Sponsored By

Fostering an Inclusive Workplace

Iron Galaxy's Co-CEO talks about their commitment to fostering a safe, welcoming, and inclusive work environment where employees at all levels respect one-another regardless of race, gender, age, ability, identity, orientation, background.

Game Developer, Staff

August 27, 2021

3 Min Read

At Iron Galaxy, we have a commitment to fostering a safe, welcoming, and inclusive work environment where employees at all levels respect one-another regardless of race, gender, age, ability, identity, orientation, background, or experience.

Some of the ways we do this are through using our Values as guiding lights. Compassionate management is a cornerstone of our culture. We really listen and digest feedback before we make decisions that impact the lives of our people. We want to foster a culture where everyone has a chance to succeed and has access to the tools they need to do so.

According to Karen Brown at Harvard Business Review, “The key to inclusion is understanding who your employees really are.” We take that to heart at Iron Galaxy. We want to get to know our employees as individuals and understand what is important to them. Relationships encourage respect. When Dave Lang founded the company in 2008, he said his main aim was “to build a company where he could make games with his friends until they retire.” I’ve since added that we want to maintain a culture from which people want to retire, as well. Recently, one of our Lead Programmers, Joe Palmer shared a take on this that really resonated with me. Joe basically said that he looks at that mantra as directive to treat other employees as friends. Essentially, he uses the idea of friendship to inform how he interacts with others at Iron Galaxy. He thinks about how the other would like to be treated. You can have disputes with your friends, but they are always based in mutual understanding and appreciation.

It is imperative to create a culture of respect, listening, and psychological safety. We believe that the strength of our team of employees is the foundation of our success as a business and that every person at Iron Galaxy matters as an individual.

As part of our commitment to creating a safe and inclusive workplace, we have committed to strengthening our action plan for combating harassment of any kind.

We launched new human-facilitated Respectful Workplace Training to refresh managers and all staff on the signs of harassment and what to do if they see it. Since our work puts brings us into such close collaborations with our partners, this is not just a consideration for how we treat each other inside our own studios. We also need to be aware how our Partner relationships affect our Iron Galaxy teammates.

In recent weeks, we have also committed to:

  • Bringing back an anonymous hotline people can use to report incidents of harassment or offensive behavior to a third party

  • Formalizing our escalation process for responding to reports of harassment, abuse, or inequity 

  • Including enhanced language in our contracts to define the level of professionalism that we require from Partners

  • Removing clauses from contracts that lock specific individuals into working on specific projects 

  • Meeting with our Partners to trade insights on policies and expectations on these issues 

  • Conducting a comprehensive Anonymous Employee Survey to gain feedback on our own studio culture 

The above is in addition to the robust feedback channels already available including:

  • Talking to your Immediate Manager or Department Head

  • Reporting feedback or incidents in our weekly performance management and pulse check-ins

  • Talking to your Performance and Company Pulse Management Team

  • Talking to HR

  • Talking to anyone on our leadership team

  • Talking to our DEIA Program Lead

We also continue to work throughout the organization, and especially with our Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility Program Lead, to create policies ensuring safety and equity remains at the forefront of our culture.

We recognize that this is HARD WORK.  We can never lack vigilance. We can never think “we are done.” As soon as we review and refine current policies, we will have learned something new and need to start over again. We strive for continuous learning and improvement. We also know that listening requires patience, compassion, vulnerability, and emotional labor. We know that the work might be uncomfortable and we are committed to doing it anyway.

Read more about:

Daily news, dev blogs, and stories from Game Developer straight to your inbox

You May Also Like