Blizzard memo indicates renewed focus on hiring diversity

Blizzard is doubling down on diversity and inclusion when it comes to its own hiring practices.

That’s according to a leaked internal memo from Blizzard President Mike Morhaime, which Kotaku excerpted in a report last night. Morhaime is apparently spearheading a “global diversity and inclusion initiative” intended to spur on the hiring of underrepresented people inside the company — specifically women, who make up only a fifth of employees, and other minority groups, who make up only 14%.

While Blizzard will not operate under strict hiring quotas, employees are being encouraged to seek out and recommend women and minorities who are traditionally overlooked in the male-dominated video games industry. Networking sessions, mentoring groups, diversity training, and gender summits are also on order, along with fostering a women-centered advisory council akin to the LGBTQ council that already exists.

According to a VentureBeat report last month, Blizzard has more than doubled the number of women chosen for its paid internship program (up 166%) thanks to diversity efforts already underway.

Source: Kotaku
SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Code of Conduct | Edit Your Profile | Commenting FAQ | Badge Reclamation | Badge Key

LEAVE A COMMENT

139 Comments on "Blizzard memo indicates renewed focus on hiring diversity"

Subscribe to:
Sort by:   newest | oldest | most liked
Reader
Chris Mc

This has no impact on my decision to buy their software. They don’t get any brownie points.

Reader
Scrungle

Nothing like cultural enrichment like the EU is experiencing.

Reader
Carebear

Unless they actually do it, is just a pr talk… and how convenient there was a leak…

Reader
Utakata

I have to admit, that I found that aspect bothersome. I mean are they trying to be “Hey look , how we’re so goody two-shoes here!”…seems quite contrived to me. A better approach is to walk that walk, and allow peer reviews to trickle up to state how proactive they are in this aspect. Something liked that happened with EA where they got some award for it sometime ago. It looked less like they where trying to pad their PR.

Reader
Sushi Maru

Hires that aren’t merit based always works out well for a company :\

Reader
Utakata

It’s one of the ignorant assertions that keep being claimed. They would unlikely hire anyone unqualified. But I guess you would need to look outside the /hive mind to see that though.

Reader
CloakingDonkey .

LOL you talking about a hive mind… please. How do you know this? Isn’t it just an ignorant assertion? Based on what they just told us, they will make more diverse hires… so obviously skin colour and gender has just become a priority. So what are you basing your assertion on?

Reader
Utakata

I guess you didn’t picked on the my nuance of the projecting…

Reader
CloakingDonkey .

I guess you’re really quite bad at nuance.

Reader
Utakata

More like, hive minded…

POJ9u2aZSjmkk67sWY7j_inigo.jpg
PurpleCopper
Reader
PurpleCopper

Gotta tick all the boxes.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Bhima Jenkins

The 1950’s called, and they want their white male privilege back. But seriously, the amount of women and other minority groups that play video games now is MUCH more than it used to be. Consequently, there are more than enough passionate, talented gamer nerds of all stripes and colors that want to get paid crap wages with long working hours to make games.

hurbster
Reader
hurbster

It worked so well for ME:Andromeda…

Reader
Sally Bowls

FWIW, I am against the traditional “affirmative action” and for diversity and efforts to increase it.

I disagree with blaming the colleges and unis; I think the battle is frequently lost before that. E.g., if you want to do CS, perhaps you apply to and attend places like CMU or MIT instead of a liberals arts school.

Facetious: Now if only more mothers admitted to their daughters “Honey, it’s not that girls are bad at math; I’m just dumb.”

P.S., there is no idea, good or bad, that the People’s Republic of Berkley can’t take to extremes:

University of California—Berkeley, which redesigned a course previously known as “Introduction to Symbolic Programming” to “Beauty and the Joy of Computing.” Women now outnumber men in the course for the first time in 20 years, the study found.

csgirls.jpg
Reader
Loyal Patron
Armsbend

Blizzard (and google since this is what this is about) methods would be un-traditonal to me. Taking upon themselves to do what they feel is better for the company. For whatever reason.

Reader
Arktouros

Really not a fan of the thought shame culture we find ourselves in today. You either have to be 1000% for something or you’re irrevocably the enemy. It’s just exhausting.

Unless Blizzard was actually discriminating against gender, race or sexual orientation not sure why they’d need to double down on things. Just seems like an empty gesture to cater to the kinds of people who eat this stuff up even though nothing in actual reality changes.

Reader
Loyal Patron
Armsbend

It was an internal memo so I’m not sure why it would be an “empty gesture”.

Reader
Arktouros

Hahaha…oh man…

The sheer volume of internal “lets-feel-great-about-ourselves” garbage I got working at a major company was staggering. Most of it amounts to very little, or people just patting themselves on the back for doing such a great job.

Reader
Loyal Patron
Armsbend

I guess in that sense it might be true. The beatings will continue until morale improved. It’s what every company does though. One of marketing’s biggest clients is always themselves. I’m not kidding if you think I am.

Reader
Arktouros

As mentioned I’ve worked a in large corporation and perception/image is literally everything in a day and age when people can post/leak anything online. I’m more familiar with the concept of “internal customers” than I ever wanted to be haha.

But it’s that part that has always bugged me, as I originally commented. It’s no longer enough to “just” not discriminate against gender, race or sexual orientation you can’t have any differing opinions on the matter either.

Reader
phun

Deleted by mod. No trolling.

