April 1, 2022

9 Min Read

inside ubisoft

Diversity and Inclusion at Ubisoft: Planting Seeds for the Future

Last month marked my one-year Ubiversary. When I started at Ubisoft, I was thrilled to join a leading video game creator with the power to tell stories that inspire empathy, cultivate belonging and help shape culture. Diversity and inclusion are core to our mission to enrich players’ lives – when we commit to building environments in which people can be themselves and see themselves, we unlock our collective potential.

When I arrived, Ubisoft was navigating a moment of change and taking important steps to foster a safe, respectful, and inclusive work environment for all. As the company’s first Vice President of Global Diversity and Inclusion, my first months were spent listening to and learning from our inspiring colleagues, who provided me with important insights that have helped us design our path forward. In those early months, I partnered with Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot and his leadership team to set a clear ambition for us all: be the most inclusive, equitable, and diverse entertainment and tech company where differences are valued and celebrated, diversity is leveraged as a strength, and inclusion is at the center of the way we work.

[UN] Diversity and Inclusion at Ubisoft: Planting Seeds for the Future - Raashi

This past year has been foundational for us - the support and engagement of leaders and colleagues from across Ubisoft have helped us to build new teams, tools, and processes that have set our D&I efforts up for long-term success. One year in, I believe it’s important to take stock of our progress and how we can continue to grow.

Putting in place a strategy to achieve our ambition

To reach our ambition, my first task was to co-build a cohesive and relevant strategy with Ubisoft teams. Last July I first shared our strategy with global teams, which is based on four key pillars:

  • Colleagues: We want to build the most creative, inclusive, and diverse teams across all fields. We will continue to increase representation in our company by building more inclusion across our systems and ensuring equal access to opportunities for everyone.

  • Culture: We will keep fostering a culture of inclusion where our teams feel seen, heard, and valued. To support this, we will empower global and local Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) to support global teams as they develop their understanding of inclusion and strengthen belonging for all.

  • Content: We will create gaming experiences that push representation forward by embedding diversity and inclusion across our processes, increasing representation in our teams, and offering access to resources that help teams to build more authentic inclusive, and accessible gaming experiences.

  • Communities: We will set the standard for inclusion for our teams, players, and partners, and will collaborate with leading organizations to expand our knowledge, grow our reach, give back to the community and champion inclusion in our industry.

Building a world-class D&I team

One of my key priorities has been to build a D&I team that sets the standard for inclusion at Ubisoft.

  • In 2021, we went from a one-person team to a diverse nine-member team, including three outstanding regional directors: Raphaëlle Lalo for Europe, the Middle East, and Asia (EMEA), Erin Roach for Canada, and Michael Streffery for the US and Latin America. Our team’s passion and know-how have been instrumental to getting our programs off the ground during the last year, and you can learn more about our D&I directors in this profile piece.

Growing and supporting Employee Resource Groups

Our Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) have played an important role in shaping D&I initiatives across Ubisoft and have provided invaluable feedback to members of our executive leadership committee.

  • In the months after I joined, we embarked on a journey to help create, structure, develop, and strengthen our ERG program. Today, we have seven global ERGs, including Asia and Pacific Islanders, Black Employees at Ubisoft, Gente (Latine, Hispanic employees), Salaam (Middle East & North Africa), Neurodiversity/Mental Health/Accessibility, UbiProud (LGBTQ+ communities), Women and Non-Binary.

  • ERG Leads are able to dedicate 10% of their working time to ERG initiatives.

  • We kickstarted leadership trainings for all our ERG leaders in July 2021.

Partnering with Human Resources to embed D&I in our workplace

In addition to growing our ERGs, we are working closely with our HR teams to embed D&I across our HR roadmap and ensure that inclusion is at the heart of all systems, tools and processes that impact the employee journey.

  • We partnered with HR to ensure D&I is a key focus of our employee listening program. D&I-related questions will play a pivotal role in future employee surveys and are helping us to better understand what we are doing well and how we can improve.

  • Creating inclusive systems and tools is key and we are taking steps to make sure our workplace is welcoming for all. In 2021, we expanded gender fields in our internal system to be more inclusive and added pronouns to our intranet. In 2022 and beyond, we will continue to build more inclusion for our non-binary and gender non-conforming team members as well as all our colleagues from underrepresented groups.

