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Ubisoft Hires New Variety & Inclusion VP Following Studies on Discrimination and Abuse



In gentle of a number of reported cases of abuse, discrimination, assault, and racism throughout the firm, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot promised that the corporate would create a brand new Head of Variety and Inclusion as one a part of a sequence of modifications supposed to reform and enhance the writer/developer’s firm tradition. At this time, that place’s been stuffed.

Raashi Sikka, previously the Head of Variety and Inclusion at Uber for its Europe, Center East, Africa, and Asia Pacific operations, will start as Ubisoft’s first-ever Vice President of World Variety & Inclusion on Feb. 1, 2021. Sikka will report on to Guillemot and is tasked with “design and implementation of assorted applications that search to advertise variety and fairness amongst Ubisoft’s workers globally.”

Although her function shall be “versatile and broad” and is thus more likely to handle lots of the numerous troubling tendencies inside Ubisoft that surfaced over the previous yr—from misconduct to sexist Murderer’s Creed editorial choices—Sikka won’t be alone in working towards enhancements for employees on the firm. In July, when Guillemot introduced the creation of Sikka’s new function, he additionally appointed Lidwine Sauer (of Ubisoft’s Strategic Improvements Lab) as a brand new Head of Office Tradition.

“A main focus coming in shall be to fastidiously take heed to all voices that wish to take part in bettering Ubisoft’s values and tradition,” Sikka says in the press launch asserting her hiring. “I’ll rely on the assist of each Ubisoft staff member to maneuver the corporate ahead. Video video games have the facility to advertise values of variety and inclusion. I hope my work will assist reinforce this and make sure the content material created at Ubisoft is reflective of the completely different backgrounds, cultures, identities and tales the groups deliver to work every day.”

With the broader tech trade struggling as a lot if no more with variety and remedy of its employees, Sikka’s years of expertise at Uber have seemingly ready her effectively to affix Ubisoft throughout this transitional second. In 2017, a weblog publish on sexist practices at Uber revealed by engineer Susan Fowler sparked criticism that rapidly led to the resignation of founder and CEO Travis Kalanick. Uber settled an ensuing gender discrimination cost for $4.4 million in compensation to affected workers final yr. Uber has additionally been extensively criticized for mistreatment skilled by its drivers, who the corporate fights to maintain categorized as unbiased contractors with fewer employee protections. This yr, Uber’s personal Chief Variety Officer known as the corporate out for letting its share of Black workers fall from 9.3% to 7.5%.

Given the secretive nature of triple-A sport creation and the lengthy improvement cycles related to it, it could be a while earlier than we begin to see any considerable modifications in Ubisoft’s editorial practices—i.e., ones evident within the content material of the video games themselves. As for the lived expertise of working at Ubisoft, it will be troublesome to gauge from the skin whether or not the efforts led by Sikka and others are working. If there are fewer abrupt exits and public oustings subsequent yr, that may tentatively be taken as an indication of progress.

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