Announced last week, the new initiative seeks to spotlight the diversity and excellence in game development talent around the world.
Take yourself back to the latest gaming development event you attended, think about the speakers that showcased at said event; in most cases you’ll be now thinking of a lignup of talented white men who know their discipline like the back of their hand, and are there to share their newfound understandings and lessons. However there are many qualified speakers in the game development community who aren’t white men, members of under-represented or marginalized communities, and the new Speaker Diversity Initiative aims to help those groups onto the podium.
“Their voices are important, and their knowledge and insights can benefit everyone. The Speaker Diversity Initiative (SDI) is designed to address this representation gap, and to help highlight under-represented game developers as speakers, and also to remove potential economic barriers to their participation as speakers.” said Jen MacLean, Managing Director, IGDA Foundation.
The initiative consists of two components;
- The Speaker Diversity Network; A group that includes outstanding speakers who are also members of under-represented communities.
- The Speaker Diversity Grant; Provided to qualified speakers who identify as an under-represented group, assisting with travel expenses when speaking at a conference.
“It may seem like a small thing, to see speakers at an event who look like you or sound like you. But when we see excellence in people of all genders, of all races, of all ages and ethnicities, of all sexual orientations, we see excellence in our community. When every person is given the opportunity to make their voice heard-on stages and platforms that reach hundreds or thousands of their peers-our community is stronger.” McLean continued.
If you’re a member of an under-represented group, apply to be a speaker, or for a speaker recommendation, grant request or information regarding sponsoring the initiative, get in touch with the IGDA via email at firstname.lastname@example.org