Reader
Loyal Patron
Armsbend

There was nothing illogical about that at all. As soon as I heard a dude wrote a 3300 word “manifesto” force pushed internally i thought “active shooter” scenario. It is WEIRD AS FUCK to write a pages long memo about women and then send it to everyone in your company because you are a conservative. there are other, much more rational methods of expressing opinions. This guy sounds like he has Aspergers.

Maybe the women who stayed home were the only logical people in the building.

Reader
Bob Smith

you do realize journalists are the master of what is called framing. Its actually very easy to do, you can take any story and spin it any way you like. When you read the news critically, you realize that the main objective is emotional manipulation. Also keep in mind that 90% of the time people only glance and the title or the subtitle. It could be completely unrelated to the actual information but the options will be set and consent created.

Reader
CloakingDonkey .

He isn’t even a conservative… did you even read the memo? Every single (scientifically accurate) point he made he preceded with something along the lines of “and because of that we should change our approach to doing X so we can get more women in tech”…

The biggest problem with this memo situation is the unbelievable amount of misinformation about it. Seriously. Read it first, then comment.

Reader
Utakata

It was debunked by a number of credible sources. As it was cross between evo psych and old skool eugenics from what I gather. But hey, if that’s your “science”, to each their own. I also have a flat earth theory to sell you.

That said though, no one has to read 3300 plus words of turgid drivel to get where it’s going. Or make an informed opinion of it. I haven’t read the entire bible for example, but it’s reasonable to conclude it’s full of inaccuracies…to put it mildly.

Reader
CloakingDonkey .

And what are these credible sources? Mother Jones? Buzzfeed? HuffPo? It is interesting though how quick you are to dismiss any science you don’t like.

And of course you didn’t read it… I didn’t think you would. You probably just read what all your favourite progressive media had to say about it and assumed the rest… I mean you basically just admitted to that ;) No you’re right, there’s no need to read anything you disagree with. Just stay within the hive mind and don’t ask any questions, eh? :D Oh and make sure to flag my comment so you don’t actually have to respond, darling.

Reader
Utakata

Since I am not allow to post an example of where you are entirely off the rails here, no I don’t go around cherry picking “science” to support ludicrous notions as this screed did. Hey I know, this isn’t a popular position to garner the /upvotes. But it’s not dishonest either…err, “darling”.

But what is more disturbing here, is that you and your buddies seem to support something that claims certain segment of human beings are below you based on gender. To which you have 2 choices: Either accept this and wear your bigotry proudly on your sleeves where we can all see this. Or change your views to something more inclusive. Because the whole “parrot isn’t dead but resting” goal post moving shtick is getting tiresome. To put it mildly.

PS: It wasn’t me that’s been flagging you. Beyond the mild ad homs, I haven’t seen you posting anything that offensive…beyond the fact what you are posting is just plain wrong. Poking it full of holes is usually the best way to deal with that.

Reader
Arktouros

“Debunked by a number of credible sources” then immediately reconfirmed when they fired the guy for having a different opinion.

Shutting people up or shutting people down will never change their opinion.

Reader
Utakata

They fired him because he violated company policies. /shrug

Reader
Bob Smith

you make it sounds like 3300 words is a lot…
It takes like 5 minutes to read but why bother when somebody else can you tell you how to feel. It doesn’t even say anything negative about women.

Reader
Utakata

If posted here, that would be a massive wall of text. o.O

Either way, and while I’ve seen exerts of it on various sites, I have no interest in reading a long winded screed of sophisticated bigotry and sexism. You are free to agree with it…and even have it all tattooed on your left butt cheek for all I care. I am not going to touch it with a 10 meter pole and a pigtail. Thnkx.

Reader
Kala Mona

” I have no interest in reading a long winded screed of sophisticated bigotry”

You are saying that you believe this is a “long winded screed of sophisticated bigotry”, and you don’t read it because of it. But what if your belief is wrong, and you could see some points that make sense? For me it seems you are willingly deny that information from yourself in order not to question your belief system.

Reader
Utakata

No, I just don’t agree with it. And I’ve seen enough of it to make that informed conclusion. As I’ve seen the arguments made in it more times than I can count from other sources to know where it was all going. The question now becomes why are you so interested in trying to convert me out of my “belief” system? What purpose does this serve you? I am not sure what the obsession is about here.

Reader
rafterman

This is why things get twisted and turned into something that was never reality. People are ignorant and would rather stay that way than use their own brains.

The simple fact that you even used the word “screed” to describe it let’s me know you’re the kind of person who lets other people do their thinking for them anyway.

Reader
Utakata

I am pretty sure my thoughts on the matter where of my own volition and not of anyone else. It just doesn’t agree with yours. Twisted thinking, indeed.

wandris
Reader
wandris

Except that isn’t what happened. The document was being circulated for a month and discussed by a smaller number of people. He then sent it to a internal skeptic(?) department to be challenged and discussed further, then it was made viral throughout the company and made public. Anyone who had touched or even discussed the document are now being blacklisted and demonized. Those more wise and aware of the intolerance of some of their co-workers and managment knew better and seen this coming, even though they may agree at least in part with the issues inside google that the document highlights. When employees are too afraid to speak openly for well justified fears of reprisal there is a serious problem, and given the power and influence google has throughout the world it is cause for concern.

Line
Reader
Line

It’s a good thing, and not surprising coming from Blizzard, they’ve been really good with that in their games.
But doing the same in your workplace is a much, much large undertaking, and it does seem that they’re very invested in following their principles; quite impressive really.

I’ll add a little graph to see how bad things are computer science (and it’s probably even worse for videogames)… if there were less women in the field, well, it happens and it can take time to reach similar numbers.
But women actively moving away from that field? That’s certainly not common and is deeply troubling.

womenstem.jpg
Reader
Schmidt.Capela

Thankfully many companies see through the FUD, to the point the long-lasting consequence of attacks on diversity such as Gamergate are often increased efforts to promote diversity.

