In response to recent reports and allegations of widespread misconduct at Ubisoft, the publisher had an independent research firm conduct an internal survey of employees to help with addressing the issues moving forward. That survey found that 25% of respondents had either witnessed or directly experienced some form of misconduct. The data—which was openly shared with Kotaku by Ubisoft PR—doesn’t indicate how many of the company’s nearly 19,000 employees responded to the survey, but if the ratio holds up, that’s around 4,500 people at Ubisoft that have either witnessed or experienced misconduct.
The survey also revealed that one in five—or 20%—employees don’t feel full respected or safe in the workplace. The experience of misconduct was heavily weighted towards women and non-binary employees, with females 30% more likely to have “experience, witness, or hear[d] about discrimination,” while that number rose to 43% more likely for non-binary individuals. Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot used the data to set certain goals for Ubisoft overcoming the recent allegations and issues, including increasing the ratio of women at the company from 22% to 24% by 2023.
Kotaku also reports that Guillemot is “working on other metrics to measure progress on fostering diversity as well.” What exactly these metrics are is unknown, however, Guillemot acknowledged in a statement that Ubisoft management had not done all it could to make the environment feel welcoming, safe, or diverse. His statement calls out a need to “better support managers” to become the catalysts of the changes that are needed at the company.
Only 66% of respondents who reported an incident felt they had received the support they needed. The audit also highlights a lack of sensitivity and commitment from management on all matters of diversity, inclusion and respect. Therefore, we must better support our managers so that they are exemplary and become champions of these changes throughout the organization.
Additionally, the statement talks about sensitivity training and bonuses for meeting diversity objectives, but there’s a noted lack of directly addressing the power imbalances between management and employees that have created many of the reported issues in the first place. Ubisoft management did see some shifts earlier this year following the numerous allegations, though Guillemot makes no mention of them as part of this survey or the ongoing efforts at the company (at least according to the Kotaku report).
Ubisoft is also apparently creating a review committee to check Ubisoft marketing and game content in order to avoid the kinds of gaffes the company repeatedly saw this summer. Kotaku goes on to note that this news is coming on a Friday, which is usually the day companies like to dump the unsavory news so that it gets lost in the weekend before Monday starts the week anew. The article cites the past few weeks including news such as Michel Ancel’s departure from Ubisoft, followed by reports that he left the company amid investigation.