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Peter Moore: Some of our most powerful franchises are overseen by women

The COO of Electronic Arts talks inclusion

Electronic Arts has always felt like a publisher with genuinely good intentions when it comes to diversity and inclusion, and now COO Peter Moore has revealed that the company is seeing results when it comes to its staff.

"We've gone from the personification of what we believe women should look like in a video game, to actually involving women in making video games, to today where at Electronic Arts we have some of our most powerful franchises overseen by women who manage hundreds of men," he told Fortune.

"You can look at the last twelve months with everything that has gone on with Gamergate, that it's made us all pay attention to this issue. When we talk about what I call D&I, Diversity & Inclusion, at EA, it's never far from our minds when we make hiring decisions."

During the Forbes interview Moore also said that both the Sims team and mobile division had a large number of female developers and that the company was actively encouraging more women to enter the industry by supporting initiatives like Girls Who Code.

"At EA we're encouraging girls to think about programming as a career as young as high school, even before you get into college and focus on where you go for computer science degrees."

EA recently introduced female teams to one of its biggest franchises, FIFA, and at the time Moore shared his disgust for the "misogynistic vitriol" he had seen in response.

"We'll know within the first few weeks how many people are choosing to play the women's teams," Moore told Fortune.

"I think it's going to have a very positive impact."

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Latest comments (93)

Jacek Tuschewski Audio Director, Producer and Audio Designer 3 years ago
Yeah overseen by people from marketing... I have loved EA since Archon, M.U.L.E., The Seven Cities of Gold... but their marketing department is calling all the shots and they have (repeatedly) missed so many targets... I do wish/hope that one day EA will put more power into the hands/minds of the creators/visionaries/inventors/designers of the actual games/franchises...
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Darren Adams Managing Director, ChaosTrend3 years ago
Why the need to say this? As if it's surprising that women can actually oversee large projects, hastag WOW-Girls can do stuff!!

Bit patronising I think, just let women come into the games industy without the spectacle we currently have of pointing out "we employ X amount of women, aren't we progressive!"

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Darren Adams on 5th September 2015 8:22am

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Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic 3 years ago
Bit patronising I think, just let women come into the games industry without the spectacle we currently have of pointing out "we employ X amount of women, aren't we progressive!"
I don't think it's patronising (says the cis-white-guy :p ). It's only patronising if large numbers of women were readily going into games already, and I think the media explosion around GG has affected women-in-gaming numbers in a negative fashion. But, even if it hasn't, there is a push for STEM-industries to have a greater number of women within them, to counter-balance stereo-typed gender-roles and all that they imply. To show that women have roles in the games industry (even if it's in a "tooting our own horn" manner) helps. Or at least, helps more than just saying nothing and assuming women will come into what is historically a male-dominated industry.

It's also a rather savvy piece of marketing for EA - the number of women in historically male-dominated businesses is coming under more and more media and governmental attention. EA's essentially coming out ahead-of-the-pack by saying how progressive they are.
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Show all comments (93)
Darren Adams Managing Director, ChaosTrend3 years ago
I understand what you are saying, but..
EA's essentially coming out ahead-of-the-pack by saying how progressive they are.
And that is what I take exception to; "Women in the games industry" has been made into a kind of social wristband companies can 'wear' to show how much they care. This isn't what it should be about. Just employ and treat women as equals, that is all they want and is not too much to ask for.
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Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic 3 years ago
Mmmm, but it's not like either women, or the games industry, are unusual in this. I read something a few days ago about an investment firm that had just made its gender employment figures open (I just searched, and couldn't find that article, but I did find this one about the paucity of women Angel Investors: http://nytlive.nytimes.com/womenintheworld/2015/08/29/female-funders-challenges-women-to-become-angel-investors/ ). And I don't know the situation with black/hispanic/minorities in STEM-industry employment, but they likely have something in common with the numbers of women.

Which is to say, this isn't something that is just confined to games, and is something that is I think necessary to promote until it gets to the stage where it isn't newsworthy. :)

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Morville O'Driscoll on 5th September 2015 10:20am

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I really appreciate how outspoken an advocate for diversity in our industry Peter Moore is. It's important to many of us that women in senior positions - who are still sadly rare in this industry - are celebrated, that their unique contributions to the success of one of the biggest players in the business can be highlighted.

