In its latest Corporate Responsibility Index, Human Rights Campaign, the largest LGBTQ rights organisation in the United States, names video game publisher EA as one of the ‘best places’ for LGBTQ people to work . This is the fifth year in a row that the company has been named as such.
To receive a 100%, best place to work rating from the HRC, companies must prohibit discrimination, offer “inclusive health coverage” to transgender employees, offer health and medical to employee partners and “positively engage” with the LGBTQ community. EA is one of several other companies in the technology and gaming sectors to be named a ‘best place’ to work, including Google, IBM, Intel, HP, GameStop, Hasbro, Microsoft and Sony Electronics.
EA One of the Best Places for LGBTQ People to Work
In a post on the EA website in response to receiving the title from the HRC, David Kim, Head of Diversity, Inclusion & Corporate Social Responsibility says that “We believe each and every one of our employees deserve to come to work with a sense of belonging as their full and complete selves so we can work together as one team and delight our diverse players around the world.” Kim also adds that “We not only want to provide support, but want a culture where the LGBTQ community thrives.”
Kim notes that EA has updated its “global equal employment policies to include sexual identity but also updated our transgender policies with a push to ensure inclusive practices were global,” also ensuring that LGBTQ employees are able to speak to EA’s Global Diversity Council about fostering an inclusive culture. The Global Diversity Council “meets regularly,” says Kim and is made up of the company’s senior leaders, including EA CEO Andrew Wilson, who recently spoke in favour of more diversity.
Moreover, EA has supported the LGBTQ community by sponsoring events such as Lesbians Who Tech and it was also a sponsor of the first GaymerX event. EA employees also take part in annual Pride parades and the company has supported LGBTQ career fairs too.
— Inside_EA (@Inside_EA) December 9, 2016
But it’s not just LGBTQ employees who will benefit from EA’s decision to foster diversity and inclusivity amongst its ranks, as Kim also says that EA is “proud to promote inclusion and diversity within its games.” Some of the examples include transgender NPC Krem in Dragon Age: Inquisition (a game that also featured lesbian, gay and bisexual characters and allowed players to have same-sex romances) and The Sims 4, which recently removed gender restrictions in its character creation mode.
Recently, the company supported the LGBTQ-inclusive Rainbow Laces campaign in FIFA 17 (though Russian MPs called this ‘gay propaganda’) and its upcoming sci-fi epic, Mass Effect: Andromeda, will feature same-sex romances as well. As Kim says that “Creating games that all players can relate to and enjoy is one of the most critical and satisfying parts of what we do at EA,” gamers can surely expect the company’s commitment to LGBTQ inclusivity to continue.