May 19, 2020

Virgin Gaming impresses at E3

Virgin America
E3
Virgin Gaming
Bizclik Editor
3 min
Virgin Gaming impresses at E3

 

Virgin Gaming has been a hit at this year’s E3 for its competitive console games and partnered with Maxim to host an exclusive party last night at the Mondrian Hotel Sky Bar on Sunset Strip. Last night’s event wasn’t the first time the two teamed up; they hosted a Super Bowl party in Dallas earlier this year.

Built on a pioneering online gaming platform, Virgin Gaming enables gamers of all skill levels from around the world to meet, challenge and play each other in head-to-head matches and tournaments for cash, points and prizes, according to the company’s press release. Virgin Gaming is a union of video games, social networking and competitive online gaming, and was co-founded by best friends and ultra-competitive gamers, William Levy and Zack Zeldin.

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With the help of a games industry veteran and CEO of Virgin Gaming, Rob Segal, the duo quickly developed the site into a template for online competitive gaming, which has been lauded by gamers for its secure transactions as well as a host of robust functionality that includes automatic results verification, a skill ratings system that creates a level playing field by matching players of like abilities, and a reputation management system that makes good sportsmanship a pre-requisite for gaining access to the biggest and best competitions and prizes.

“We had such a tremendous display for our launch last year, from the incredible party, to the one-of-a-kind booth, to, of course, Richard Branson and the million-dollars, we felt that this year we would focus on throwing the most memorable party at E3 in order to thank some or our partners and press that have supported us this past year,” said Rob Segal, CEO, Virgin Gaming. “We'll still be making a couple of big announcements so there will definitely be some worthy news in the mix as well – and if you thought the million dollars was big, consider that the warm-up for some of our upcoming tournaments.”

"For the second time in 2011, Maxim and Virgin Gaming are teaming up for what is sure to be another explosive partnership,” said Ben Madden, Chief Revenue Officer, Maxim. “Not only is Virgin one of the world's most respected brands, it's known for being miles ahead of everyone when it comes to innovation and creativity. Maxim brings that same strategic and creative thinking to the table, especially when it comes to hosting the hottest parties of the year. Considering our guys’ passion for gaming, the synergy between the two brands just makes sense. Maxim can't wait to bring to LA what we brought to Dallas this past winter - a great time, gorgeous girls and the best bash E3 has ever seen."

For more information or to register for some of the top videogame tournaments, please visit virgingaming.com .

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Jun 12, 2021

How changing your company's software code can prevent bias

Deltek
diversity
softwarecode
inclusivity
Lisa Roberts, Senior Director ...
3 min
Removing biased terminology from software can help organisations create a more inclusive culture, argues Lisa Roberts, Senior Director of HR at Deltek

Two-third of tech professionals believe organizations aren’t doing enough to address racial inequality. After all, many companies will just hire a DEI consultant, have a few training sessions and call it a day. 

Wanting to take a unique yet impactful approach to DEI, Deltek, the leading global provider of software and solutions for project-based businesses, took a look at  and removed all exclusive terminology in their software code. By removing terms such as ‘master’ and ‘blacklist’ from company coding, Deltek is working to ensure that diversity and inclusion are woven into every aspect of their organization. 

Business Chief North America talks to Lisa Roberts, Senior Director of HR and Leader of Diversity & Inclusion at Deltek to find out more.

Why should businesses today care about removing company bias within their software code?  

We know that words can have a profound impact on people and leave a lasting impression. Many of the words that have been used in a technology environment were created many years ago, and today those words can be harmful to our customers and employees. Businesses should use words that will leave a positive impact and help create a more inclusive culture in their organization

What impact can exclusive terms have on employees? 

Exclusive terms can have a significant impact on employees. It starts with the words we use in our job postings to describe the responsibilities in the position and of course, we also see this in our software code and other areas of the business. Exclusive terminology can be hurtful, and even make employees feel unwelcome. That can impact a person’s desire to join the team, stay at a company, or ultimately decide to leave. All of these critical actions impact the bottom line to the organization.    

Please explain how Deltek has removed bias terminology from its software code

Deltek’s engineering team has removed biased terminology from our products, as well as from our documentation. The terms we focused on first that were easy to identify include blacklist, whitelist, and master/slave relationships in data architecture. We have also made some progress in removing gendered language, such as changing he and she to they in some documentation, as well as heteronormative language. We see this most commonly in pick lists that ask to identify someone as your husband or wife. The work is not done, but we are proud of how far we’ve come with this exercise!

What steps is Deltek taking to ensure biased terminology doesn’t end up in its code in the future?

What we are doing at Deltek, and what other organizations can do, is to put accountability on employees to recognize when this is happening – if you see something, say something! We also listen to feedback our customers give us and have heard their feedback on this topic. Those are both very reactive things of course, but we are also proactive. We have created guidance that identifies words that are more inclusive and also just good practice for communicating in a way that includes and respects others.

What advice would you give to other HR leaders who are looking to enhance DEI efforts within company technology? 

My simple advice is to start with what makes sense to your organization and culture. Doing nothing is worse than doing something. And one of the best places to start is by acknowledging this is not just an HR initiative. Every employee owns the success of D&I efforts, and employees want to help the organization be better. For example, removing bias terminology was an action initiated by our Engineering and Product Strategy teams at Deltek, not HR. You can solicit the voices of employees by asking for feedback in engagement surveys, focus groups, and town halls. We hear great recommendations from employees and take those opportunities to improve. 

 

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