Podcast: Making the game industry an inclusive workplace for everyone

Our Studio Managing Director Celine Pasula and Associate Producer Tiina Mäkelä recently featured on the Finnish podcast series Teknologiapolkuja, where women in technology come together to discuss their career paths and experiences in the industry. The two share their thoughts on the importance of good leadership, psychological safety, and diverse teams where everyone can thrive.

The episode, aired on 12 April, can be listened to here. If you’re not proficient in Finnish yet, not to worry, we’ve got the highlights covered in English below!

As a woman in the industry

The tech industry is still very dominated by men. Yet, more and more people playing games identify as women or other, and game studios around the world are realizing how important diversity is in creating better workplaces and, consequently, better games for the ever more diverse audiences.

Celine and Tiina both strongly agree that companies in the industry should pay attention to in making both the path and the destination better for everyone, regardless of who they are.

On building a diverse workplace where everyone feels safe and enabled to thrive
Managing Director Celine Pasula Ubisoft RedLynx

Celine emphasizes the importance of psychological safety as one of the most crucial building blocks of an inclusive workplace.

“I call it my lifelong mission, and probably the biggest challenge as well. It’s all about providing an environment where everyone feels safe and able to bring their best expertise to the table.”

“We may have all these great perks or cool offices, but these are all meaningless if we can’t provide people with psychological safety,” she adds.

When speaking of inclusive work environments and cultures that provide the feeling of safety, the conversation touches upon diversity quite fast. Tiina sees the diversity of teams as a strength like no other: it’s a key element in creating an environment of well-being where everyone can grow and feel appreciated as who they are. She also knows it’s an asset in game development.

“The wider the variety of different perspectives your team holds, the better.”

Celine agrees and stresses that diversity can’t be taken as granted.

“Promoting diversity only matters if we see true value in it. Only then do we see action being taken. Only then can we expect people to be able to perform to the best of their abilities.”

Leadership can make or break the culture

Even though the culture at work is a sum of every team member in it and everyone should participate in creative an inclusive workplace, the role of managers and them leading by example is not something to brush aside.

“You can’t look at leadership and leading as something you do with your left hand when you have the time,” says Celine.

“Good leadership is something everyone should absolutely insist on receiving.”

Tiina has noticed there are multiple ways of leading well and believes in servant leadership herself. It’s about empathy, appreciating your team, and making sure they’re doing well.

“I try to set an example in my daily work. It’s on you to both build the team and to keep up the culture. Empathy is one of the key elements here, the ability to be present and listen to people,” Tiina thinks.

Tiina Mäkelä from Ubisoft Graduate Program
In the end, it’s all about the people

Both Celine and Tiina encourage everyone, regardless of background, to have a look at what the games industry can offer. They both mention passion as the single most attractive feature of the industry. Passionate people make for inspiring teams excited about their work, which is rare enough to truly treasure.

“It’s not ‘just work’. What really fascinated me before joining the industry is how engaged and passionate everyone is in what they do. In game development, you’re creating a product you’ll most likely end up using yourself!” says Tiina,

“The passion absolutely shows,” Celine adds.

“But we need to keep our eyes open and be continuously aware of the level of diversity around us. The change needs us people to drive it.”

If you want to learn more about what Ubisoft is doing to promote diversity and inclusion at the workplace, this article is a good place to start.

For more information on the passionate people and inspiring teams we have at Ubisoft RedLynx, have a look at our Stories section.

If you’d prefer to continue know more about Celine and Tiina, you can either listen to the podcast episode or read these interviews: