Nintendo promises to improve diversity, hire more female executives

Mario and Luigi greet fans at the opening of Nintendo's theme park in Japan.

Follow internal comments by Nintendo of America President Doug Bowser earlier this month on allegations about sexual offense and discrimination at Activision Blizzard, Nintendo has updated its Corporate Governance document today with a new commitment to “increase the proportion of women in management positions” across the company.

The updated document was first viewed by NintendoLife, contains a new section on diversity and inclusion efforts in the company. While Nintendo says it hires solely on the basis of “competence and skill” and does not have “specific goals” for the appointment of women to leadership positions, it will work to increase current rates.

Here is the reason:

[A]As a global company engaged in the entertainment industry, characterized by increasingly diversified customer needs and preferences, it is important that we leverage the talents of a diverse workforce. Therefore, we are committed to respecting the personality and strengths of each individual employee, including employees from our overseas subsidiaries, and developing an environment where employees with different backgrounds can maximize their potential. As part of these efforts, we recruit women and create an environment where women can build a successful career.

As part of this promise, Nintendo also revealed that only 23.7% of the executives in the company are women globally, and only 4.2% when looking specifically at Nintendo Co., Ltd in Japan. This is particularly noteworthy as most of the company’s creative development and decision-making takes place at its Kyoto headquarters. Nintendo did not immediately respond to a request for comment on how it would increase these numbers.

The new push around gender diversity comes especially as Call of Duty publishes Activision Blizzard the inventory continues with the outcome of a lawsuit in California alleging widespread sexual harassment and discrimination and ongoing reports of misconduct and abuse in the workplace.

Read more: The state of diversity in video games with big budgets

The latest study, published earlier this month by Wall Street Journal, led Bowser and other players to send internal emails to staff criticizing the alleged misconduct in the company and its reaction to it.

“Together with all of you, I have been following the latest developments with Activision Blizzard and the ongoing reports of sexual harassment and toxicity in the company,” Bowser told staff in an email. “I find these reports disturbing and disturbing. They are contrary to my values ​​as well as Nintendo’s beliefs, values ​​and policies.”

He also said that Nintendo, in collaboration with the ESA video game lobby group, had begun working towards tougher attitudes against harassment and dishonesty in the workplace across the industry. “As a trade association, ESA convenes its member companies to create dialogue and shape actions to ensure that these beliefs are realized,” the group told Axios reporter Stephen Totilo in a statement last week when asked to elaborate on any actions it was taking.

While more and more voices have jumped on the much-disturbed-of-Activision-Blizzard accusations wagon, few in positions of power have given any details on what they will do to change things forward, including in their own companies.


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