What EDI means to our Community Manager, Becky
Tell us briefly about your journey to joining Exient.
I joined the games industry back in 2011 as a QA technician. This was only a contract work opportunity, but was a great foot in the door of an industry I was so passionate about! Since working as a tester, I have moved through departments and ranks and have been fortunate enough to work as a Game Designer and as a Producer, so I’ve experienced all aspects of a game’s development journey.
As a producer, however, I started to feel a little more disconnected from the games that I love. And although I was using my knowledge and management skills to aid the development of the games, I was missing being positioned in a more creative role. This is when the exciting opportunity to join Exient as a Social & Community Manager came around!
As someone who is an avid gamer, and an e-commerce business owner, this role felt perfect for me. I am hoping to continue to use all my industry knowledge, and my creative skills, to engage our communities and help Exient grow as an industry leader.
Why are you passionate about Exient establishing its EDI programme?
Over the years I have seen a lot of change in the games industry in regard to gender equality, diversity and representation, but there is still a long way to go. I would love for my place of work to be an advocate for diversity and inclusion, and to feel confident and proud that we are doing all we can to be an open, welcoming, and desirable place to work – for everyone.
What 3 things would you like to achieve for the Exient workforce by introducing this new programme?
I want to achieve a working environment where people feel safe to be themselves, speak up against any discrimination and also feel confident to voice opinions and ideas of how we can further improve. I would also like for our workforce to have stronger connections and a better understanding of each other as people, not just as colleagues. And I would love to increase Exient’s presence online, and tell the world about who we are, and the wonderful people we have working for us.
How would you describe the company culture at Exient at present?
This is an interesting question for me… I joined during the pandemic with everyone working from home and I’m yet to meet my new colleagues! However, Exient has two offices, one in the UK and one in Malta, and I think that working from home has gone a long way to uniting everyone as one company. We all work the same hours, we all meet remotely, we have all our meetings and interactions online. So, there isn’t the obvious UK/Malta geographical split that there used to be pre-pandemic.
Exient has been very aware of staff mental health during this time, encouraging people to take breaks and have flexibility, so we can continue to work at our best in these new circumstances. Communication is key in this new world, and we have a weekly show and tell meeting where we all share our work and progress on projects, so we can see what everyone has been getting up to. There is a social committee that is always thinking of ways we can get together outside of work, albeit virtually, and have some fun with pub quizzes and social gaming events. So, I would say the company culture is currently one of collaboration, communication, flexibility and fun!
Why do you think that a more inclusive and diverse environment is important for the games industry in general?
I think quite simply, gaming is for everyone! We have such diversity in society, and I think it’s really important that this diversity is reflected in both the games that are made and the people who make them. We have a great platform that can reach wide audiences in various stages of life, and we should be spreading the right message.
Have you been a victim of any kind of discrimination or harassment in the past?
Unfortunately, I have been. When I first started in the industry, the company and my department especially, was very male-dominated. Not just myself, but some other girls in the department also fell victim to some rumours after rejecting advances from certain colleagues. I’ve previously been made to feel extremely uncomfortable by colleagues in more senior roles commenting on my clothing or makeup choices, and their expectations of my behaviour. I don’t think anyone should ever be undermined or judged because of their appearance, age, gender, or sexuality.
Outside of your own EDI journey at Exient, what do you think that individuals in the games industry can do to help and protect under-represented groups?
We should be normalising treating other people with respect. Speak out against prejudice and harassment when you see it. As an industry, we should work hard to make sure there is representation in the stories we tell and operate zero-tolerance policies against discrimination and hate.
What are your personal goals for the Exient EDI programme?
I am hoping we can create a work culture that people can be proud of, and that others would be delighted to join in the future! I would also like to take this opportunity to better educate myself about diversity and inclusion, and what I can do to improve. I hope that I can play even a small part in making the industry a better place for everyone.