Ubisoft has detailed the five-year plan it will follow to improve the diversity of its staff across its many studios.
In an interview published to Ubisoft’s site last week, Ubisoft Chief People Officer Anika Grant and VP of Global Diversity, Inclusion & Accessibility Raashi Sikka discussed the plan.
The company will introduce a global self-identification program in which employees confidentially share information about their gender identity, race, ethnicity and disabilities. Ubisoft will then use that information in implementing Project Rise, its new diversity and inclusivity initiative.
“We know that different people experience life and the workplace differently — there are different opportunities and barriers that we all face,” Sikka said. “In the workplace, addressing barriers requires us to be specific, targeted, and focused in our actions. At Ubisoft, we will be focusing on four key dimensions: gender equality, race and ethnicity, LGBTQIA+ inclusion, and disability inclusion.”
Project Rise will focus on improving the company’s recruitment, internal talent development and external pipeline development. Precise details of the plan have yet to be made public.
Sikka highlighted Ubisoft’s recently created Inclusive Games and Content team, building “their roadmap focused on ensuring diversity and inclusion is at the heart of all our games.
“Thanks to our stellar accessibility team, we’re also continuing to work hard to make our games more accessible. Right now, the team is focused on bringing an ‘accessibility by design’ approach that embeds accessibility in our games from the earliest stages of development and ensure that more players can get the full experience of our universe,” she said.
Ubisoft has also created a diversity and inclusion training program specifically targeted at HR and leadership, instituted a neurodiversity program for recruitment and HR, scheduled recurring meetings between CEO Yves Guillemot and a global employee resource group, reduced its global gender pay gap from 1.7% to 1.3%, and increased the number of female employees from 22% in 2020 to 25%.
A Better Ubisoft — the group of employees that formed in the wake of widespread accusations of sexual harassment and gender-based discrimination at Ubisoft — said these improvements were a good start, but that they were not happening at equal rates at every studio in Ubisoft’s stable. The group also says that Ubisoft’s attempts to root out abusers has let some slip through the cracks and remain at the company.
“We personally made complaints against these people,” one anonymous employee told the Assassin’s Creed fan group AC Sisterhood in an interview. “Some of us witnessed and experienced abuse from them first-hand. Not only do we believe it’s still happening but we can see it happening for ourselves.”