Today, the Human Rights Campaign announced the results of their annual Corporate Equality Index, and for the fifth consecutive year EA is proud to have received a 100% rating from the survey.
Since 2002, the Corporate Equality Index has evaluated businesses based on corporate policies and practices pertinent to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer employees. You can learn more about the survey at http://www.hrc.org/campaigns/corporate-equality-index.
To learn more about how EA provides an inclusive and supportive environment for the LGBTQ community, we sat down with David Kim, Head of Diversity, Inclusion & Corporate Social Responsibility.
How do we ensure that LGBTQ employees are supported at EA?
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. We not only want to provide support, but want a culture where the LGBTQ community thrives.
Assessing best practices with the Human Rights Campaign is one way to ensure that the above statement becomes “real” and our culture is inclusive and supported by global policies and practices. To ensure EA creates the right inclusive culture, we have a Global Diversity Council that meets regularly, is made up of all our most senior leaders and is chaired by our CEO, Andrew Wilson. We also provide regular updates on our progress with the Board of Directors.
What are some programs we have launched in the last year to help support LGBTQ employees?
We have not only updated our global equal employment policies to include sexual identity but also updated our transgender policies with a push to ensure inclusive practices were global. These policy examples, benefits and opportunities for LGBTQ community members to interact with Global Diversity Council leaders make an inclusive culture real. EA also has been rolling out our version of Employee Resource Groups (ERG) focused on talent acquisition, development, culture, gaming and community outreach. Each ERG is sponsored by a direct report of the CEO, has an executive board and volunteer driven pillar teams to ensure they have executive sponsorship.
How are we working with our games to support the LGBTQ community?
EA is proud to promote inclusion and diversity within its games, and in the last two years have included transgender components to two of our major titles. In Dragon Age Inquisition, EA created its first transgender character, Cremisius “Krem” Aclassi. Krem is a lieutenant in the army who as a child grew up female, but later on in life discovered that his true gender identity is male. This past June the Maxis studio launched expanded gender customization options in The Sims 4, allowing for gender neutral clothing, voice style and personality types. The feature allows players to customize their characters without the gender boundaries previously set in place. We partnered with GLAAD to ensure options were authentic and terminology supported the LGBTQ community.
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.
Are there any initiatives underway that are helping foster a stronger connection to the LGBTQ community?
It was inspirational to watch our EA LGBTQ community support outreach efforts soon after the Orlando shootings and our CSR efforts support the wider LGBTQ in Orlando. Relationships are important as EA employees participate in PRIDE Parades, partner with the Premier League in Stonewall’s Rainbow Laces campaign, speakers at PAX, sponsorship of Lesbians Who Tech hackathons, cheering on same sex couples at Austin, TX courthouse and the list goes on. EA is a global company with global players, so we are reaching out to global LGBTQ communities in Europe and Asia through our partnership with Stonewall or being involved with LGBTQ career fairs in Shanghai. We were proud to be one of the first participants in China and look forward to driving diversity in all of our global locations.
If you're interested in joining our team and the benefits of being an employee at EA, visit our Careers page.
Stay in the conversation of all things EA: Read our blog, follow us on Twitter and Like us on Facebook.