In a recent interview with Veronica (Vee) Heath, Head of D&I, and Louise O’Connor, Executive Producer at Rare Ltd., we learned more about inclusion and diversity.
In a recent Chat with Executive Producer Louise O’Connor and D&I Manager Veronica Heath, we got to know Rare Ltd’s ideas for inclusion and production of unique games in the market. Then I will translate the published questions and answers so that you have a clearer idea. If you want to see the original text, you can view it on source.
How important is it for leadership teams to lead inclusion and diversity initiatives?
Veronica Heath: It is essential that leaders lead inclusion and diversity initiatives. Show interest in the important work that is required in this regard, to help make better decisions that will impact long-term change. In addition to serving as a role model for the rest of the team.
Ultimately, diversity and inclusion is an ongoing journey rather than a destination. Which means we have to keep learning even when our jobs keep us busy every day. It’s easy to be complacent and put these things aside when there is more free time, but these things take long term effort to see effort. One thing I know about working with our bosses is their openness to learning, the path to diversity and inclusion, and building an inclusive culture.
Louise O’Connor: It is important for bosses to pursue diversity and inclusion to show an interest in thinking differently about video game development. A commitment to diversify is a business opportunity, for the team and for the games we create. We have a responsibility to think, at the leadership level, about how inclusive and friendly our teams and games are. Rare has an amazing leadership team, working hard to discuss all things diversity and inclusion.
Rare’s mission is to make games that the world doesn’t yet have, and to do that, we need to make Rare the most innovative and exciting place to work. We strongly believe that having diverse teams with teammates with different backgrounds and experiences will help shape worlds in ways that are unique and interesting for players.
Do you think that some companies, within and in the game of the game, have diversity issues because managers think it’s “human resources thing”?
Heather: D&I can seem like a large area to attack, as there are many parties involved.
When you look further, instituting measures for diversity not only helps some, but benefits everyone in the company while transforming the culture. Rare has come for my role with the intention of supporting more and giving more resources to D&I, which means the study’s efforts will go further and not be left behind.
O’Connor: I think it’s everyone’s job, throughout the studio, to take on the D&I. At Rare, we take our time to train our team on D&I. We have study specialists who are dedicated to thinking about our D&I strategy from a study perspective. Vee works with everyone to help us focus on achieving our goals of diversifying our teams.
There’s a lot to talk about “corporate culture” about D&I initiatives with studios and companies, but some don’t know what that means. Can you give us an overview of what this means and what Rare has done to make its corporate culture open to everyone and provide a workplace where everyone can thrive?
Heather: Corporate culture goes hand in hand with inclusiveness. Each team member has a responsibility to nurture our culture of inclusion. After all, inclusiveness happens when teams interact with each other, share their ideas, and hear feedback as well. We foster a culture where different perspectives are welcomed and respected, we see a change in the way everyone feels at work. When coworkers feel they can do their best, they are definitely happier.
Have there been any reports that D&I has been relegated during the pandemic, due to other pressures on the company and its executives? What would you say to convince them that they should keep this high on the agenda?
Heather: Your current team and potential talents look to the studio’s commitment to D&I. They wonder if this is a place where they want to be and feel supported.
Keeping D&I high on the agenda means you are looking to the future. A lot of us are working from a case, so being able to feel the experience of someone who works remotely and has never seen the studio is new, but very important. Guardianship is also important and can be done from the comfort of our offices without going out.
In addition, the pandemic has put new pressures on the well-being of the team. Taking action to help the team with their sanity now, while de-stigmatizing this conversation, helps everyone get through their bad times, as well as builds an enhanced culture of support for the future.
What benefits does diversity bring to employees?
Heather: There are many advantages! For Rare, a diverse team means that our games represent the diversity we see in the world and that every player feels welcome in the worlds we create. In addition, our teams feel that they can imprint their own essence in their daily work. Again, this means happier workers.
Did remote work help or pose problems for D&I? Both for rare lines and for general lines.
Heather: My role evolved during the pandemic to being responsible for diversity and inclusion, so I firmly believe this helped achieve our goals! Our 2021 D&I strategy dominates the areas and changes we can make regardless of the pandemic; of the main sectors of activity. Therefore, whatever happens in the coming months, we will continue to put the issue on the table and adapt.
O’Connor: As we go through a pandemic, I think it’s fair to say that we are learning to evolve our games and manage our teams in a situation that seems very different from the norm. Working this way means we continue to strive to build a diverse team. We are working on change at the moment, but our commitment to leadership issues and training our teams means that D&I is a priority for us.
Personally, I have been inspired by everyone at Rare and by the other teams in our studios, as they have embraced working from home and always aim to bring quality experiences and support our teams in these difficult times. I also believe that with these new challenges comes growth and learning, and as we learn to become a developer and work remotely as a team, it has helped refresh our thinking.
We learned a lot about distance communication and how to be inclusive while being distant from each other. And it gave us the opportunity to connect in a lot of new ways that I don’t think we would have tried otherwise.
Finally, you launched Women of Xbox UK last year. How is it going? and what plans / goals do you have for 2021 and beyond?
Heather: I am very excited about Women of Xbox UK. We have so many amazing women working on Xbox in the UK and it truly is a celebration of talent. We want to show how amazing the gambling opportunities are for women!
O’Connor: We are very happy to have launched Women of Xbox UK last year. On Xbox, there are amazing communities and groups that provide a place to connect with people like you. As we have seen, the Xbox UK study base has grown with the addition of Ninja Theory and Playground. We work to connect as many women as possible with each other in Rare, Playground Ninja Theory and other Xbox studios to provide them with a digital workspace for them to learn, mentor and be mentored.
We are committed to inspiring a new generation of developers in our studios and to continue to grow and mentor the amazing women who work in our teams. We do this because we believe it is important not only to have different perspectives and think about our games and products, but also to create a healthy and vibrant workspace. And a group of developers representing our audience around the world.