You don't make change by quietly waiting for it to happen and pretending that it's not a big deal when it does.

Frankly, if shouting 'look how truly welcoming we are to women/LGBT individuals/ethnic minorities!' has become 'trendy', then long may that trend continue. Diversity is valuable and should be celebrated.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Jessica Hyland on 5th September 2015 10:43am

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Adam Campbell Game Manager, Azoomee3 years ago
Whilst 'diversity' can be used as a marketing ploy, I still think its incredibly important to champion great role models. In fact, I want to hear more names :)
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Brook Davidson Artist / 3D design 3 years ago
I, personally, am more of an advocate for just allowing people to do as they please. I don't think it's much of an issue if one sex decides not to be active in a certain career as the other. Diversity is great, and should always be striven for. But just because you are not equally diverse doesn't necessarily mean there is something wrong. But of course as of late in this industry, if it's not 50/50 some people seem to think that means there is a problem.
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Helen Merete Simm Senior UI Artist, Ubisoft Reflections3 years ago
It does come across a little like "I'm not sexist, some of my best friends are women!" :D

In all seriousness though its good they're making an effort.
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Nick McCrea Gentleman, Pocket Starship3 years ago
"Diversity is great, and should always be striven for"

Forgive me the slightly controversial question but, is it? Why? I find this oft-repeated article of faith a bit odd, if we really examine it, mostly because it tends to boil down to diversity along certain, pre-approved axis whilst ignoring every other kind of variation between people.

The semi-cerebral answer tends to be - "to avoid group think", which is great and there is some evidence of that, but it's altogether possible to recruit a team of every colour, creed and sexuality who are all right-on 20-somethings who share 99.9% of their cultural background and DNA, and this is what tends to happen in 'diverse' teams anyway, so how does that dodge group think?

I also have some difficulty with the proposition that diversity is, in and of itself, self-evidently good, because it strongly implies that mono-cultures (of which there are many in the world) are somehow worse or bad.

Personally, I think if you already *have* diversity in a culture, then it is worth cultivating the idea that diversity is to be celebrated (because it's not going anywhere, and social cohesion matters). But if you're a mono culture, should you seek to diversify as a matter of morality or obvious improvement? I don't necessarily think so.

As is ever required in these debates, many caveats, exceptions etc apply to the above, does-not-constitute-fact etc.
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If you're a monoculture, your team will be less creative, less innovative, and likely overall less successful than if your team was more diverse. 'Diversity' is easiest to identify as gender and racial diversity for obvious reasons, but encouraging hiring practises that value the experiences and expertise of 'diverse' candidates(aka anyone who isn't the young, white, able-bodied, straight, middle-class man that our industry is so very full of still), and getting over the subconscious attraction of 'in-group' hiring improves diversity on all axes.

In an industry like ours, where creative problem-solving is so important, diverse teams have an edge. There is of course little stopping you from being a monoculture if you really want to, and it's entirely possible to become successful without giving much thought to the makeup of your team. But knowing what we do about the value of diversity, why would you ignore that advantage?

I'd love to see more games industry bosses like Moore talking openly about the value of diversity in their teams. Intel have recently embarked on a $300 million diversity initiative - they can clearly see the advantages. But I think Intel and EA aren't alone in their pursuit of greater diversity - I think they're just rare in being as vocal as they are.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Jessica Hyland on 7th September 2015 11:23am

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Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic 3 years ago
Re: diversity

Whilst it's not a 1-to-1 analogy/comparison point, reading Nick's comment I found myself thinking of the Bill Willingham/“Writing Women Friendly Comics” controversy that occurred recently. It's a useful counter-point to the "monoculture is fine" reasoning (though, I stress again, not perfect in this context).

http://www.themarysue.com/dissenting-opinions-may-occur/
https://danceswithdissonance.wordpress.com/2015/08/16/billfriendlycomics-follow-up-33/
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Brook Davidson Artist / 3D design 3 years ago
@Jessica
I love diversity, however here is my issue with trying to force it.

Let's say there are 2 candidates to be hired for a company, both with equal background and experience. The company has noticed they have more white individuals. So the first candidate is white, but the second candidate is Hispanic. Trying to be diverse actually creates racism because if they want to be diverse they have to hire the Hispanic candidate and the white candidate had 0 chance of being hired, all due to the color of their skin. It's impossible to actively try and hire a diverse team without being racist because it means you will not be hiring some people based on their skin color, and that is just wrong no matter how you look at it.

