How to Support Marginalized Groups
Diversifying Your Team in the Game Industry
It’s no secret that women, people of color, and members of the LGBTQIA+ community have not historically been given the same opportunities as cis white men. They are often skipped over for projects or promotions and not selected for interviews because of pre-existing biases. The game industry is certainly not immune from this, and oftentimes can be even more siloed because of its white male dominated past. It’s time to change that.
Here are 5 things you can do to support marginalized groups and diversify your team:
Pay Attention to Your Words
What you say and what you write matters. You don’t have to be perfect all the time, but stop using the excuse of “it was how I was raised.” If it’s not right now, it wasn’t right then either. When you make a mistake, catch yourself, correct yourself, apologize, and actively work to be better.
Accept Feedback and Criticism
When you make a mistake, don’t get defensive. Or, in other words: take the note. When someone educates you, learn it, own it, and evolve.
Don’t Tolerate Intolerance
Speak up. Don’t be silent. This is especially true if you’re a cis white male. Use your privilege to make positive social change. It’s not cool to rest on your laurels, so educate yourself and make a difference.
Find Marginalized Voices to Learn from and Support Them
Spend time seeking out and listening to the voices of others. I did so before writing this article, so I could expand my knowledge and point of view. Read books, play video games, watch movies, and try new things created by voices that are different from your own. In the game industry alone, there are many great titles coming out of India, Africa, the United Arab Emirates, and more.
Give Opportunities and Be Realistic
Stop expecting folks that haven’t been given the same opportunities to have years upon years of experience. It’s just not plausible. Women and other marginalized groups are continuously expected to prove themselves on a resume, but not afforded that option in person. If we want a diverse work environment, we can’t keep boiling people’s potential down to a sheet of paper.
If the team you lead isn’t as diverse as you’d like it to be, start by asking yourself why marginalized groups aren’t applying to your organization. Have you created a welcoming environment? If your team all looks and sounds the same, it’s likely you haven’t! Work on being better and creating the right systems and culture.