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SlaaneshCultist

Asking GW To Do More

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I've posted this publicly on their pages, on twitter, on Instagram, and will also be emailing it to Games Workshop's investor relations and customer service emails. I invite you to join me in demanding GW do more. If you want to steal any or all of the letter I have written, feel free.

Dear_Games_Workshop.png

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+++ Mod Hat On +++
 

Just want to say I’m going to leave this topic as these are questions that do need to be asked and sending them to GWs investor relations and customer services is a great way of doing it. If you feel you need to, do the same. 
 

 

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Good on you. I’ll send it as well and but maybe put a link to where you posted on their pages. Helps make the support more public. 
 

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„But they are not enough“
That one sentence killed the whole letter.  

Awesome intention, super bad execution. 

 

 

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Personally I think your intentions are good, but the letter is poorly worded if you want GW to respond in a positive angle:

"But they are not enough"
"If that audit is found lacking, as I suspect it will be, will you commit to changing your hiring practice to improve diversity"

 

Those two quotations are very negative in tone. The latter even sounds like you're making an accusation against them even before they've had a chance to present their side of the case. If your intention is to encourage GW to adjust and improve their practices then you have to approach it from a positive angle.

First you need to understand more of their structure and situation so that you take the conversation to actual facts rather than guesswork where you freely admit you don't know the answers. That removes a lot of potential areas of conflict before you've even got started. 
After that you can start to identify areas of issue and then the better angle is not to throw back and make demands, but aid and offer solutions toward trying to resolve them. You want to work WITH them not AGAINST. Because the moment you make it into a battleground or a that you're looking for an angle to punish/complain/campaign against you throw up walls that will be huge barriers that will simply block all interest from GW (or any group/company). No one likes to be bullied or bossed around. You can't resolve issues by bullying back at a bully, the actual resolution is often far more calm mediation and resolution through finding common ground; establishing building blocks and working up from there. 

Sure you can bully through change, but its often forced, painful and might well not last in the long or even in the medium term. Instead if you establish a rapport, build up through stages and offer supportive constructive feedback etc... then you're far more likely to effect positive change that lasts well into the long term. 

 

 

 

I'd also point out that there's two elements in the hiring system that are worth considering:

1) Policy

2) Applicants - I think you need to respect that just because there are no policies or barriers against entry, this does not automatically mean that every industry or job will get an equal approach of potential (and suitably skilled) applicants of different ethic groups. 

GW's hiring policies (which by virtue of the letter you've not seen/read) might well be very good and perfectly good. However it might be that they simply don't get suitable applicants of different groups in order to have them represented in greater numbers within the organisation as a whole. 

 

Indeed this latter element is something I've come across in other areas. In conservation volunteer work there is (in my experience) no prejudice against race, age, sexuality, ethnicity, gender etc... However the predominant population you get is typically retirement age white people along with a smattering of student/young adults*. Even though there are no barriers to entry, it proves practically difficult to welcome a different ethnic group when that group has no connections already established or any interest within the ethnic population to join in. 

In a sense its a tricky situation when the door is wide open and a group is more than willing to welcome people inside, but the ethnic group simply has no interest in walking in or doesn't even have enough interest to know that the door is there (ergo that the company is even a thing). That's often a very difficult barrier for a group to overcome. Sometimes you can get there by putting in place inspirational individuals who act like icons for their respective target group. 

 

Indeed GW has already been doing this with some of their media, such as the introduction game videos that they put out done by Becca Scott. The important thing to note there is that GW didn't just grab a random woman and make her act the role; they found someone already within the community who was able and willing to step up to the role. If you want to see people of colour, or of different races/groups represented then its my view that one of the best ways is to have them held up as icons in a similar fashion. It's a stronger approach than "actors" since its more than just a marketing move. 

 

 

Personally I would imagine that GW has very low prejudice in general. They've a global market with stores in multiple nations and their whole hobby is niche enough that they are welcoming to any customers and gamers willing to step in the door and play. Indeed the issue of ethnicity outreach within the hobby of wargaming might well be one where leaders like GW can only do so much and that its the community (us) who might also have to make some changes as well. Again this swings right back to the idea of working with not against. Making it something that jointly GW and gamers can move toward changing within the company and also within local clubs and groups. Again shifting from simply having a welcome open door to active outreach and inspiration of different ethnic groups to step through the threshold and into the game.

