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GDC + VRDC 2019 Session Scheduler

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Diversity and Inclusion Starter Kit

Joahanna Thomas (HR Manager, Avalanche Studios)

Location: Room 2014, West Hall

Date: Thursday, March 21

Time: 2:00pm - 2:30pm

Pass Type: All Access, GDC Conference + Summits, GDC Conference, GDC Summits, Expo Plus, Expo, Audio Conference + Tutorial, Indie Games Summit - Get your pass now!

Topic: Advocacy

Format: Session

Vault Recording: Video

Audience Level: All

It's known that the game industry is predominantly white and male. You have listened to talks and seen data that it is a problem. You agree improved diversity and increased inclusion is good for this industry fueled by creativity and passion. But how do you make that happen? Avalanche Studios New York, which makes AAA games in an indie culture, has started D&I and maintains an active D&I initiative. How did they start it and how they we able to maintain it? What does it cost and how much time is needed, how many people does it require? This talk is your starter kit for D&I, so you can achieve impeccable results in just 2 years.


It's daunting to start a D&I initiative. Practical guidance on this topic is limited at best, specifically in the game industry. The audience, whatever their roles in a company may be, be it manager, HR or employee, will get practical tips, best practices,and learn from Avalanche Studios New York's mistakes on how to start and have a sustainable D&I initiative, which yields improved diversity numbers, creating a healthy, diverse and creative company culture.

Intended Audience

It's for all! Employees, managers and leadership who are passionate and would like to enact changes in their companies. The heart to change the status quo is what's required. Larger companies could even save money by partnering with leadership, employees and external organizations.