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Pledge Partner Case Study - Payload Studios

By The Editor on 04/02/2020

RaiseTheGame is all about collaboration and learning from each other - our pledge partner case studies show how other games businesses are improving diversity and inclusion in their businesses.

Here's how one of our Pledge Partners, Payload Studios, are improving diversity and inclusion:

Our Diversity Initiative

Our Diversity Initiative encompasses all the steps we are taking to promote and support diversity, equality and inclusion.

We have assessed and changed our HR processes, endeavoured to ensure our facilities provide for all current and prospective staff, and promoted diversity and inclusion through our monthly Game On events (part of our Tentacle Zone Workspace events).

By hosting the events we have been able to proactively educate ourselves and others about the importance of diversity (regardless of studio size) and the steps/actions we can take to promote and increase diversity, specifically in the games industry.

We have already seen an increase in the number of job applicants from underrepresented groups and hope to see this continue.

Creating a diverse workforce

We are lucky to already have a hugely talented and welcoming team but there is always more that can be done to foster diversity and inclusivity.

After assessing our HR processes we found a variety of relatively easy actions to take. These ranged from excluding gendered words and eliminating desirable criteria in job specs, to changing where roles are advertised and promoted. Other actions include involving staff from underrepresented groups in the recruitment process and highlighting the work the studio has been doing to promote diversity.

We have only relatively recently implemented changes but have already seen an increase in the diversity of candidates applying to roles.

Shaping inclusive and welcoming places to work

We strive to provide a welcoming, enjoyable and inclusive studio for all current and prospective staff, as well as visitors.

We are reviewing our policies so that our commitment to inclusivity is emphasised and our expectations of staff are clear. We also host events to raise awareness of issues such as mental health and diversity and inclusion.

We assessed our facilities to try to ensure they provide for all potential staff and visitors (making changes where needed). This includes basic practical things, such as providing sanitary bins in toilets, to arguably less obvious provisions, such as having quiet spaces available for staff and providing adjustable lighting.

A healthy and inclusive company culture is a priority for us. We support and encourage staff to set up lunchtime clubs in areas of interest as well as holding regular staff socials (including some without a focus on drinking).

It’s difficult to tangibly measure the outcome of these actions but we will continue to strive to do what we can to ensure the studio is welcoming and inclusive to all.

Events

Our Game On series of events take place monthly with an aim to promote, support and ultimately increase diversity in our own studio and the wider games industry.

Each month we have a speaker or panel exploring topics related to diversity. Past topics have included unconscious bias, Ukie’s diversity census, the work organisations/initiatives are already doing to address the last of diversity in the industry (including representation from PoC in Play, Balance Patch, WiG and G into Gaming) and also what more needs to be done.

We host these events in our studio (we are lucky to have an event space) as part of our Tentacle Zone Workspace events. We have used our networks and contacts to secure speakers and we promote the events to the wider industry, encouraging anyone interested to attend.

The events have been spearheaded by the women at Payload but cover all aspects of diversity. The studio is fully behind the events series and other staff are engaged with the events and what they are trying to achieve.

We have seen the attendance of the events grow and hope they continue to gain traction. We have had positive feedback from many attendees, studios and speakers. We hope attendees leave with a greater knowledge and understanding of the issues around D&I, and the action we can take, as individuals and companies, to address the lack of diversity in the industry. We have seen an increase in diverse candidates applying for positions, some of which have been attendees of the Game On events.