Reader
Utakata

Good for them! <3

Reader
silverlock

I think too much blame for a lack of women in comp/sci is placed on industry and not enough blame is place on collages and universities. Professors are allowed to get away with gender discrimination with the excuse of oh isn’t he a wacky professor (I’m looking at you NGU) but we hold industries feet to the fire over the issue. How can they hire more women programmers if our Collages don’t produce them?

Reader
Bob Smith

I don’t think its either the industry or the college really. When I was in school there were no more than1 or 2 girls in any math/science class after Calc I. There are definitely more girls in the more design oriented classes.

Reader
Kala Mona

Honestly asking, do women apply to programming colleges the same numbers as men do? But they face discrimination from the professors and thus less of them finish it? Or how are colleges to blame? Sry not american, perhaps it would be clearer if I knew these.

Reader
Sally Bowls

In 1984, 37 percent of computer science majors were women, but by 2014 that number had dropped to 18 percent, according to the study. The computing industry’s rate of U.S. job creation is three times the national average, but if trends continue, the study estimates that women will hold only 20 percent of computing jobs by 2025.

Reader
Kala Mona

This isn’t exactly what I meant. I read that above that colleges discriminate women, and I wanted to see some hard evidence, like at the start of their studies, there are like 40% of women, and at the end only 20%, and that is because of the discrimination of the professors or whatever.

But if at the start there are roughly 20% of women, and when they finish there is also 20% of women, then for me it seems that women have roughly the same success ration as men, so that is no proof for discrimination for me.

Reader
CloakingDonkey .

and less than 1% of coal mining and sewage treatment jobs. It’s an outrage.

Line
Reader
Line

It’s a whole lot of things.
There are less women applicants, because there is direct discrimination that happens… but also because they’re dissuaded to join early on as it is seen by society as male dominated.
They hear about bad experiences for women in the industry (just look at Emiko Iwasaki, director of multiple games at Arc System Works…), will make likely targets for the slimy parts of the internet… and will still find it difficult to get decent jobs because plenty of companies won’t be thrilled with women.
And will throw them under the bus as soon as the next harassment campaign comes out on social media.

Without even talking about all the regular issues that women have, maternity leave, supposedly not capable to accept terrible work conditions like the ubiquitous crunch time (because overwork and bad pay should be the norm, obviously), less likely to ask for a pay raise, less likely to get it, etc.

Reader
silverlock

Numbers are probably less but at some schools professors will actively push women out of the program by refusing to answer their questions or by writing comments like why bother on their tests. If you knew any women in the field well enough for them to open up about their experiences you’d see it’s not just an issue of being interested or not. I mean if you can do other things why put up with all that shit.

Reader
Kala Mona

“Numbers are probably less”
Less by how much? So they start like 40% women 60% men, and end up 20% women 80% men? And this happens because of the discrimination? Any hard data to back it up that women leave programming colleges more than males because discrimination? It seems rather weird to me. It might be true though, just hard to imagine.

Reader
Bob Smith

if only it was 40/60. Its more like 1/10. That is the real problem. everything else is bs.

Reader
John Mynard

Exactly “how” is it a problem though? I don’t see the Feminist’s complaining about a lack of representation in auto mechanics or wireline engineers.

Forgive this poor, addled Southern gamer, but I don’t understand how or why it’s a problem.

I don’t watch reruns of Overhaulin’ because of the A Team or Chris/Ariana/Jessi/Adrienne/ect. They are all awesome and experts at what they do, but I don’t watch the show for them. I, and most others, watch it because Chip Foose is a fracking genius and the cars are beautiful.

So, I’ll ask again, from a practical standpoint, WHY and HOW is it a problem for ANY group, not just women or black people or asians or white people, to be demographically under represented when compared to the general population? More over, why is it necessary to have all this noise and fury over something so meaningless in the long run?

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
thalendor

I don’t see the Feminist’s complaining about a lack of representation in auto mechanics

You know, I’d never seen a feminist, or any one really, complaining about lack of representation in auto mechanics either. Of course, just because I haven’t seen something, doesn’t mean it’s not a thing either. So, a quick Google search… and in the top result of that search? “Though the auto industry gets much of its revenue from women, it has been stubbornly uninterested in employing them.” So, just because you don’t see something doesn’t mean it’s not happening. The great thing these days is, with a whole world wide web of information at your fingertips, it’s easier than ever to educate yourself.

So, I’ll ask again, from a practical standpoint, WHY and HOW is it a problem for ANY group, not just women or black people or asians or white people, to be demographically under represented when compared to the general population? More over, why is it necessary to have all this noise and fury over something so meaningless in the long run?

It’s a problem when someone faces additional difficulties to entering or advancing in that career due to gender, race, or other factors that, quite frankly, should not be relevant but none-the-less are due to social factors. For example, did you know that when applying for a job “whites with a felony conviction fared just as well, if not better, than a black applicant with a clean background.” But of course, we’re always just hiring the best person, right? And I would say someone’s ability to get and retain a good job is far from meaningless, either in the near term (your own economic well-being) or in the long run (affects on children’s income).

Reader
David

What’s wrong with just hiring the person who is most qualified for the job? Positive discrimination is still discrimination. People shouldn’t be at a disadvantage when applying for a job they are qualified for because they happen to be the wrong gender or colour.

