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Meet Amanda Cait, Manager of People and Culture at Avalon:
Meet Amanda Cait, the Manager of People and Culture at Avalon. With a degree in “adult development, families, and well-being,” Amanda’s journey from a background in family therapy and personal challenges, including disabilities, to a diverse career spanning retail, tech, and even therapeutic recreation with older adults is truly unique.
Amanda’s entrepreneurial spirit led to the creation of Monstera Interactive, a contracting firm. Her remarkable journey caught the attention of Sean, Avalon’s CEO, who recruited her as HR Ops manager. Now, she oversees people and culture at this cutting-edge game studio.
In this Default Global podcast episode, Amanda discusses global hiring, remote work, employment compliance, employment law, contracting, and the changing role of tech leaders in shaping the future of work. Her career transformation from therapeutic recreation to tech leadership is an inspiration for those exploring unconventional career paths.
Watch Now: Vit’s In-Depth Talk with Amanda Cait
Quick Read: Amanda Cait, Manager of People and Culture at Avalon, Interview Highlights
Amanda Cait’s Journey and Background
In my recent podcast episode, I had a fascinating conversation with Amanda Cait, Manager of People and Culture at Avalon, a startup game studio. Amanda shared how her unique background, which includes a degree in adult development, families and well-being, and experience in various fields from retail to tech, eventually led her to her current role.
She said, “My work background is kind of all over the place. And one of the things that is also noticeable or notable is I worked in recreation and long-term care. So with, you know, very sick older adults playing as a form of therapy, there’s therapeutic aspects to it.”
Challenges in Fostering Diversity and Inclusion
We discussed the challenges Amanda faced as she championed for diversity and inclusion in the gaming industry, a sector notorious for its toxicity. She highlighted the importance of education and prevention in combating the traditionally ingrained toxic culture.
“One of the things that I think is so important is prevention and in order to prevent that we sort of have to educate people on what’s okay and not okay to say and do in the workplace,” Amanda stated.
The Need for Inclusivity in the Gaming Industry
When asked about the challenges still prevalent in the gaming industry, Amanda pinpointed the lack of diversity and the need to create safe spaces for conversations. She stressed the importance of recognising and celebrating people’s differences, stating:
“Success and work styles are very different from person to person. And just being able to recognize that and celebrate people for who they are and value them for, you know, their capabilities and having seats at the table for everybody to create innovation.”
Avalon’s People-First Culture
Amanda spoke proudly of Avalon’s human-first culture and how they truly prioritise their employees, giving an example of how the company’s CEO and COO stepped in to take over her interviews when she had a personal emergency. She underscored the importance of real-life examples in proving a company’s commitment to its values.
Tips for Prospective Employees
Amanda advised potential employees to use interviews as a platform to inquire about a company’s culture and values. She also suggested asking pointed questions like, “When’s the last time you took a week off of work?” to gauge the company’s commitment to work-life balance. For remote employees, she recommended asking, “If you became the CEO overnight with no repercussions or questions, what would you change and why?” to assess a company’s capacity for change and improvement.
The Challenges of Global Expansion
As Avalon works with talent from many countries, Amanda highlighted the importance of understanding each country’s specific laws and regulations, as well as respecting different time zones. She also emphasised the need for over-communication in remote work settings to combat potential loneliness and isolation.
In conclusion, Amanda Cait’s insights on fostering a human-first culture, promoting diversity and inclusion, and navigating the challenges of global expansion provide valuable guidance for companies and potential employees alike. She demonstrates how acknowledging and respecting individual differences, coupled with open communication and commitment to values, can create a healthy and inclusive work environment.