What is diversity?
Diversity, or the acknowledgement of richness and plurality in a society, has played an important role in the games industry for many years. Teams around the world work together to develop games that are played across borders. But often, even smaller teams in a single location boast impressive diversity: teams of just 200 to 300 developers often include people of 50 or more different nationalities. This unique diversity is necessary because the target group for computer and video games is also incredibly diverse: games are played by more than 2.2 billion people around the world.
But what exactly does ‘diversity’ mean? The term refers to the differences and similarities between people and groups. Various different categories play a role here: age, disability, ethnic background and nationality, gender and gender identity, religion and ideology, and sexual orientation and identity. All of these categories are aspects of diversity.
Diversity within a company means taking employees’ different backgrounds into consideration. This helps to create a vibrant corporate culture in which all employees can contribute their individual experiences and perspectives. Companies also benefit from promoting diversity within their workforce – at a time when there is a shortage of skilled labour, a diverse workforce can make a firm more attractive to potential employees. Additionally, numerous studies indicate that diverse teams have a number of special qualities that make them stand out:
- They are more innovative and creative.
- They are less likely to reflect stereotypes.
- They bring previous knowledge from many different backgrounds to the table.
- The members of such teams are more satisfied because they feel they are being heard and taken seriously.
- They make better use of human resources.
- They can react to societal change more quickly.
- They are more open and adaptive.
Games companies already benefit from many of these qualities, as they tend to employ people from a very broad range of nationalities. However, other characteristics of diversity – such as age, gender or disability – are less well represented in the games industry than they are in other industries or society as a whole. Just 27 per cent of employees in the games industry are women, for example. Where there is a lack of diversity, potential is not being fully utilised – and problems may even arise in certain areas. Making a conscious effort to employ diverse teams creates a highly positive corporate culture and also helps to prevent biases that might otherwise hamper the development of new ideas or approaches.
With this guide, we hope to help raise awareness of the issue of diversity. We also provide concrete advice on topics such as how to design job ads so that they include groups of people whose perspectives are missing within a company. Taking a deliberate and thoughtful approach to diversity can help companies to create attractive working environments and, consequently, improve the satisfaction and creativity of all employees.