Reader
Iridescence

That’s the ideal but do you know for a fact that white men haven’t been favored in the past and perhaps still are? Seems to me that if the company is instituting a program like this it’s because they don’t think the most qualified person is always hired naturally.

Reader
CloakingDonkey .

Counter question, do you know that they have been favoured? Prove it and I’ll agree.

Reader
Iridescence

As I stated previously, the only evidence we have (at least without access to Blizzard’s hiring records), is that Blizzard themselves think there is an issue here.

Reader
Utakata

Your point?

Reader
CloakingDonkey .

That unless you can prove injustice is afoot, nothing has to be changed or done. Unless you can prove discrimination or some such, all evidence points to the meritocracy and people’s choices being at work. As it should be.

Reader
Utakata

Then there should be no complaints about Blizz diversifying in their hiring initiatives. There’s nothing unjust in what they’re doing. Clutching pearls, indeed.

Reader
Utakata

I think diversity here is simply removing the blinkers that have stopped qualified candidates from being hired in the past. As I pretty sure they’re not going to hire just anyone to meet some sort of bizarre race/gender protocol. As well as I am pretty sure the quality of their products will unlikely to change for the worse if not improve because of this.

Reader
Bob Smith

“some sort of bizarre race/gender protocol”
its called affirmative action

Reader
Utakata

In the spirit of, “You keep using that word, I don’t think it means what you think it means”, affirmative action does not always equal quotas.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Affirmative_action

Reader
Bob Smith

Companies get sued if they are perceived as not taking enough steps to identify discrimination based on protected class status. There are quoatas within every organization and they change based on what is considered acceptable and can be defended in court.

Its going to get even more interesting when a person identifies as one of the many many newly discovered genders.

I am already identifying myself as multi racial, I might as well create a gender identity for myself if that’s what takes to get an advantage.

Reader
Utakata

Sure. Go knock yourself out. /shrug

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Serrenity

As a hiring manager, there’s almost never a clear ‘most qualified’ and ‘most qualified’ doesn’t even translate into ‘best fit.’ I would take a less qualified person with a better attitude over someone who’s more qualified but I think was a douche.

Unfortunately, hiring isn’t a Zero Sum game, though we like to distill it down into that. Hiring involves lots of feeling, intuition (whether good or bad), and that leaves a lot of space for unintentional discrimination. There’s a big difference between saying something “I don’t think she can do the job because she lacks X quantifiable skill,” with “I don’t think she can do X because I’m worried she won’t be able to handle the stress,” which is not quantifiable. But those kinds of decisions get made all the time. A colleague once said something, “I feel like he’s not going to have the social skills we need” based entirely on an applicants name, which was not a typical western name.

We wrap all these pre-conceptions about people of different sexes, different races, ethnicity that all influences, unconsciously whether we think someone can do the job. A dedication to diversity means trying to make sure those unconscious biases don’t get in the way of hiring the best person for the job.

Tizmah
Reader
Tizmah

So one reality is, yes, you can be turned down for a job because of your skin color…if you’re not a skin color they need to look diverse. Sounds like we have the same problem here..Idk.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Patreon Donor
Loyal Patron
Ashfyn Ninegold

It’s called unconscious bias. And we all have it:

9 Types of Unconscious Bias and the Shocking Ways They Affect Your Recruiting Efforts

Companies that consciously work to counter unconscious bias usually end up with a more diverse workforce. Companies who pretend such a thing doesn’t exist end up with a predominantly all white, male workforce.

Having a policy saying “we want diversity” is a conscious step towards actually achieving a more diverse workforce.

Reader
CloakingDonkey .

Wait, you’re saying companies that hire social justice activists to tell them how to better be diverse have more diverse work forces? Get outta here, I don’t buy it!

Reader
Utakata

I am not aware of companies hiring “social justice activists” for anything…as tend to put kinks on their bottom line. So that sounds like you’re pulling an unsubstantiated claim out of your ass for the flounce. Instead, they’ll more likely hire and market to diversity if they find it pads said bottom line. /Capitalism 101

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Serrenity

and FWIW – this discrimination goes both ways. How many male secretaries or exec admin do you see nowadays? Or pre-school to elementary age male teachers? Or male babysitters? Not a lot.

Reader
Loyal Patron
Armsbend

Male baby sitters? I’d never let a male babysit my kids. I am biased as fuck against males when it comes to taking care of my kids. The little shits aren’t to be trusted is the only reason I think this way.

Reader
Malcolm Swoboda

That’s a little disappointing. I was a good, male, babysitter.

Reader
CloakingDonkey .

So you’re saying men aren’t good at social tasks like taking care of children on average? Funny… that’s exactly what it said in that Google memo… :P

Reader
Loyal Patron
Armsbend

The Google memo was ridiculous because who pushes out a company wide internal memo on some social diatribe? I’ll tell you who exactly: a future active shooter.

I have a big prejudice when it comes to males and females and here it is: I feel that by a large margin females are more caring and nurturing towards small children than males are. I’m not willing to test out social constructs with my own children. So I hire 13-16 year old girls. Because they are nice. I’m totes fine if people want to do social experiments on their own kids.

Reader
CloakingDonkey .

Yes and when I need furniture moved, big ol criminals detained, fires put out I will hire big ol’ muscly men. I’m totes fine if people want to do social experiments on their own property :P But as long as we agree that men and women are different and that this is ok.

Reader
Kala Mona

Totally agree, but if I had to tell why I am biased against male babysitters (even though probably there are a lot of good ones), I’d have to refer to biology&evolutionary traits that would immediately label me as sexist or whatever. Thus, even though I am well aware of my bias and I feel it is justified, I cannot explain it without instantly ending the conversation or devolving to a flame war.