So while diversity might certainly be better for groups, I don't think it should be forced. If anything it should just occur naturally. If naturally doesn't give you as much diversity as you wanted, then to bad. Deal with it.
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Nick McCrea Gentleman, Pocket Starship3 years ago
Yes, I am aware of the mechanism whereby diversity is meant to provoke better performance, and I do find it interesting - that a kind of underlying, minor 'tension' that arises out of not being surrounded by only your 'in group' leads to you anticipating, and preparing better for alternative views. In essence, you benefit from some minor, culturally-driven conflict, which leads people to question assumptions and prep better. That seems plausible to me.

I suspect the overall effect is far less correlated with success than many, many other far more important variables, however, and I don't mean to be dismissive when I say that, (every advantage helps, like you say, why would you ignore it).Also, some of the same research concludes that diversity is good for performance, but actually *bad* for employee morale, which again is no doubt related to the same underlying mechanism (tension helps drive innovation). I just don't think it's all that cut and dried. I am very possibly wrong :-)

Again, I'm not really commenting on EA's position, or women in games' specifically, more the contention that diversity is an end in itself, to be pursued in all workplaces and cultures. Does nursing suffer from being a monoculture? Does primary school teaching? Is innovation not required in these pursuits? Note this is most definitely not an argument against getting more women / minorities in games. For me, the strongest arguments in favour of a more diverse workforce in gaming was *always* because of the knock-on benefits of 'normalising' the workplace culture of game studios - e.g. hours, pay, benefits etc.
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Lewis Brown Snr Sourcer/Recruiter, Electronic Arts3 years ago
Its something in Recruitment that we talk about everyday at EA, its not some sound bite that's drawn out for the media. I have 2 projects I am supporting at the moment, one looking at a STEM activity with Criterion for encouraging younger females. The team are offering a studio open day to show them what the industry looks like from the inside and that everyone is welcome. The other with the team in Romania as a networking event for female communities in Bucharest across Games and IT. This goes on all the time in different ways and multiple locations.

I would also add its still about the best person for the job, but lets not exclude communities because of outdated mindsets, presumptions about working environments or pre-exisiting cultures. Sometimes you need to really talk openly and exhaustively to get that message out there. And that applies to Women in games or any other diversity group for that matter.

It would be much easy to follow the status quo than to take the stance EA has in this area.
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Thanks for the insight Lewis! It's really good to hear from someone on the ground floor about how the overarching message of diversity comes into practise.
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Keldon Alleyne Strategic keyboard basher, Avasopht Ltd3 years ago
If anything it should just occur naturally. If naturally doesn't give you as much diversity as you wanted, then to bad. Deal with it.
Well naturally speaking there are biases against people of colour. I don't think the answer is quota based diversity, but "deal with it" is a very lazy response to a real world problem.

http://www.theguardian.com/money/2009/oct/18/racism-discrimination-employment-undercover
Minority candidates with the same qualifications and experience had to send 16 applications before receiving a similar response (compared to 9 for the same CV).
http://www.forbes.com/sites/ruchikatulshyan/2014/06/13/have-a-foreign-sounding-name-change-it-to-get-a-job/
Applicants with white-sounding names were 50% more likely to get called for an initial interview than applicants with black-sounding names (with the same CV).
...
It is important to teach people in charge of hiring about the subconscious biases they may have, and figure out a way to change these patterns.
So in essence you say you prefer the 66:33 bias that discriminates against minorities even before the interview stage. Those same subconscious biases will no doubt come into play during interviews too, but your suggestion is to leave it as is because "trying to be diverse actually creates racism." The irrational fear that a white person would have 0% chance just highlights the mindsets that perpetuate the problem.

It almost seems to be one of those, "well things are working fine for me so, {a} I don't want that to change in any way, even though it's currently biased in my favour and {b} I hate the idea of effort being used to deal with a problem that doesn't concern me."

Hopefully people in recruitment positions are more aware and responsible. Again, this is why these topics are raised on GI.
From the article: Navdeep Sethia, 24, an unemployed architecture graduate from Chalk Farm, central London, has submitted more than 400 job applications, but has only heard back from 40 employers and has had fewer than 20 interviews.

