At GCAP this year, one of the most practical talks with useful advice was given by Sheri Graner Ray on diversity in gaming.
It's no secret that gaming as a profession (development primarily, but also as a cultural phenomenon) isn't terribly tolerant or inclusive, so hearing Graner Ray (pictured) specifically address these problems without beating anyone up or suggesting that we sacrifice the quality of employees for diversity's sake was a great moment for the conference.
Some practical notes from Graner Ray on diversity during the talk.
- Of Fortune 500 companies, 85% reported that diversity in their workforce commanded better creativity and innovation, a vital aspect of games' ability to thrive.
- In 1989, it was less than 3% women in game development. Now, it's at 11%, a tiny increase for such a long time.
- Speaking about diversity shouldn't mean a bombardment of horror stories about minority employees, but it hass for much of Graner Ray's experience. Linking a bad experience to a person's minority status implies a cause which may not necessarily exist.
- By requiring 5-10 years' experience with new employees, and considering the low number of women with that level of experience in gaming, you're automatically excluding a huge number of potential candidates whose experience may be just as relevant, but not in gaming specifically (animation, production etc).
- When advertising for new roles, looking outside male-dominated spaces and casting a wider net can increase the number of female applicants.
Thanks to @elroyonline for the image.
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