It is such a stupid thing, really.

Reader
Loyal Patron
Armsbend

I know why i am biased. Because I am one and i grew up with male friends. We are not to be trusted in caring for young. 99% of 15 year old males are idiots of the highest order.

Reader
Schmidt.Capela

People tend to assume certain roles are more appropriate for a certain gender. Old, deeply ingrained cultural bias at work, a bias that is deeply harmful to the people that try to cross the gap and take a position usually fulfilled by the opposite gender, to the point we often see doubt cast on their sexual orientation.

BTW, it’s not just the role, but the prestige of the role. We tend to see the secretaries that just blindly obey orders as mainly female, but the ones with enough initiative to help their bosses run their businesses as males. We tend to see common cooks as mainly female, but the chief cook in a prestigious kitchen as a male. And so on.

Reader
CloakingDonkey .

Who is we?

This is why I don’t like this social justice stuff. Don’t speak for me. Those are clearly YOUR biases. So deal with them yourself and leave others out of it.

Reader
Utakata

No one is speaking for you. “We” in this case is likely referring to a general assumption or a stereotype. Don’t read strawmen in everything you see posted, lol.

Reader
CloakingDonkey .

Seeing how you’re the king of strawmen, I should defer to your expertise on this matter, I suppose.

But once again you missed the point, sparky. You are correct that it refers to a general assumption. Namely that because the author has these biases, EVERYONE has them and as such something has to be done. But just because you people are horrendous racists and sexists, doesn’t mean everyone else is. I’m not, so please speak for yourself and not a vague group that you claim authority over.

Reader
Utakata

Projecting…and it’s amazing what I learn about myself from clueless folks on the internets. It never ceases to surprises me, lol.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Serrenity

Totally agreed. In a funny (in a ‘I want to cry’ kind of way), working in tech, I’ve had people tell me, “Oh I didn’t realize you were gay. Gay guys never seem to be good with tech” I actually heard that (or a slight variation) from two different colleagues over the years. Not recently though, thank goodness.

It’s still enough of a fear that I don’t talk about my sexual orientation until AFTER I’ve started working with a company (I’m married, so it makes the inevitable “what does your wife do?” question really awkward and filled with lots of vague pronouns)

Reader
Melissa McDonald

Amen. I don’t give a rat’s patootie who made my video game as long as I enjoy it. All that being said, as more women play games, more women will want to make them. The problem is self-solving.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Serrenity

I don’t think there’s a shortage of women wanting to make video games. There’s a shortage of people hiring women to make video games.

Reader
be rational

I went to a school with a Game Design degree program. The class size was around 25 people and out of that there would mostly be 1 or 2 ladies. Contrast that with the Digital Media degree which was about 50/50. This was a few years ago but I wonder if there are more women in that program now. I do agree with Melissa and think that as games become more popular and more women play them that more women will be interested in making them.

Reader
Kala Mona

Honest question, do you think that some company is hiring for example a 3d animator, but when they see that the animator is a woman, they choose not to employ her? If this really happens, it is awful, but it is unthinkable to me.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Serrenity

It’s not that blatant in my experience. It usually comes down to something like either, “Well, I don’t know if she can do this well enough for us…” like handle stress, deadlines, or even “I don’t know if she’ll be able to work with X because he’s pretty crass.” Instead of addressing the fact that ‘crass’ probably isn’t appropriate in the workplace, they pass over a better candidate.

That’s the kind of stuff you see. The more blatant, “I don’t want a woman on my dev team,” happens for sure, but it’s far more common disguised as logic and reason when it’s actually assumption and stereotypes.

Reader
Kala Mona

But do you have any hard evidence for this happening? This seems like an anecdotal evidence. I honestly don’t believe that a candidate would be refused just because she is a girl. I mean the company wants a workforce, that is why it hires after all.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Serrenity

I mean, we have the evidence on hiring biases. But as for me? I’m not a woman, so I can’t give any examples of discrimination in that regard, and when I’ve hired, it’s always been who I felt was the best candidate, regardless of anything else (sex / race never played a role for me)

Reader
Kala Mona

“I mean, we have the evidence on hiring biases”

I agree, that must be eradicated. Now I am not sure that introducing an other, opposite bias is the best way to do this. But anyways, Blizz (and Google, etc) run their businesses as they want.

shloo
Reader
shloo

I have heard all of things mentioned about white males candidates in interviews I have been in. Its called a bad candidate .

wandris
Reader
wandris

Sounds great, until you realize it isn’t. Specifically hiring based on gender and race is both sexist and racist. The recent turmoil inside google is a great example of how to foster a culture of fear and repressiveness. I read someone saying justice needs no qualifiers and why the US lady justice wears a blindfold. This ideology seeks to remove that blindfold. This way of thinking, and these diversity directives are communist level evil. They are subversives who have accomplished nothing but demoralization of the Western culture. I think the important question is who, if anyone, is running these useful idiots? Are they children playing with a leftover artifact from a previous era, or is there something more nefarious at work?

Reader
Loyal Patron
Patreon Donor
Kickstarter Donor
Archebius

A culture of fear and repression? Google wasn’t saying that he can’t have those ideas; Google wasn’t saying that he couldn’t talk about those ideas. Google was saying that if you want to be employed by a company that has emphasized the importance of diversity, maybe you shouldn’t write a 10-page document about how women are inherently inferior at engineering and route it around on internal mailing lists.

If I have set a clear expectation for where I expect my company to go, and then an employee starts undermining it – regardless of what the issue at hand is – you better believe we’re going to have a little sit-down.

