How to support women and people of color in game development
Last week, the California Department of Fair Housing and Employment filed a complaint, which accuses Activision Blizzard of fostering a culture in which women and other marginalized groups are regularly paid and less promoted, while allowing for repeated instances of sexual harassment. Blizzard employees responded to these allegations and the company’s initial response by issuing an open letter and organizing a walkout.
As part of this effort to promote equality in the games industry, the group also provided a list of several charities to consider donating. In solidarity with that sentiment, we’ve listed these and other relevant charities below. If you can, consider making a donation.
Black girls who code
Black Girls Who Code is an organization that focuses on empowering girls from disenfranchised communities, ages 7 to 17, who are interested in technology, by teaching them computer programming skills. Donations will go specifically to workshops, summer camp sessions and other learning activities in the STEM industry around the world.
Women in international games
Women in Games International is a global organization working for equality and diversity within the video game industry. Its aim is to create opportunities for women through mentoring programs, access to technology, professional development assistance and holding conferences on topics concerning women in gaming and technology. .
Latinas in technology
The mission of Latinas in Tech is to help Latinas gain fair representation in the tech industry through mentorship, recruitment and professional development. He works with leading tech companies to create opportunities for women, including sharing access to online panels and workshops.
Girls play games
Girls Make Games offers camps and workshops for girls ages 8-18 to design and develop video games. Donations help provide scholarships for girls, as well as free tutorials for children around the world. The organization has now reached 89 cities around the world.
Girls who code
Girls Who Code focuses on closing the gender gap in the tech industry through online resources, in-person programs and clubs, and a support network, with an emphasis on persons belonging to minority groups. Half of the girls who join Girls Who Code’s programs are from under-represented groups, including girls who are black, Latin, or from low-income families.
RAINN is an anti-sexual violence organization that created and operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline (800.656.HOPE). It works with more than 1,000 local suppliers and operates the DoD Safe hotline for the Department of Defense. Donations are also intended for sexual violence prevention, survivor assistance and justice programs.
Women In Animation
The mission of Women in Animation is to bring diversity and inclusion to the animation industry. Donations go directly to scholarships for animation students, mentorships for women trying to advance further in the industry, as well as exclusive screenings and panels with people in animation.
Get Up Animation
Rise Up Animation strives to increase diversity within the animation industry. Each donation goes towards scholarships for students, panels and workshops, as well as mentoring programs to help individuals in their careers. The organization also works with other charities, such as Women in Animation.
Futures without violence
Futures Without Violence works to end domestic and sexual violence against women and children through specific programs, policies and campaigns designed to educate people. Part of its programs include training professionals, such as sports coaches and judges, on how to deal with abuse and violence.
For more details on the Activision Blizzard lawsuit, read our report where we spoke with past and present employees to get a clearer picture of what happened at the company, as well as how the employees stand up to make a positive change. Jeff Strain, former senior Blizzard employee, co-founder of ArenaNet and founder of Undead Labs, also spoke about his experience at Activision Blizzard and wrote a letter calling for unionization in the gaming industry, while encouraging others and supporting its own employees with unionization.