concentrated among older people in the US, who are far l

      • 1) Labor savings. Since other employers are passing over women and minority employees, they will accept lower pay.

        If so, that would already be happening. If other employers were "passing over" women and minority employees for no good reason, Blizzard would already be snapping them up, right? They wouldn't need a "diversity program". It would just be good business.

        2) Lawsuit protection. Your diversity program can be used as a shield when sued by a women or member of a minority group. Your 80% white male actual workforce can be used as a shield when sued by a white male.

        Possibly, though nothing seems to placate the SJW beast.

        3) Positive PR. The number of people who like diversity programs greatly exceeds the number of people who do not. The latter is concentrated among older people in the US, who are far less likely to buy video games or let the diversity program prevent them from buying video games.

        Not so sure about that. The number of people who fear saying that they don't like such programs is large, sure. Not sure that translates into video game sales.

        As for "older", it sometimes results in "w

  • Does this mean they're going to rehire Randi Lee Harper?
  • All these idiots can do is go "The numbers. NOT SAME!"

    Never mind that there are MANY reasons why that could be.
    With one of the biggest being "Many (not all) women simply don't want to put up with the bullshit such jobs entail."

    But no! They're going to do whatever they can to make those numbers the same. REGARDLESS of the laws they break. REGARDLESS of negative impact upon their company and the quality of their product.

    "I have a hammer!"
    "I have a screw that needs to be driven in."
    *WHACK*
    "Well, that broke

    • Never mind that there are MANY reasons why that could be.
      With one of the biggest being "Many (not all) women simply don't want to put up with the bullshit such jobs entail."

      So run a study and prove it. Not all that hard, and not all that expensive to send out a bunch of questionnaires.

      So odd that all the well-funded institutions that constantly write papers attacking diversity efforts can't manage to use a little funding to actually study it and back up their claims....

    • With one of the biggest being "Many (not all) women simply don't want to put up with the bullshit such jobs entail."

      Then maybe the working conditions need to IMPROVE for EVERYONE? Maybe aspie code-bros need to stop putting up with "crunch time" and crappy conditions for free cheetos and jolt.

      REGARDLESS of negative impact upon their company and the quality of their product.

      Have you played modern games designed/coded by the predominately male developers? Quality is NOT something they prioritize. So don't go around saying that encouraging women to "not quit" will have a negative impact.

  • "CompanyX does not recognize ethnic groups or genders as relevant to any responsibilities and/or duties related to the offered position, as such, we have chosen to interview qualified candidates based on merit and skill-set alone. Please be prepared to highlight any past projects and/or responsibilities that you feel may be relevant to the position(s) you are applying for. Any candidate seeking special consideration based on Skin color, religion, gender, or any other protected class will be immediately disq

  • 21% of all employees, or 21% of technical staff?
  • Every last one of these SJW-influences mega corps needs to be sued until they get back in line. They are hiring someone based on their gender or color of their skin instead of who is most qualified. That is illegal. Who gives a shit how many white guys work at your company? I care about profitability. Rename applicants anonymously, hide their age and gender and background, and interview them electronically initially. There goes this big, alleged bias everyone keeps talking about.

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