This is a reminder to be kind to each other and practice empathy in these times. I meant to share the topic of Allyship in time for International Women’s Day, March 8, but due to certain pandemic circumstances this post was postponed.
Even though International Women's Day is celebrating women all around the world, its other primary message is a reminder that we are still fighting for equal rights and treatments. With this I would like to highlight the word “Allyship” which is a buzzword right now and I believe it to be relevant for any causes.
What is allyship? Allyship is: a lifelong process of building relationships based on trust, consistency, and accountability with marginalized individuals and/or groups of underrepresented people. Not self-defined—work and efforts must be recognized by those you are seeking to ally with. Source
Why is allyship needed? My own experience, throughout my career, I’ve so many times heard statements like “Diversity and Inclusion is not for me as a white XY, why should I care”, or “It’s much better now, this is not a problem anymore”, or “I am scared to engage in Diversity and Inclusion as I know this will reflect poorly upon me by my superiors and colleagues.” There are still a lot of (unconscious) biases in play and allyship is what we all need, it’s a way to educate ourselves on a daily basis.
Anyone can become an ally in any subject. Here are a few tips on what an ally can do. These are relevant in everyday life no matter what it is about:
Speak up. If you see someone being treated differently or unfair your silence will only hurt them further.
Listen. Offer some time to your friends, peers, etc. Prevent them from suffering in silence.
Be open-minded. Denying or minimizing these issues is directly counter productive to any problem.
As for being an Ally in the cause of equality specifically:
Encourage and partake in diversity and inclusion incentives. They are never meant to hurt anyone and are just plain fun!
Notice and call out inappropriate behaviors. Does your male colleague get recognition and approval for the same idea a female colleague tried to pitch?
Practice and participate in unconscious bias and diversity matters and training. This is an ongoing process and we all start from different self-awareness levels. We never stop learning unless we choose to.
Recognize your privileges in this society. You can be the greatest allies in the cause of equality. As a white male you can already do a difference with just your encouragement and support.
Stating the obvious that happy developers are good developers, and happy developers make better games and will keep making amazing games.
Leaving you with a small WID celebration from Respawn. Our studio, as every other game studio, is still on the journey chasing equality and fair treatments.
Source: Twitter - Respawn Entertainment