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An open conversation on the importance of defining goals to guarantee a diverse and inclusive working environment at Wildlife.


 

When Wildlife was created nine years ago, it was rare to hear news of diversity-related jobs or companies setting up milestones for a more diverse workplace, and our discussions about standpoint, inclusive environment and representation were much more restricted. But diversity as a point of discussion has grown considerably in recent years (which is great), and things at Wildlife are no different.

The large number of research and market studies on the importance of having a diverse workplace and the increasingly inquisitive attitude of professionals within companies has driven a positive and necessary change. And as a gaming company, it's impossible not to be committed to this issue. After all, our games impact millions of people, which means being present in different people's lives, from different cultural backgrounds.

What's more, we are more than 700 Wilders working across four different countries. We are a global company that can and should be concerned with building a diverse and inclusive environment for all.

To understand how Wildlife has conducted Diversity and inclusion initiatives, we invited Taissa Cruz, head of DE&I, and Michelle Adan, director of Talent Acquisition, to talk about the importance of goals for Women++, a group dedicated to building gender equity at Wildlife.

Read the complete interview below:

How have you started to define the goals for the company in relation to women’s representation?

Taissa: Women++ is an ERG (Employee Resource Group, a type of committee that focuses on specific issue – in this case, women’s representation) that has existed at Wildlife for 2 years. When I joined the company at the end of 2018, I attended some meetings, but I always thought we should have concrete goals that pulled it all together. This year I was invited to join the core team of the group and we set about establishing clear goals.

We started by digging deeper into the subject, with various readings and benchmarks. We talked to other groups of women from technology companies and got feedback from their activities and what had been effective. Based on this, we assembled short- and medium-term plans.

Michelle: In my view, it was a series of very positive things that have happened at the same time, which have been essential to get us to this point: the company has become a unicorn, the global landscape developed clearer agendas regarding diversity – which is a one-way street, thank goodness! – and a strong engagement of Wildlife's talents.

As Taissa commented, the conversations we had before Women++ were very exploratory, and knowing that we are in a company, we need to have a more business-oriented approach with goals and responsibility. Otherwise, this would be just another support group, which is valuable of course, but may not be effective in relation to structural changes, because people who have the capacity to make the decisions are not invited to these forums.

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What was the catalyst – the moment when you really decided to make these plans tangible?

M: In Talent Acquisition, we had several conversations and we had to choose a starting point related to diversity because we wouldn’t be able to solve everything at once. So, we thought it was important to focus on women, as it made sense at this time within the company. After defining the target, we thought about having a goal for interviews and for candidates, but then we realized it wasn't the best incentive – actually, the best incentive was hiring, because otherwise we might even create some kind of perverse incentives. So, we focused on leadership and on recruitment itself.

T: We started discussing what the OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) of the group would be and we involved the leadership in those talks – because if we wanted to make it happen, everyone had to be part of the change. So, I believe that when the executive team got involved everything became easier. From then on, we listed the actions that would bring concrete results and that would actually work within Wildlife, based on previous surveys.

What were the first steps taken regarding recruitment focused on increasing women’s representation?

M: When we look at the technology market, we know that Brazil was one of the countries that had the slowest industrial development compared to other countries in Latin America. In some higher education institutions today, there are only 18% of women graduating in Engineering. And a couple of years ago that number was even lower. So, it's unrealistic for me to think that in six months we would reach an even the proportion of men and women in our Engineering teams, for example. So, we decided to look at our recruitment history, the number of women we have in the company today, and try to improve our reality, knowing this is a progressive journey.

To bring more women into the field, we are aligning the incentives across all the infrastructure we have at Wildlife. For example, we have a referral program that is over-consolidated, so we are investing in making referral jams focused on women.

T: The referral jam is a meeting where we get everyone from a particular team together in a happy hour (usually at casual places, but online nowadays). During this meeting, we ask people to list all the amazing women they have met throughout their lives. Then, we create a hot list of people that can be accessed directly and then we invite these people to participate in our recruitment process.

In the referral jams, we have the goal of referring 100 women per meeting. From next month, the target stops being quantitative and becomes qualitative, to see how many of these women were actually hired.

What action was taken to ensure that Wildlife is staying on the right track?

T: We have set a goal for each of the actions. For the women's mentoring program, which has already been going on for two months, we had a goal of having 60% participation and NPS in 70. Our goal with this program is to see an increase in women leadership. So, in six months or a year we want to see a reflexion of this in that increased number.

M: With the hiring goal, we're aiming to achieve a target goal, which means that for some positions we're focusing on hiring a specific demographic, in this case women. We think this is more in line with what we are ready to do as a company.

We're also doing an unconscious bias training, which was already a necessity for the recruitment team and hiring managers. The goal is to train all interviewers because training just the hiring manager is pointless, since the hiring manager is often the last person to conduct the interview. So, if there is some filtering going in the middle of the process for some invalid reason, because of a particular bias, we have to address it because otherwise it will have a knock-on effect.

What's on your radar at Women++ and what are the next steps you will be taking?

M: The road is long, but we're heading in the right direction. I think putting numbers and goals is a super democratic and efficient way to raise the bar across the whole company.

T: We're still very much at the beginning. In my opinion, we need to have more women in top positions, and we need that as soon as possible. Recruitment is important, but we also need to start encouraging women who are already here, so they can grow inside the company, which is why the mentoring program is so important.

The technology market is marked by sexist behaviour, with several cases of misogyny and harassment. How does Wildlife intend to contribute to the incorporation of more women in the technology market?

T: The major difficulty in recruiting is finding women in the technology market in the first place due to gender inequality and sexist educations we often get. So, when we look at it closely, of course the number of specialized women in this area is smaller. Our objective is to give back to society by supporting several programs that teach women to program or support women in the art world in each country where Wildlife has a presence.

How do you see the evolution of these diversity actions on a timeline for the company? And how do you think this will be translated as a competitive differential for Wildlife when the current goals are met?

M: I think this timeline's evolution will follow the evolution of the quality of our conversations related to diversity in the company. The more we understand the impact and implications that diversity has at all levels, the more we will begin to think about issues that we don't even think about today.

And I think we will have so much positive impact, but the deeper ones won't be evident with these initial actions. Having more women and other diversity groups involved in important conversations, making business decisions and so on will have a big effect: on the art in our games, the kinds of games we will make, how we will communicate with players. It will be an impact that reaches beyond Wildlife's employer brand itself.

T: I think we have to admit that we're not in the best place yet, so we're working effectively on improving how a woman feels in the Wildlife workplace, how she can have a clear and objective career path, free from subjectivism, eliminating all those biases that keep a person from growing. And for me the greatest benefit working in our favor is the fact that we are 100% committed to listen, take action, and make the company a better place.

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