Why companies need to do more than ‘ticking the box’ – Amiqus’ Liz Prince

Back in the 1990s, the Harvard Business Review carried out research across various industry sectors and multiple corporations to look at why diversity efforts were not being achieved.

The conclusion back then was that workplace diversity goals were being set based simply on increasing representation, with the main focus being on the attraction of diverse candidates.

25 years later, the same authors have penned a similar article for HBR – this time warning that lessons still haven’t been learned by leadership teams who perhaps feel that their businesses are ‘ticking the box’ thanks to their commitment to a diverse recruitment strategy.

Of course, I’m not suggesting that the attraction of diverse talent is a bad place to start, but it’s no good focusing on this in isolation. Creating an environment where people can be who they are, that values their unique talents and perspectives is essential to otherwise avoid a revolving door of diverse talent who will arrive excited and energised and ready to contribute, but who then leave feeling unseen and demoralised.

When it comes to attracting and retaining female talent, the latest McKinsey report absolutely underlines how critical culture is, particularly in light of some worrying trends its research has revealed during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The report, published in September, reveals what many of us have suspected – that women have been affected more negatively by the pandemic and lockdown. As a result of the pandemic, McKinsey’s research has found that one in four women are considering downshifting their careers or quitting work completely. McKinsey has described this situation as ‘an emergency’, with the current situation potentially un-doing many years of diversity progress.

Given the warnings issued via the McKinsey Report, I urge all leadership teams in our industry to take note and reflect on the opportunities we have to make change and improve our company cultures to, not only attract, but benefit and retain diverse talent.

At Amiqus, it is our job to help studios when it comes to attracting talent and we have a commitment to encouraging more women from other sectors to consider a career in this brilliant industry.

Via our G Into Gaming initiative, we can help provide guidance and advice to studios on actionable steps they can take to make change for better – in attracting and retaining diverse talent.

We also seek to work with other groups and initiatives to achieve our goals. There are some fantastic initiatives in games, from Out Making Games, POC in Play, BAME in Games; Women in Games, our own G Into Gaming; the Ukie Diversity Pledge, Into Games and more.

Indeed, I would like to nod towards Robin Gray from Gayming Magazine and Out Making Games. He is a brilliant advocate of supporting the LGBTQ+ community within games and has called for the industry to do more to shout about its achievements when it comes to D&I. I totally agree with him.

Working together we can accelerate change and ensure the Games Industry can focus on culture that protects, supports and nurtures everyone – and make it visible from outside of the industry.

About Chris Wallace

Chris is a freelancer writer and was MCV/DEVELOP's staff writer from November 2019 until May 2022. He joined the team after graduating from Cardiff University with a Master's degree in Magazine Journalism. He can 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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