  • Additionally, we’ve worked to integrate D&I into our onboarding processes to ensure that every new team member at Ubisoft understands our approach and expectations.

  • Finally, we have fortified our partnership with our Talent Acquisition teams and are working closely with them to review our recruitment process, disrupt bias and identify opportunities for us to build more inclusion.

Embedding inclusivity into our games and content

We recognize the power and the responsibility that we have as a leading publisher and developer to create games that reflect the diversity of our players, and one of our key goals is to put inclusion at the heart of our games. We’re working with our editorial, production, and publishing teams to determine the best ways to ensure inclusion is a cornerstone of Ubisoft’s games across all genres.

  • We’ve expanded the Inclusive Content Review Group, which is an initiative where over 100 employee volunteers contribute their unique perspectives to enhance our in-game and marketing content and ensure we’re strengthening inclusion in our games. Over the past year, we’ve provided trainings for volunteers and created processes that allow volunteers to work together in small, multi-national groups efficiently. This group has contributed to a wide variety of Ubisoft titles, with new requests coming in all the time.

  • In addition to gathering feedback from employee volunteers, we are embedding diversity and inclusion frameworks in our creative and production processes to ensure it is a priority that our worldwide teams work toward together. To accelerate these efforts, we have partnered with our Brand and Portfolio Management team to create an Inclusive Games and Content team. This team will lead our efforts to ensure that diversity and inclusion are at the center of our games and will help include diverse perspectives at all stages of the development process.

Looking towards a bright future as we move to Year 2 of our team

This is a snapshot of the collective progress we have made over the last year. Moving forward, we know there is still a great deal of work to be done and I wanted to share a few key areas of focus for 2022:

  • We are proud to be piloting external mentoring programs like Develop at Ubisoft and our partnership with Simplon.co to create a Network Technician career acceleration program for underrepresented groups. To further improve representation in our company, we are working on a multi-year global program to better identify gaps, measure our progress and develop talent from underrepresented groups.

  • Ensuring that we continue to help train and upskill our teams on D&I is a key part of our strategy. Over the course of this year and the next, we will roll out learning experiences that are tailored to different groups, including leaders, people managers and individual contributors. For instance, this month we are launching an Inclusive Leadership Pilot Program for our senior leaders at Ubisoft. Additionally, we recently rolled out a comprehensive learning journey called Advancing Inclusion for our HR team members. Once this program is implemented in HR, our intent is to scale this program throughout Ubisoft.

  • We’ve put in place a framework for the global ERGs, and in the upcoming year we’ll focus on further supporting and strengthening this network. To meet their growing needs, we will provide more training and support to our ERG leads, increase visibility of the initiatives ERGs are leading and recognize them for their important contributions to our culture.

  • We will also continue to focus on accessibility, in our games and our workplaces, in the coming year. We’ll continue working with the Accessibility team to increase Ubisoft team members’ knowledge on this subject and push forward our efforts to design a more accessible future for all players. To learn more about the future of accessibility in Ubisoft’s games you can find more info here. In addition, we will set in motion a strategy to make our workplaces more accessible, both in terms of our office spaces and layouts but also in the technology we use to work together.

  • Lastly, we’re excited to continue to further develop partnerships with external partners, such as Women in Games and more.

As we head into year two, I’m looking forward to strengthening the foundations we have built over the past year. In 2021 we planted seeds for the future, and we will continue working alongside all 20,000 of our fellow Ubisoft team members on this journey together. Onwards!

Raashi

More From Ubisoft

July 23, 202111 Min Read

From 17 Studios to 1,000 – How Assassin’s Creed Valhalla Crossed the Finish Line During the Pandemic

Producer Julien Laferrière discusses the challenge of managing a massive project as its developers worked from home under global lockdowns.

Read More
July 26, 20217 Min Read

How For Honor Made Testing a Celebrated Player Experience

Find out how Ubisoft Montreal moved beyond test servers to create a successful in-game testing environment.

Read More
July 20, 20216 Min Read

How Ubisoft Connect Builds on a Decade of Online Evolution

Online Technology Director Martin Lavoie talks about the tech supporting Ubisoft’s unique new online platform.

Read More
August 12, 20212 Min Read

Ubisoft Leaders Share Their Insights at Women In Technology Festival

VP of Editorial Bio Jade Adam Granger and Senior Director of Digital Operations Hannah Wolf share how they navigated the games industry as women.

Read More