As part of the 1 Year Anniversary for #RaiseTheGame we asked pledge partners and supporters to produce case studies for us to put towards our One Year-On Report.
The report is the pledge’s first accountability activity for partners and supporters, by giving organisations involved the chance to spotlight and talk about their involvement in the pledge along with all the equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) efforts they are doing!
The aim of the report is not to name and shame organisations if controversies have occurred, or there are no developments in particular areas for some time, but to encourage and normalise honest conversation around recruitment, work practices and external representation. Giving those involved in the pledge a chance to reflect, be transparent and review their activities - to be accountable and see where they are doing good and/or can improve in.
On the other hand, the report is also about rejoicing best practice and the achievements many of our pledge partners and supporters have attained on their EDI journeys either on their own or with the help of the pledge. As #RaiseTheGame is all about collaboration and learning from each other - thus allowing our pledge partner and supporter case studies to also act as a resource for other games businesses and organisations to learn from and see how their peers are improving diversity and inclusion in their workplaces.
Having been apart of the pledge since it launched and having seen the entire year by our side. Here's how nDreams are approaching the three pledge pillars and developed with the pledge one year-on:
nDreams signed-up as a launch partner for the Raise the Game pledge in February 2020. It was a no brainer for us to be a part of this as the three pillars of the pledge fit perfectly with areas we had already identified as focus areas for the business.
Since joining the pledge we have launched our company Equality, Diversity & Inclusion group. We met in person once before lockdown and now meet virtually every quarter. There is also now a company Slack channel dedicated to Diversity & Inclusion. The objective of the group is to ensure EDI is discussed openly within the business and our vision and goals are shared with the team but also represent our shared values coming from the team themselves. The Slack channel has provided insightful conversation and education on a range of topics from accessibility, neurodiversity, people of colour, women in games and trans awareness, among others. The more we discuss the challenges faced by some groups, the more we can aim to create a safe space for all.
In terms of the pledge pillars:
Pillar 1 - Creating a Diverse Workforce
We continue to ensure we advertise our roles in places outside of the standard recruitment sites and we actively seek out diverse groups on social networks where we feel our open roles may be of interest. We try to avoid the use of exclusive gendered language in our job adverts so no one is put off from applying. We are going to be a part of the new Kickstart initiative commencing this year, hiring 6 new staff through the scheme. We have flexible core working hours and several other benefits such as enhanced maternity and paternity leave, shared parental leave, duvet days, to try and encourage a more diverse set of applicants for roles.
Pillar 2 - Shaping Inclusive and Welcoming Places to Work
Probably the most important aspect of this for us this year has been our approach to mental health and wellbeing during the COVID pandemic. We’ve ensured our team are kept up to date with company news via regular all hands Teams meetings, CEO bi-weekly newsletters and frequent communications from our HR team around well-being and how/where to access help if needed. We’ve worked closely with Autistica Play and take steps to ensure we are able to support neuro-diverse members of staff, and are aiming to educate the wider industry on this in the coming months. We are currently recruiting for a Learning & Development Manager to create and lead learning journeys as we place higher emphasis on personal development for every member of staff, from the moment they join us, right through to the next step in their career.
Pillar 3 - Reflecting Greater Diversity in our Work
Our Chief People Officer is working closely with the development team to produce consistent accessibility guidelines for our games. We continue to work on ensuring more diverse content and representation on our unannounced titles.
Without doubt our biggest challenge this year has been the pandemic. Whilst we are doing all we can to ensure our teams are supported people still may not call out if help is needed and it is often much harder to recognise there may be a problem whilst we are working remotely. We’ve seen a decline in applications from female candidates and, whilst there is no direct proof, a number of researched articles have attributed the extra childcare falling to females as potentially damaging to career moves.
Since signing up to the pledge and making some of the changes we have, we seen an improvement in our gender and ethnicity statistics and we feel there is generally more openness from the staff. We’ve especially found this to be true of the newer members of staff who have been incredibly supportive of this being on the agenda. The pledge has helped us by validating decisions we had already made in the business in terms of the three key areas we wanted to focus on. It has enabled us to communicate to the wider team that the rest of the industry are taking this seriously and that we should continue our efforts in this area.
To read the full One Year-On Report on release, follow Ukie's Twitter for the announcement and details, while keep checking back to the #RaiseTheGame website across the month of February for more case studies and content!