Girls Who Code has partnered with Activision Blizzard on our Summer Immersion Program since 2018. However, following recent revelations about allegations of assault, harassment, and a toxic work environment throughout the company, we have decided to end our partnership.
Our priority has and always will be to stand up for women and other underrepresented groups in tech and ensure that they are given the support and stability they need to actively thrive as they pursue a career in computer science.
The news about Activision proves that our priorities are fundamentally misaligned. We cannot in good conscience continue to work with a company that is so antithetical to our own values.
In choosing our partners, we do so knowing that the tech industry is often unwelcoming to the very communities we are trying to serve. That’s why we only work with those who are willing to have tough discussions about how systemic sexism, racism, discrimination, and harassment have impacted company practices and work culture. We hold our partners accountable when they fall short and work with them to bring meaningful solutions to the table. However, there is a line, and the allegations against Activision have crossed that line.
Fighting for diversity in the tech industry must be about more than filling quotas. We must also empower marginalized communities to speak truth to power, without tokenization or fear of retribution, knowing that this is exactly the key to challenging a homogenous and toxic corporate culture that has allowed predators to profit while repeatedly harming others with impunity.
We stand in solidarity with those at Activision who bravely came forward about their experiences and hope they see the justice and accountability they richly deserve. We also stand with their colleagues who have suffered the collateral consequences of such a failure of company leadership.
At Girls Who Code, we will continue to work toward our mission of closing the gender gap in tech, and know that we also have the responsibility to push our partners — and when necessary hold them accountable — to creating an industry that is equitable and safe for all people, regardless of background.