The government did a study in the years leading up to WWII. It decided that black people were incapable, simply not intelligent enough, to operate complex machinery like tanks and airplanes. And then you get groups like the Tuskagee Airmen that turned that thinking on its head. Turns out that training and opportunity make a world of difference.

Reader
John Mynard

“Google wasn’t saying that he can’t have those ideas; Google wasn’t saying that he couldn’t talk about those ideas”

Yes, they were when they fired him for talking about those ideas.

Also, from what I’ve read of it, the memo was pointing out the issues at hand, not taking sides. He specifically says in several places that he believes in Diversity. If they are going to fire him for even trying to start a conversation about a topic and how it actually affects their business, Google isn’t long for the world.

wandris
Reader
wandris

“a 10-page document about how women are inherently inferior at engineering ”

Nothing like that was in the memo he circulated. Anyone who actually took the time to read the document could see that. He questioned the methods they were employing to achieve “diversity”, made scientific based suggestions on how they could better achieve their ends, and that was enough to get him fired and have employees creating blacklists and issuing threats of both professional and physical harm against one another.

Take the time to look at the situation, that company has a cancer within it. There are many claims out there that employees are not free to go against the current narrative or internal culture without fear of professional and personal reprisals.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Serrenity

I will grant you that the memo got politicized far beyond it what it normally would have because of the ever-expanding rifts in the ideologies present in the United States today. But ultimately, Google is free to run its company as it desires, as long as they abide by the law.

FWIW, as I mentioned above the people I know at Google are happy and content with the direction of the company. It shouldn’t be taken as anything other than first-hand anecdote, but still is a counter point.

wandris
Reader
wandris

I think it will be interesting to see if google did in fact abide the law in this case. The impending lawsuit and legal proceeding should be enlightening.

There is also question of google as a whole. Given the level of influence and power they have across the entire world, should they be able to run their company as they see fit? I think the answer is yes they should, but that no company or corporation should have that much power. It will be up to people to stop using there services to such an extent in order to limit the damage abuse of that power may cause.

Their ongoing demonetization scheme of undermining youtube content creators is the newest example of how such power can be exercised. They can effectively cut off anyone the do not like or do not agree with. Given the problems within the company it is troubling to think of where this may lead. I am hoping we will see rise of strong alternative platforms, although it could be years before that is a reality.

Reader
CloakingDonkey .

Yeah I’m sorry I don’t really buy this excuse. If google had fired someone for being a feminist, they would suddenly DEFINITELY not have the freedom to run their company as they see fit. There have been plenty of examples of this before. It’s just a convenient excuse, that the proponents of this decision by google do not actually believe in.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Serrenity

I can’t say whether I would support the firing a feminist. If the feminist was arguing in the same terms that the Googler was, I probably would. But in all honesty, it’s a bit of an unfair comparison. Feminism focusing on inclusiveness and bringing minorities, namely women to the same playing field as men. The Googler argued that such a playing field could never exist.

So if it was a feminist advocating for the same things are the Googler, for sure would support firing. If it was a feminist following commonly accepted values and morals of feminism, I probably wouldn’t support the firing. There’s a million and five variables at play here.

Reader
CloakingDonkey .

What terms? Scientific ones? Changing how tech is made to better suit women’s average strengths? What was his crime exactly?

He’s 100% right. There will never be an even playing field between men and women because men and women are not the same. Hence women’s and men’s EVERY SPORT. Hence women representing a tiny minority in every physically taxing work field. Hence men representing a tiny minority in every social/nurturing work field. Some things are simply biology and can’t be overcome by well-wishing. So if gender parity in tech is something you care about for whatever reason, then the way tech is made has to change, not the hiring practices… It’s just like how the way children are taught in schools has changed over the last 50 or so years and now heavily favours girls in many countries, as boys tend to do better on average in tests and the competitive, regimented style, while they do less well in the open, group learning environments.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Serrenity

I have multiple issues with you said. Initiatives like this don’t prioritize hiring based on gender or race, but rather seek to make sure that they hire the best person, REGARDLESS of those things. There’s a very, very big difference there.

I know plenty of people who work at Google. Fear and Repressiveness is not what anyone I’ve talked has felt. Most think the guy was a moron and they didn’t want to work with him anyway. No one felt stifled.

Communism isn’t evil in and of itself. It is an ideal, a tool and it’s no more or less evil than any other ideological framework. Portraying it as such plays in McCarthy-era rhetoric where no exists.

Your last points, starting with subversives are just untenable and inflammatory.

Reader
CloakingDonkey .

Exactly. Communism by itself isn’t evil at all. Just like fascism. In theory nothing is bad :P

wandris
Reader
wandris

“intended to spur on the hiring of underrepresented people inside the company — specifically women, who make up only a fifth of employees, and other minority groups, who make up only 14%”

Seems like clear prioritization to me.

As for the google guy? Apparently his recent performance reviews put him in the top 5% of the company. A moron? The guy is a harvard/MiT biological systems professional who got into google for his performance in a coding contest. This moron got fired and demonized for trying to point out a potential problem within the company because he saw error in their methods. Getting fired is what I would call stifling.

As for communism it has lead to terrible wrongs in almost every example throughout history. These people championing diversity are probably not communist but it seems clear to me they are using the playbook.

Reader
Schmidt.Capela

IMHO, he got fired for trying to make Google look bad in an attempt to change a policy he personally doesn’t agree with. What he did was harmful to the company, and would have been even more harmful had he remained in the company. There are proper channels of raising this kind of discussion, channels he avoided. Sincerely, it’s as if he was asking to be fired.