"I personally feel that my foreign-sounding name makes a lot of difference. I am sure employers think of Southall when they see my name and that is enough for them to put my application aside," he said.
So first of all you have a bias when sending CV's (which has been shown to exist in the UK, US and France). On top of that the people of colour were aware of this too. It is no wonder that interest in academic subjects can vary by race if people know before hand they already face an uphill struggle due to race.

I think two key areas are culture and media. With greater integration comes better networking, which accounts for 70% of all recruitment, and with more responsible representation of people of colour in media (which is terribly biased as of today), subconscious biases can be addressed.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Keldon Alleyne on 7th September 2015 6:56pm

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James Berg Games User Researcher, EA Canada3 years ago
Another EA guy here, providing my personal opinion, I don't speak for the company, etc etc. What Peter is talking about isn't a soundbite, it's the studio culture. I'm at EA Canada, and have been to our San Francisco, Guildford, and Swedish studios, and they're all quite diverse. We hire a -lot- of people that aren't local to the studio they work at, so folks come from all over the world to work with us.

I couldn't throw a rock in our cafeteria without hitting 3 folks from different ethnic backgrounds, and there's decent odds at least one of them wouldn't be straight. Odds are maybe 50/50 I'd get dragged away by a guard that wasn't white or male. On my way to HR, I'd probably hear a few coworkers chatting in a language that isn't English while they walked to lunch or a meeting. My manager (a woman, and one of the best in our field) would then fire me :p

I can say that after 8 years in this environment, gender/ethnicity/etc just fades into the background - it's the norm. I can't speak much to the process of hiring (outside my own team at least), but we hire good people, and I think we're stronger for having a broad, diverse group of folks with different experiences, backgrounds, and viewpoints. It keeps us honest and grounded in some ways, which I think is a real advantage in an industry where our customers are incredibly diverse as well.
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Brook Davidson Artist / 3D design 3 years ago
@Keldon
Well naturally speaking there are biases against people of colour. I don't think the answer is quota based diversity, but "deal with it" is a very lazy response to a real world problem.
Yes, but we can't fix racism with more racism. That is just silly. Teaching them about their biases and such is perfectly fine. However, to hire a person based on the color of their skin just to diversify the work place is not fine. That is racism.
So in essence you say you prefer the 66:33 bias that discriminates against minorities even before the interview stage. Those same subconscious biases will no doubt come into play during interviews too, but your suggestion is to leave it as is because "trying to be diverse actually creates racism." The irrational fear that a white person would have 0% chance just highlights the mindsets that perpetuate the problem.
Clearly you missed the point in my example. If a company is told to hire more diverse people, due to having not enough diversity. It means if a white person comes in, they may literally have a 0% chance of getting hired. If you want to fix the discrimination issue, you do NOT do it by discriminating more. That is just not how you do it. It doesn't fix the problem. You may have diversity, but it's a lie.

Also .. saying diversity should come naturally, doesn't mean I am saying not to solve the issue some other way, such as teaching about biases and such.
It almost seems to be one of those, "well things are working fine for me so, {a} I don't want that to change in any way, even though it's currently biased in my favour and {b} I hate the idea of effort being used to deal with a problem that doesn't concern me."
If that is what you think it means, then clearly you don't understand my point. Maybe you should reread what I wrote, because my points are valid. Do you .. or do you not agree, hiring someone based on skin color is racism? Do you agree that it is wrong to do?

If yes .. then guess what. You also AGREE with me. You are just looking for excuses to not agree with me, when you already do. Or at least you should. unless you don't care about racism.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Brook Davidson on 7th September 2015 7:05pm

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Keldon Alleyne Strategic keyboard basher, Avasopht Ltd3 years ago
Do you .. or do you not agree, hiring someone based on skin color is racism? Do you agree that it is wrong to do?

If yes .. then guess what. You also AGREE with me
The two statements are not logically connected. Recruiting someone purely based on colour is not good, but your conclusion is not sound either. First of all it presumes the person of colour was not as good as the other candidates. They could have been the best candidate (if you remember, subconscious racial biases can and will rule out even the best candidates).

In fact the whole idea of, "recruiting them just because of their colour" is loaded with a bias that is easy to miss, for example, why would one assume that the person of colour is not of equal skill?

