“Current data suggests that over two thirds of job seekers consider a diverse workforce to be important when comparing companies and job offers” – Debugging D&I

Amiqus’ Liz Prince introduces our new regular feature, promoting the importance of diversity and inclusion in the industry


W
e know there have always been many competing priorities for games businesses, made only more complex and challenging by the pandemic, which has impacted our lives in so many different ways.

Diversity and/or inclusion have sometimes struggled to make it to the top of the agenda for many studios, and when they have made it there, for some it hasn’t necessarily moved past the discussion or initial investigation stage. We know that this isn’t generally from a lack of will, but through a lack of time, resource, focus or knowledge, or all of these things. Our industry isn’t alone in this – a recent report in the tech sector revealed that 41 per cent of companies asked had cited being “too busy” as the number one reason they avoid hiring for diversity. The COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated this for many.

So where do we go from here? I remain passionate that the games industry must and can accelerate its focus on diversity and inclusion programmes, despite the ongoing challenges we’re all facing. And this series of articles is here to offer practical advice from those who have made significant changes for the better within their organisations. They will be sharing their best practice tips, experience and advice to help more studios make good on the diversity pledges they may have taken early last year.

Hopefully, many of you will be aware of our ‘Putting The G Into Gaming’ campaign, which is aimed at supporting women in games, as well as encouraging more females to consider a career in games.

“A diverse workforce provides a variety of perspectives, increased creativity, higher levels of innovation and delivers faster problem solving and better decision making”

 

We launched ‘Empower-Up’ as a sister initiative last year. The programme has been devised to provide a guided journey to help studios and leadership teams make a change for better. If D&I has become a Covid casualty in your business and you want to make it a priority but don’t know where to start, we can help. Get in touch any time. If you’re not ready or perhaps feel that you are still too busy to make diversity and inclusion a priority, here are a few well documented and researched reminders as to why it should take centre stage in 2021.

A diverse workforce provides a variety of perspectives, increased creativity, higher levels of innovation and delivers faster problem solving and better decision making. Diverse companies report greater profits, higher employee engagement and retention. Outwardly your reputation is enhanced, and in turn you will attract more top talent. Current data suggests that over two thirds of job seekers consider a diverse workforce to be important when comparing companies and job offers. Looking ahead however, this is going to become even more of a focus. When PwC looked into the statistics surrounding the millennial workforce, they discovered that diversity is something millennials hold in high regard. 85 per cent of females agreed that an employer’s policy on diversity and equality was important when deciding whether to work for an employer. As the workplace becomes more populated with the millennial and gen Z generations, studios risk missing out on top talent if they aren’t diverse and inclusive.

There are so many tangible and measurable benefits to D&I, but there is also a significant moral responsibility to consider, to do the right thing and demonstrate commitment to social justice as part of your corporate social responsibility.

We hope you’re ready to make D&I central to your 2021 priorities and that this series of articles will help.

About Chris Wallace

Chris is MCV/DEVELOP's staff writer, joining the team after graduating from Cardiff University with a Master's degree in Magazine Journalism. He can regrettably be found on Twitter at @wallacec42, where he mostly explores his obsession with the Life is Strange series, for which he refuses to apologise.

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