Funny, also, that the researchers behind some of the results he compiled in his letter pointed that his conclusions are wrong; at least one of them pointed that the differences in how females approach problems this engineer saw as reason to not hire women are, in truth, a strong reason to make sure you have women on all management levels.

BTW, about communism, you are both mixing up dictatorships that use communism as a justification for their existence and disregarding the achievements of some communist countries. The fastest growing economy of the last few decades is a communist country, for example, and a tiny communist island has not only survived half a century of economic sanctions by the US but also has some of the best results in education and healthcare in the world.

wandris
Reader
wandris

According to him he did use proper internal channels, and was not the one who turned it viral within and without the company. Google and probably a number of its employees other than himself made the company look bad. He also claims one of the reasons he created the document, was in response to secret meetings which he suggested may be illegal in nature. Meetings in google are usually recorded for transparency but not certain “diversity” meetings. His aim was to improve something that already looked really bad and misguided by suggesting scientific based alternatives to how the approached the problem.

Maybe his suggestions and the science he cited is wrong and simply not feasible. Although apparently it was just wrong “becasue diversity” and a fireable offense to even suggest a policy and method may be incorrect.

As for communism, I think it is dead in the water and has been for decades. There is no serious active agenda for global communism. That doesn’t mean however that the apparatus and weapons the soviets deployed are gone. They may be still sitting around for anyone to pick up and use or direct. I am not talking about physical weapons, but social movements that were once used to undermine democracy and justice. Who is directing them now, foolish people or some foreign power(s)?

I do not disregard the historical achievements of a country like russia, as they have made great contributions, and were one of the greatest powers the world has ever known. They were wrong in their politics but nonetheless great achievers. I think it is a shame how some US media has taken to demonizing them in current times, it is reprehensible to blame them for the current unrest in the US and stir up all this anti-russian sentiment just to further political aims. It is dangerous for everyone.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Serrenity

re: Communism – I wasn’t knocking it one way or another. I think it’s a wonderful idea, that’s has some very practical challenges in actual implementation.

I’m sure we could have a wonderful discussion re: political frameworks, but methinks that Massively comments section might not be the most productive place to have this conversation :-)

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Serrenity

Moron doesn’t necessarily equate to a person’s IQ, but their overall decision making capability.

Reader
Sally Bowls

It used to: IQ: idiot 0-25, imbecile 26-50. moron 51-70

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Serrenity

Ha! I stand corrected :-)

Reader
Bryan Correll

What range is labeled “dumbass?”

Reader
Rumm

Can someone explain to me why diversity is inherently a good thing? I’m not being facetious or trying to prompt a snarky reply, I’m actually posing a question. I took a class last year where I was the only male in a group of 20 people and I asked this question, but I never had an answer that I felt was adequate. I’m asking you to open my mind.

Reader
Witches

It’s important because the reigning homogeneity is artificial, women and many minorities didn’t have legal rights for a period of more than 1000 years, imagine women getting the right to drive cars, but driving instructors refusing to teach them how to drive, or simply not passing them on their driving exams.

If you are part of the dominant faction and you are not honest you can maintain that dominance artificially, so diversity is also about fairness (apparently justice is a bad thing in the US, so i’ll avoid that nasty word).

Plus in the long run equality/diversity serves everyone, imagine that for some reason the dominance switches from males to females, competent males would not suffer just because they are part of a gender perceived to be weaker.

If you believe you are part of the dominant group and you think that dominance will last forever, i guess it’s not a big deal, but it’s a pretty selfish outlook on life.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Serrenity

It boils down to this: If you reject diversity as a virtue, you are making the statement that your chosen ethnicity / race / orientation is superior to all others. So much more superior in fact, that the other groups don’t even need to be heard because anything that they say will fundamentally be inferior. Objectively. Rejection of diversity mandates a level of arrogance and implied omniscience, such as the dominate group knowing what the subservient group wants or needs, better than members of the subservient group. It also implies stagnation, lack of growth, rigidity. It mandates that exclusion of every other point of view but the chosen one results in the strongest possible outcome, invariably.

Treating diversity as a virtue is the opposite. It’s the position held that everyone’s experience / perspective / cultural upbringing brings value to the issue at hand. Not necessarily in equal amounts, but everyone has something to contribute and the inclusion of the contribution results in a stronger outcome (whatever that may be). Diversity also mandates the celebration of failures — as failures are also perspectives / experiences that can provide value on future endeavors. Diversity can suffer from things like death-by-committee, by ensuring that every has equal voice, you end up with a weaker outcome because of lack of focus or clear direction. Diversity can also suffer from the over-politicalization of identity politics, as unintended slights are can be seen as deliberate attacks on a portion of the diverse body.

Philosophically – rejection of diversity is a very Objectivist ideal. Diversity is post-modern ideal.

Reader
Melissa McDonald

edit: forget it.

Reader
Kala Mona

“If you reject diversity as a virtue, you are making the statement that your chosen ethnicity / race / orientation is superior to all others. ”

The problem is that most ppl do not _reject_ diversity, just feel that it is unimportant and overemphasized. You are basically calling them nazis. Most ppl who are “against” diversity aren’t against diversity but they are against the idea that the diversity of a company should be a factor when deciding who to hire.

Lets say there is a small company, with only 2 employees. You say that if the 2 employees are different in skin color, they will be more effective and can tackle more situations as compared for being the same skin color.

I find this hard to believe.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Serrenity

My verbiage was deliberate. I was creating extremist caricatures on both sides to better demonstrate the value divide between them. 99.9% of people fall on the continuum between these two extremes.

