Following the news that Activision Blizzard has been sued by the state of California for sexism, harassment, and toxic work environment, a number of horrendous incidents have come to light that show deep-rooted sexism and misogyny at the company.
A new report from Vice (via Kotaku) reveals that back in 2015, Activision Blizzard attended the Black Hat USA security conference in which it had a recruitment booth. The booth was approached by a female hacker who happened to be a senior vulnerability researcher at the time, and instead of discussing potential opportunities with her, Activision Blizzard staff made obscene and lewd remarks towards her.
The researcher in question was asked if she was lost, if she had a boyfriend, if she knew what she was doing there, if she knew what penetration testing was, and how often she was penetrated, among other things.
Then, in 2017, Activision Blizzard approached cybersecurity firm Sagitta HPC (now known as Terahash) for a potential business deal. One problem: the aforementioned woman happened to be the company’s Chief Operating Officer and she remembered the exchange from 2015.
Terahash’s founder and CEO was informed of the incident, who subsequently refused to work with Activision Blizzard until it agreed to conditions like paying a 50 percent misogyny tax, which would be donated to companies dedicated to supporting women in IT. Activision Blizzard was also offered a chance to write a formal apology to the COO for how its staff treated her. Needless to say, the deal never happened.
Oddly enough, Terahash posted a copy of the email on Twitter back in 2017 but never disclosed that Activision Blizzard was the client in question. However, it appears that Activision Blizzard employees did remember what happened and recently shared the incident anonymously with Vice, following which Terahash publicly acknowledged that Activision Blizzard was its potential client in this case.
— Jeremi M. Gosney (@jmgosney) March 9, 2017
Worth noting that authorities conducted a two-year investigation before filing the lawsuit against Activision Blizzard so the stories being shared now aren’t one-off incidents and certainly not without merit.
Here’s hoping justice is served.[Source: Vice via Kotaku]