Rovio’s Head of DEI, Yumi Oishi, looks back on what has been happening Rovio’s locations during Pride Month, and what we have learned along the way.

Article DEI Blog default 23.08.2023
Written by: Yumi Oishi, Head of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

At Rovio, we aspire to foster an inclusive workplace where all employees feel that they belong and can be their best selves. This of course includes employees who are part of the LGBTQIA+ community. In our internal DEI survey, 11% responded that they are LGBTQIA+ and the number is likely higher since this is self reported data.

With that in mind, we celebrated Pride across our offices, our games and our social media channels at a bigger scale than ever before. It was especially important that we come together for and with the community given what’s going on in the world right now.

Read below for highlights on what we did around Pride in our workplace. Read here how we celebrated Pride in our games and social media channels.


Celebrating Pride Globally

In Finland, we sponsored Helsinki Pride for the first time and we did so by joining forces with our industry peers Next Games, Metacore, Supercell and We in Games (non-profit) as ‘Better Games Together’. One company alone can not solve the inequities of our industry so it must be a team effort. In addition to the march, we hosted community events for employees across our companies as well as those open to the public.



In Sweden, Rovians have been participating in Stockholm Pride for several years now and it has become an annual tradition. This year, they upped their game to a week of activities by inviting a local drag queen for drag bingo, watching LGBTQIA+ themed movies and gathering over “fika” (a Swedish tradition which usually involves having a coffee and a chat) before heading out to the parade.

Not all our offices celebrated at the same level, but we still shared the spirit globally by ensuring all our offices had Pride themed Angry Bird stickers. It is not safe to openly celebrate Pride globally so these “small gestures” were an impactful statement.


Putting an Emphasis on Learning

Leading up to Pride, it was important that we also learn, not just celebrate. Making great games is about great teamwork so it’s up to each and every Rovian to learn how to make their teammates feel that they belong.

We hosted Allyship Trainings where Rovians learned what it means to be an ally and how to actively champion people who are different from ourselves. It included a powerful exercise on mapping out our structural privileges. In addition, we attended a training about Pride along with our Better Games Together peers. We learned about Pride history, current LGBTQIA+ issues especially in Finland and practical tips on inclusion.

The next step for us is to rethink how we scale learning. There were roughly 80% of Rovians who didn’t or couldn’t attend either training so in order to bring more employees on this journey, we need to think beyond the formal classroom sessions, revisit how we promote and more.


Learning the Hard Way

Perhaps our biggest learning came from a failure. We’ve decided to openly share our failure below to help others facing the same issues or even prevent them from happening in the first place.

During our Pride social media campaign, content went to review by our Leadership Team but because of poor and delayed communication, rumors spread internally suggesting that we were not standing by our values due to concerns over backlash. This caused harm to our LGBTQIA+ employees and sparked concern about the safety of Rovio as a workplace. Ultimately, we hosted forums for the community and Leadership Team members to talk directly to find a way forward.

Our key learning was the critical role that leaders play in DEI in understanding the lived experiences of marginalized communities and communicating directly with the people involved so we can avoid the game of “broken telephone”.

These learnings will be a core element of our DEI roadmap. Also, as we look forward, we know that Pride shouldn’t be confined to a certain day and there’s always more work to be done. We’re excited to celebrate and learn all year-round as we strive to be better together with the industry.

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