Reader
Kala Mona

Yeah but it is like “you either follow God, or the Devil, but 99.9% of the people are between the two”.

And then there are some guys are frustrated because they are atheists, they do not believe in them and think that it shouldn’t be a factor when deciding.

People who you perceive to be “against” diversity are actually the “atheists” of this case. I didn’t hear anyone stating that a same-color or same-sex company would be more effective, all I hear “it doesn’t matter, hiring or firing decisions shouldn’t be based on diversity”.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Serrenity

Maybe it’s a flawed representation, but I think it satisfies the OP’s question.

Reader
silverlock

People with different outlooks and life experiences will approach a problem from different perspectives which should give you a greater range of options for dealing with the issue and or enhancing the solution that one person came up with.

Sort of like when the only tool in your toolbox is a hammer all problems look like nails.

shloo
Reader
shloo

What about when those experiences have nothing to do with gaming or even related to the job at all?

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Serrenity

That’s never easy to quantify. For example, I have an undergraduate degree in Rhetoric, but I’m a successful technologist. It’s pretty hard to draw direct parallels between what I learned in college and what I do, but I will be the first to contend that I use the skills I developed in college every day — critical thinking, problem solving, writing, approaching problems from a myriad of perspectives. But you wouldn’t get that just looking at a resume.

I won’t even go into the more esoteric concept of nothing ever being unrelated to whatever job you want to hold.

shloo
Reader
shloo

It can be VERY easy to quantify. If the job calls for certain skills to fill the position, then those skills should be prioritized.

Hiring someone because they are a minority when they do not possess those skills so you can feel special is ridiculous.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Patreon Donor
Loyal Patron
Ashfyn Ninegold

In your comments you are displaying a common bias against diversity, which is that minorities and women are per se unqualified.

Blizzard is using a very common practice in hiring to increase diversity, called a referral. Employees hopefully refer people they like or want to work with. It also substantially expands the pool of people who are actively recruiting for a position to everyone in the company.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Serrenity

If what you are saying is true, I should be able to hire perfect people, every time just based on the contents of their resume. No need to interview, they just express interest and I send the offer letter. Since it’s just THAT easy to quantify how someone will do in a role.

Reader
Schmidt.Capela

What makes you think that the minority hires on companies like Google or Blizzard don’t have the required skills?

Sincerely, you don’t get to be at the top of your field if you slip down on hiring standards. Companies like Google being at the top of the game despite a diversity policy is ample proof that the minority hires are as qualified as the white males that dominate the industry.

Reader
Schmidt.Capela

With entertainment products diverse experiences always have something to do with the job, because you want to make sure all kinds of people find the finished product enjoyable; that is, unless you want to go back to how games were made a few decades ago, when developers considered that the only viable audience was the young male.

Reader
Kala Mona

“a few decades ago, when developers considered that the only viable audience was the young male.”

Maybe because a few decades ago mostly young males possessed computers for the purpose of playing.

Reader
Schmidt.Capela

For a company that develops entertainment products there is also the issue of cultural and upbringing differences. When looking at a prospective product you want people from all walks of life looking at it, otherwise you run the risk of your products only being enticing for a smaller segment of potential customers.

Reader
Blippedy Blop

Equality of Outcome is the most important priority these days, not merit.

Reader
A Dad Supreme

Given that Overwatch has one of the most (if not the most) racially and gender diverse games on the market, it only makes good business sense for the to happen.

Reader
Danny Smith

Inb4 300 posts argue back and forth about hiring based on skills and ability over race or gender or not.

Reader
Utakata

It’s quite likely that diversity here is they’ll hire someone with skill regardless of their race, gender or orientation. As opposed to just hiring someone based on different race, gender and orientations for the token…as many are spinning it here for the disingenuous /upvotes.

Reader
Loyal Patron
Patreon Donor
Kickstarter Donor
Archebius

The typical directive given is, if two equally-qualified people apply, choose the one that will increase your diversity. But, this sounds more like a change in social networking. The gaming industry relies pretty heavily on who you know and who you’ve worked with – and if you don’t try to expand that, you end up with a pretty stagnant group.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Serrenity

I would just add that the situation of “two equally qualified candidates” is one that I’ve rarely run up against when I’m hiring.

Reader
Schmidt.Capela

If you think of that as two people with the exact same qualifications, yeah, that would be exceptionally rare.

If you think of that as two people that both seem capable of handling the job, where it’s not feasible to even determine who would do so with greater efficiency, I bet that is something the most prestigious companies see all the time.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Serrenity

I will grant you that. I haven’t been in hiring situations with those companies so I can’t speak from experience, but logically it makes sense.

I think I would fall back on who fits the culture of the company best and who best represents the values that the company, and I, want to promote?

Reader
Daniel Reasor

Inb4 299 posts counterarguing that Blizz has been hiring for race and gender over skills and ability, and is looking to correct that.

Reader
Loyal Patron
Patreon Donor
Kickstarter Donor
Archebius

Nah, it’s a numbers game – women make up less than 20% of graduates in Computer Science fields, and minority representation in all STEM majors has been lagging for, well, forever. Research shows that there are hiring biases, of course, but group representation isn’t wildly off from the number of qualified graduates over the years – a problem that tends to exacerbate itself.

shloo
Reader
shloo

Which is exactly what the google manifesto was about. If women make up 20% of tech, it should not be expected women make up 50% of positions at a tech company. Forcing this sort of diversity only brings in less qualified applicants over much more deserving people.

wpDiscuz