I suspect that it would require a great deal of effort to remove subconscious biases because they exist in everyone, black, white and everything in between. Even black people have negative biases against black people (see article below). It's a highly complex subject and addressing it requires a lot of introspection, self assessment and exploration of one's psyche. I personally practice mindfulness meditation, which is known to be a powerful tool.
From the article: The data reveal that black respondents’ implicit biases are split just about evenly between pro-white and pro-black
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Brook Davidson Artist / 3D design 3 years ago
The two statements are not logically connected. Recruiting someone purely based on colour is not good, but your conclusion is not sound either. First of all it presumes the person of colour was not as good as the other candidates. They could have been the best candidate (if you remember, subconscious racial biases can and will rule out even the best candidates).
Actually, I was presuming they where both equal. Which I figured you would know considering that is what I said with my original example. To quote myself "Let's say there are 2 candidates to be hired for a company, both with equal background and experience." Pay attention will you.
In fact the whole idea of, "recruiting them just because of their colour" is loaded with a bias that is easy to miss, for example, why would one assume that the person of colour is not of equal skill?
Never did, you just don't know how to read apparently.
I suspect that it would require a great deal of effort to remove subconscious biases because they exist in everyone, black, white and everything in between. Even black people have negative biases against black people (see article below). It's a highly complex subject and addressing it requires a lot of introspection, self assessment and exploration of one's psyche. I personally practice mindfulness meditation, which is known to be a powerful tool.
And fixing the problem isn't solved by forcing diversity, because that requires you to make the color of ones skin a prerequisite for being hired.
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Brook Davidson Artist / 3D design 3 years ago
@John
Exactly my point. To me it makes no sense to do that, because it's not really fixing the problem. It's the same problem, just in a different manner. So instead of having natural biases, you create artificial ones.

If your company is looking to hire more females, it then creates a bias toward females. So if a female and male had equal experience, they are going to have bias that leans more toward the female because they need more females. Thus they just now discriminated on the male for being male.

As I said, it doesn't fix the problem it only changes how it looks. But in this case it's worse because now it's being done on purpose.
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Iain Stanford Experienced Software Engineer, Tinderstone3 years ago
Christ. Considering the industry this all represents, GamesIndustry.biz comments can sure suck the joy out of anything
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Keldon Alleyne Strategic keyboard basher, Avasopht Ltd3 years ago
To quote myself "Let's say there are 2 candidates to be hired for a company, both with equal background and experience." Pay attention will you.
Hmm. If this is how you perceive the subject of bias correction it says a lot. Note, I'm not even suggesting to do it, but I am addressing the views people have on the subject. It is interesting to say the least.

Mathematically, correction of biases doesn't discriminate at all, however subconscious attention biases will cause one to focus on a particular scenario more than others. If you kept up a score card, you'll see that bias correction balances itself out such that your above scenario happens equally, one artificial bias for each natural bias.
If there are subconscious biases then wouldn't the problem be made worse by continuing to differentiate between people using color and gender.
Sadly yes, and in such a way that women and minorities are more likely to be discriminated against subconsciously (to sort of correct the correction), which is why I'm not a fan of quotas, and yet at the same time we don't have any other actual solutions. Truth is, our biases exist and are discriminating against people and how we respond determines everything. It seems to me that the attitude seems to veer towards being at the expense of females and the minorities and is terribly defensive in quite a destructive way.

Thankfully companies like EA have managed to address this without artificial correction and just through culture alone.

In my little corner of the world I do see greater integration of cultures with young people showing themselves to belong to one human race. Hopefully this attitude, though music, film and television will bridge the gap between cultures and return us to a single race again.

Until then, I only hope people are more welcome to exploring the subject, their own perceptions and behaviors and maybe in another 50 years time we will be able to look back at this period and laugh.
It's a never ending loop that helps no one and only acts as another thing to divide people.
Yes. Like I said earlier, media, TV and film play a major role. They are probably the most influential players in our biases.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Keldon Alleyne on 7th September 2015 8:09pm