 

Heck one approach would be seeing if GW and clubs can do more to jointly organise and advertise. Perhaps something along the lines of approaching GW with the idea of producing more detailed and informative club-packs. The kind of thing that might have things like templates for banners/fliers/cards that can be used to help locally advertise a club. A document that presents ideas on how clubs and groups can better spread the word of their club etc... There are many ways in which GW can help reinforce and support the growth of clubs - which in itself can be a huge aid toward improving ethnicity. 

 

Furthermore its important to realise that some changes take time. If GW's hiring policies are not to blame then its more likely that you need cultural shifts to take place. This might mean it could take several years with a focus of ethnic growth at the consumer end - since for a firm like GW many of their employees are more likely to come from their customerbase than many other industries. Many are more likely to be gamers first in some form barring the more corporate of job roles. Designers, writers, artists are all more likely geek fans. Thus if you want changes in those areas then it might well be a long term campaign to draw them in at the entry level so that GW actually gets applicants from those groups to have a chance at having greater ethnic diversity. 

 

 

*admittedly the area I worked in is predominantly of this population type anyway. However talking to staff it was also the pattern broadly reflected in many other regions, even those with much large different ethnic groups. 

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The letter's fine imo. Polite equivocation gets you nowhere with this stuff and the burden of proof is on GW to demonstrate that their commitment to the issue is real

 

 

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Posted (edited)

I am not sure if you are American, but - as of the 2011 census - 3% of the UK population was black (86% white and 8% Asian), and the percentage is obviously unlikely to have increased that much in just nine years since.

While I suspect there are not any/many People of Color in high up positions in GW (but don't know for sure), the minimum percentage of representation that would be expected in the US (with its 13% black and 13% Hispanic population) wouldn't necessarily be applicable to the UK.

Again, I do think there is POC under-representation relative to the UK population, but just not to the extent that it may appear to an American.

This only is in terms of staff, of course (i.e. its not a comment on the miniature range's representation, or a lack thereof).

Edited by Kyriakin
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1 hour ago, Overread said:

In a sense its a tricky situation when the door is wide open and a group is more than willing to welcome people inside, but the ethnic group simply has no interest in walking in or doesn't even have enough interest to know that the door is there (ergo that the company is even a thing). That's often a very difficult barrier for a group to overcome. Sometimes you can get there by putting in place inspirational individuals who act like icons for their respective target group. 

 

Personally I would imagine that GW has very low prejudice in general. They've a global market with stores in multiple nations and their whole hobby is niche enough that they are welcoming to any customers and gamers willing to step in the door and play.

I really liked your post and principles within it and you speak about this issue with great competence. The door should be wide open and members of all different ethnicities and gender should be visibly  encouraged to try to get it, not forced in via quota system or something like that. But I do know about one issue.

I must say, that I do not know if this an issue of some sort of prejudice or simply economics, but I currently have a feeling that GW do not like Russia. Here we have only a single official retailer in the country, the rest are simply resellers buying stuff directly from GW store (and thus buying from them is 30-80% more expensive than from retailer). This retailer works on a quota system, aka they can buy only as much models as GW allows them to buy. And GW does not allow them to buy much. Which becomes a huge problem for many Warhammer enthusiasts. 

I know about a story with a new Abaddon model, where retailer had 300 preoders on it, but GW sent only 20. Twenty models for a whole frikking Russia. People regularly ask "can you get us this" or "can you bring in that", but retailer can't do much, and quite a few things they manage to squeeze through quota system gets sold off within 2 weeks. May be it's because retailer sells GW products cheaper than GW site, so GW wants their site to be more popular instead (and yet only for Russia you can only ship your order to business address(which is a pain), although some people just put their home address anyway). But there are quite a few retailers in EU (especially in the UK) that do the same thing apparently, so I just ask my friend to bring me some models from EU stores when he comes to visit or I just buy them myself sometimes. So there's that.

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@Zeblasky International trade is a tricky one and slightly separate to the argument. I would suspect that GW would love to have more russian customers, but there's likely several barriers all working together:

1) International trade. It might be that GW would love to do more but that trade between the UK and Russia and the establishment of more independent stores in Russia might come with inflated costs, tax or other issues. There might even be restrictions on how much/fast they can expand being as they are not a Russian firm. 

2) Investment VS return - could be that whilst Russia is profitable, there are other regions of the world which simply offer more profitability. So GW is focusing on them earlier before establishing more of their own stores in Russia. Having a very healthy 3rd party market is great as its one thing GW uses to measure if its worth them investing in a local store of their own. 

