EA: a workplace that reflects its gaming mission of fun
Its products may be global and cutting edge, but Electronic Arts uses words like “grassroots” and “engaging” to describe its D&I efforts
Electronic Arts (EA) develops, publishes, markets and distributes video games for Internet-connected consoles, personal computers, mobile phones, and tablets. Titles in its portfolio include The Sims, Madden NFL, FIFA Soccer, Need for Speed, Battlefield and Mass Effect.
“With development studios and publishing offices on six continents, Electronic Arts is a fun and exciting company with many career opportunities for a variety of professionals across the globe,” says Kelsey Wesley, global diversity and inclusion specialist. “We try to increase diversity and inclusion in our workforce and in our games. We work hard and play hard too! We are passionate about our products and love entertaining and uniting the world through play.”
Breaking ground in digital gaming
“As a company built on technology, EA has a wide range of engineering and traditional IT roles,” Wesley says. Available positions include mobile game development and design, software engineering, data analytics and engineering, machine learning/data science, network/systems engineering, test engineering, database administration, UI/UX design, and technical program management. “Candidates with experience in programming languages such as Java, C++, C# and Python are always in high demand here,” Wesley says.
EA seeks people with experience working in the games industry or with companies that have a strong online/digital presence. However, a passionate interest in the field is just as important. “We look for professional experience as well as school programs and independent projects related to game development,” Wesley says.
There has been a shift in the videogame industry from traditional packaged goods to digital games and content, says Wesley, and EA is in the forefront of companies breaking new technology ground right now. “Two of our biggest engineering initiatives are centered on transforming the videogame industry through our digital platform, and becoming the number-one mobile game company in the world. Our Origin system is the digital distribution platform we created to allow our gaming consumers an anytime, anywhere, any platform or medium gaming experience.”
Even recruitment is “fun and informative”
Among the many ways the D&I team seeks out top talent is by attending traditional diversity recruiting events, such as the annual Grace Hopper Celebration in both the United States and India. Other efforts include the #PlayAs1 blog, which highlights the successes of diverse EA employees, and participation in LGBT pride parades in the U.S. and around the world.
“We also host hackathon events at our studios to network with top technical talent around the world. We have global competitions that I highly recommend IT and engineering professionals look into,” Wesley says. “Our efforts have a grassroots feel, so employees are engaged. These events also showcase the work environment we have at EA, and help make the company more relevant to potential candidates across all levels of professional experience.”
The D&I team at EA partners closely with the company’s university relations team to recruit new college graduates, says Wesley. “We try to keep these efforts fun as well as informative for young talent hoping to start successful careers in the gaming industry. We entertain millions of fans around the world, and we want our diverse candidates to experience that energy in our recruiting efforts as well.”
The D&I team came into existence about three years ago. “We’re making strides to create a more inclusive culture where our employees from any background can succeed in their roles,” Wesley says. “This includes implementing resources designed around succession planning, manager and employee training, and other areas focused on diversity in the workplace.” EA has a culture dedicated to work/life balance, Wesley adds. Among other perks, the company offers adoption assistance and onsite child care.
The D&I team frequently partners with the EA outreach team to encourage employee participation in community activities and with charitable organizations. The company recently launched a “Dollars for Doers” program, in which EA donates to organizations where employees volunteer significant time. “We also participate in community charity events from the American Heart Association’s Heart Walk to Movember,” Wesley says. Movember is an annual, month-long international event designed to raise awareness of men’s health issues. Participants compete to grow mustaches, she explains. “We also sponsor food drives. Many of these initiatives were suggested by our workforce.”
The D&I team has also created the Inclusion Guild, an employee resource group where people from any background at any level of the company can work together on diversity-related activities. “These efforts often focus on a specific demographic, such as the Pride parades or our new veterans’ employee referral program,” says Wesley. The group has become a critical resource, she says. “The D&I team has been supporting and guiding the Inclusion Guild so members around the globe have a variety of ways to get involved and stay connected.”
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