Growing diversity in the gaming industry

Growing diversity in the gaming industry

6 February 2020

ICE London’s 2020 speakers marked one of the most impressive line-ups in terms of seniority and diversity in its history.

The event at ExCeL hosted a number of workshops across diversity and inclusion, including a session hosted by the All-In Diversity Project.

The All-In Diversity Project is a not-for-profit led by the industry itself. It’s funded and supported by operators, suppliers, educational institutions, regulators and associations that believe in creating a more inclusive sector.

Co-Founder Christina Thakor-Rankin discussed the aims of the workshop and the problems faced by the industry as a whole: “We’re trying to provide a platform for industry to look at the different ways of doing things. The industry has a reputational issue and that means we’re going to struggle to bring in new employees.

"We’re going to struggle to bring in new customers. If we can’t keep bringing in new blood, the industry will stagnate.”

Designed as a three-step guide for learners, managers, decision makers and HR professionals looking to introduce a framework for diversity and inclusion in their workplace, the workshop provided a toolkit containing template policies, easy guides to recruitment and selection, a self-assessment questionnaire and sample employee surveys.

All-In are supported by a growing number of high-profile gaming companies, including Paddy Power Betfair, Clarion and this year’s recipient of ICE’s Consumer Protection Zone donation, YGAM.

Another supporter is Microgaming, whose Director of HR, Natasha Whittaker, was attending the workshop. She commented: “I’ve seen real positive change in the industry in relation to diversity, at ICE in particular. This year I’ve been impressed by the professional feel you get when you walk into ExCeL - there's a real sense of inclusion and openness.

"I really enjoyed today's workshop, and speaking to attendees about promoting diversity through recruitment, particularly in respect to blind-screening and unconscious bias. Sharing our collective achievements and results not only allows us to celebrate the diversity we have, but it also inspires us to continue working towards a fairer, more equal industry.”

Practically, it does seem that the industry is making a concerted effort in the area of diversity and inclusion and workshops like this go a long way to directing that conversation. Thakor-Rankin is hopeful that more and more companies will join the initiative.

“What we’re starting to do is build a coalition of the willing, coming together to show the industry we need to do things differently,” Thakor-Rankin said.

She concluded, “Things like diversity and inclusion were seen as an aspiration for Generation X. For Millennials, who now make up 50% of the workforce as of this year, it is an expectation.”