3) GW regularly caps orders for most 3rd party retailers and even their own. Part of the issue is that GW's production capacity got hit by demand (even before corona). So much so they bought land and built a new factory at Nottingham to give them room to breath in developing more lines and meeting their orders. Certainly I've heard of limited stock issues for limited production models/sets from the world over including the UK. Sometimes the demand simply outstrips what GW can deliver so if you get short-falls in stock chances are other regions are seeing the same patterns. 

 

Suffice to say I don't think Russia is alone with what you describe and that most of it is likely simply a reflection that GW has finite resources. 

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+++ Mod Hat On +++
I left this topic alone because I thought with what was going on in the world, it is of interest and relevant. It wasn’t for it to go off on a tangent.

If it does it again, I’ll lock it but I thought some of you may be interested in what others are thinking about in this aspect and may want to be asking GW similar questions. 
 


 

 

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Gaz Taylor said:

+++ Mod Hat On +++
 

Just want to say I’m going to leave this topic as these are questions that do need to be asked and sending them to GWs investor relations and customer services is a great way of doing it. If you feel you need to, do the same. 
 

 

 

15 minutes ago, Gaz Taylor said:

+++ Mod Hat On +++
I left this topic alone because I thought with what was going on in the world, it is of interest and relevant. It wasn’t for it to go off on a tangent.

If it does it again, I’ll lock it but I thought some of you may be interested in what others are thinking about in this aspect and may want to be asking GW similar questions. 
 


 

 

Okay, my own letter to the Mods and Admins of this community :

1. Warhammer Is For Everyone. It's a game and a hobby. As GW said, a more diversified cultural offer for it is GREAT. And despite our many differences we ALL share values of common decency and respect around here, even if we all have our own conceptions and temperaments.

2. In a bleak world, full of serious political, societal or familial issues, Warhammer is for most of us our "fun escapism" hobby. It's a bit of fresh air and fantasy in an often tragical reality. Even if you are good minded, do NOT try to inject the hobby with ideological concerns that violate the spirit of openness, inclusivity and escapism of the hobby Warhammer isn't reality, don't try to drag it back to it.

3. Bringing politics in, however well intentioned you are, will achieve nothing but create conflicts, discords and push to an ideological arms race in the community. We will all lose from this. We have enough arguments already about rules and models looks to add more about OFF TOPIC subjects like someone trying to use a monstrous death to push its ideas about ethnicity-based quota in business (I cannot understand how, in the 21st century, people still believe in races, i.e. a pseudo-biological ideology heavily linked with a certain WWII regime - we all are human beings and skin colors should not be your criteria to judge someone). 

TLDR : PLEASE STOP POLITICS POLLUTING THE HOBBY 

Of course people can start blogs and forums about politics in wargaming, but this is NOT what our community is for.

Edited by HorticulusTGA
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38 minutes ago, HorticulusTGA said:

 

Okay, my own letter to the Mods and Admins of this community :

1. Warhammer Is For Everyone. It's a game and a hobby. As GW said, a more diversified cultural offer for it is GREAT. And despite our many differences we ALL share values of common decency and respect around here, even if we all have our own conceptions and temperaments.

2. In a bleak world, full of serious political, societal or familial issues, Warhammer is for most of us our "fun escapism" hobby. It's a bit of fresh air and fantasy in an often tragical reality. Even if you are good minded, do NOT try to inject the hobby with ideological concerns that violate the spirit of openness, inclusivity and escapism of the hobby Warhammer isn't reality, don't try to drag it back to it.

3. Bringing politics in, however well intentioned you are, will achieve nothing but create conflicts, discords and push to an ideological arms race in the community. We will all lose from this. We have enough arguments already about rules and models looks to add more about OFF TOPIC subjects like someone trying to use a monstrous death to push its ideas about ethnicity-based quota in business (I cannot understand how, in the 21st century, people still believe in races, i.e. a pseudo-biological ideology heavily linked with a certain WWII regime - we all are human beings and skin colors should not be your criteria to judge someone). 

TLDR : PLEASE STOP POLITICS POLLUTING THE HOBBY 

Of course people can start blogs and forums about politics in wargaming, but this is NOT what our community is for.

You took the words out of my mouth and articulated them in a way far better than I did. We may be punished for saying this, but we have no reason why we should ask, or want GW to do more. If they do, there is a risk that they will alienate parts of their audience, and push away those who love the hobby and love the community they have become a part of. It does not matter which side they take, who they try to appeal to. Someone will feel like they are being made "The Other", be felt like the company they enjoyed and the hobby they sunk so much joy into does not want them anymore. I am not naming politics or certain ideals are the most effected by this, mind you. I am saying that no matter what, there will be collateral damage when politics are involved. We have seen this already happen with popular franchises like star wars or star trek, where because people shoved certain politics into escapism there is a rift between the fans that had not existed before. 

