IGDA’s new Speaker Diversity Initiative intends to “spotlight the diversity and excellence in game development talent around the world,” according to a news post from managing director Jen MacLean.
MacLean notes that 78% of the gaming industry identify as men, according to the association’s last Developer Satisfaction Survey. However, the representation of speakers at events and conferences is an even larger percentage of men, and this ratio imbalance is “also true for the representation of people of color as speakers.”
The Speaker Diversity Initiative will help these speakers from underrepresented be heard in two ways: the Speaker Diversity Network and the Speaker Diversity Grant.
The Speaker Diversity Network helps event organizers find diverse speakers, while the Speaker Diversity Grant will help these speakers attend the events by alleviating some economic concerns by covering traveling costs or other related expenses that provide a barrier to attending.
“It may seem like a small thing, to see speakers at an event who look like you or sound like you,” MacLean wrote. “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.”
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