 

Warhammer and gaming in general is for everyone. This is a two way street. If there are people you do not like, who has ideals you do not agree with, then it is up to you to decide if you would like to talk to them or engage with them. Forcing ideas on others, no matter how much you think you are right, does not bring people together. It destroys bonds, breaks families, and ruins communities. There is a time and place for everything, and I will agree with @HorticulusTGA that this is not what our community is for.

 

 

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18 minutes ago, Acid_Nine said:

(...) It does not matter which side they take, who they try to appeal to. Someone will feel like they are being made "The Other", be felt like the company they enjoyed and the hobby they sunk so much joy into does not want them anymore. I am not naming politics or certain ideals are the most effected by this, mind you. I am saying that no matter what, there will be collateral damage when politics are involved. We have seen this already happen with popular franchises like star wars or star trek, where because people shoved certain politics into escapism there is a rift between the fans that had not existed before

(....) Forcing ideas on others, no matter how much you think you are right, does not bring people together. It destroys bonds, breaks families, and ruins communities. (...)

(emphasis mine)

No, this is very well said. 

1. Political wars end up creating conflicts were none were originally present. "You are politically Right, I am Left, fine I don't care - the only thing that matters here on TGA is that we both hate Elfes :D (okay, okay, or both love 'em)". 

2. No matter what group or ideas are put to the front, there will AUTOMATICALLY be "collateral damage". It really is the only thing that can happen, as we are all diversely minded. And it's very very sad for a community such as ours, that had to grow in a quite hostile environment in the post WFB-death era.

And OF COURSE, some political views are better than others, but A) that's STILL not the place to discuss this, and B) nobody can say that GW or TGA aren't open, respectful, and welcoming to everyone.  And GW didn't wait the terrible event that caused their last Statement on Facebook to start making their games more inclusive and interesting for new hobbyists : since  2015-16 at the very least with Warhammer community being created online or a more diverse cast of models / artworks / story for every games being presented, etc.

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Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, SlaaneshCultist said:

I've posted this publicly on their pages, on twitter, on Instagram, and will also be emailing it to Games Workshop's investor relations and customer service emails. I invite you to join me in demanding GW do more. If you want to steal any or all of the letter I have written, feel free.

Dear_Games_Workshop.png

I am sorry, but I for one am not interested in real world politics in a hobby forum. I come here to read and talk about plastic soldiers. I understand your intentions, but who are you to demand such things? Like really? If you were a government organisation for example who can supervise work ethics and diversity and such, that would be cool, but this? Please. This is unfortunately an example for using the hobby for personal political gains. Funny as it sounds. Like if I was asking you to chose your friends based on colour and not on merit. 

Please do not bring any more real life politics into this or any other hobby forum ever. 

Thanks

Edited by BoneHeart
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Posted (edited)

this is so weak, it hurts.

 

GW is a creative business , you hire people by talent not by skin color. positive discrimination is not a solution, it's a narrow minded idea.

 

don't witch hunt everywhere because America is a class based autocracy.

 

also, hobby means separation from real world, find another outlet for politics not this forum.

 

 

Edited by Skipsalajan
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There are already politics in Warhammer and there always have been. Some of them suck, and some people like the OP have exercised their right as consumers to give feedback on a statement GW recently felt compelled to make, in this case pushing them to clarify what actual action will result from it. "Keep your politics out of my hobby" is as much of a political statement as the ones made in OP's letter.
 

There will always be reactionary elements in fandom like Star Wars and Warhammer, and people aren't obliged to refrain from pushing for more representation just to avoid "creating rifts" with those kinds of people, who will frankly always find something to be outraged about anyway

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Tbh,  you can more or less guess the answer to all those questions just by looking into their business model (where are there stores located, sales % around the globe, etc...) and understanding how basic demographics work ( @Kyriakin gave a good hint). Add a little research such as reading their annual report. Heck, it's clearly state what donations they make (spoiler alert: none). On top of that, see what consequences might occur if JP Morgan or BlackRock saw the miniatures company using funds to make sociological studies instead of churning out even more money. Or make announcements that could could imply legal complications such as actively recruiting a specific type of person instead of the usual "recruits and employs staff regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation, race, religious, cultural and ethnic backgrounds or disabilities", etc... 

It's quite simple to understand. 

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+++ Mod Hat On +++
 

I’m going to lock this now. 
 

My goal was not to be political but just let a topic exist because of what is happening in the world and I felt that some people may have wanted to do something similar with asking questions. 

 

 

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