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Brook Davidson Artist / 3D design 3 years ago
@Keldon
Mathematically, correction of biases doesn't discriminate at all, however subconscious attention biases will cause one to focus on a particular scenario more than others. If you kept up a score card, you'll see that bias correction balances itself out such that your above scenario happens equally, one artificial bias for each natural bias.
The issue is .. I don't see it as a correction. Creating artificial biases to me is no better. It's a wolf disguised in sheep's clothing. That is all it is. To me .. it doesn't matter that the end result looks good, what I care about is how we got there.
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Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic 3 years ago
@ Brook
If your company is looking to hire more females, it then creates a bias toward females. So if a female and male had equal experience, they are going to have bias that leans more toward the female because they need more females. Thus they just now discriminated on the male for being male.
I wrote a reply earlier today that tackled this... then deleted it before posting. Some days, man, some days... :)

Yes, what you say is technically true. But there's many factors at work which will (hopefully) make it better in the long-run. Without wishing to put words into your mouth, it sounds like you're saying "two wrongs don't make a right". But that isn't the point - it's not about "wrongs" it's more about biases that act like checks and balances. We're now at the point where we need to explicitly alter hiring practices in order to balance previous gender bias.

What we have had up until recently is an implicit bias towards men/Caucasians in the workforce (whether conscious or subconscious). The push for diversity is an attempt to make up for that by having an explicit bias towards women/minorities. Rather than assuming that a sinking ship (lack of diversity) will right itself, this explicit bias is meant to correct an unwelcome workforce gender disparity by pushing employers into giving roles to women/minorities. By forcing employers to choose women, it corrects an unnatural inequality in the workforce.

The argument's conclusion is that once women/minorities become more accepted in a given role, successive generations of women/minorities will find it easier to fill that role without the explicit bias that helped the initial wave of standard-bearers gain a foothold.

Now, you can argue that it isn't an unnatural inequality, and that women don't want to go into STEM-industries, but you then have to question why. Is it because they genuinely don't care, or is it because hostility and bad hiring practices make them feel unwelcome? Obviously, the answer isn't one or the other, but dependent on the individual. So, can we make people go into an industry they don't want to do? No. But can we make it more hospitable and easier for them if they do? Yes.

(Also, man, I spent so long on this comment... I should've just refreshed the page and read Keldon's comment. :) )

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Morville O'Driscoll on 7th September 2015 8:26pm

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Brook Davidson Artist / 3D design 3 years ago
@Lain
Christ. Considering the industry this all represents, GamesIndustry.biz comments can sure suck the joy out of anything
Hmm .. well I do have to point out it's better to discuss these things than to simply leave it as is and ignore it. In fact, if you want things to improve, this is really the only way to do it. Find the problems, and fix them, or at least try to.

If anything, it should be encouraged to discuss these sort of things. At least I like to think so.
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Keldon Alleyne Strategic keyboard basher, Avasopht Ltd3 years ago
I think Moorville has said everything I wanted to say much more clearly, ...
To think these are the same and one can correct the other like they are some sort factors in an mathematical equation is very short sighted.
I don't think they are the same, all I'm getting at is that on a pure numerical basis, Brook's fear is not rational. Of course artificial correction is explicit and as such people will perceive it differently so yes, I am fully aware of that John.
I just think you shouldn't be discriminating against people
But we do, which is what is being addressed here.

I'll say it again, my position is to address media, film and television first, which is terribly biased and we have far too much lore on the influence of the media on perceptions already to ignore it.
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Brook Davidson Artist / 3D design 3 years ago
@Morville
What we have had up until recently is an implicit bias towards men/Caucasians in the workforce (whether conscious or subconscious). The push for diversity is an attempt to make up for that by having an explicit bias towards women/minorities. Rather than assuming that a sinking ship (lack of diversity) will right itself, this explicit bias is meant to correct an unwelcome workforce gender disparity by pushing employers into giving roles to women/minorities. By forcing employers to choose women, it corrects an unnatural inequality in the workforce.
I still don't think it's right. Even if it is correcting a problem. Again, I care about how we get there, not just that the result looks good.
The argument's conclusion is that once women/minorities become more accepted in a given role, successive generations of women/minorities will find it easier to fill that role without the explicit bias that helped the initial wave of standard-bearers gain a foothold.
This is a very large assumption here, we don't even know if that would actually happen. It could, though I think it highly depends on the industry and roles we are talking about and how much discrimination actually plays a part.
Now, you can argue that it isn't an unnatural inequality, and that women don't want to go into STEM-industries, but you then have to question why. Is it because they genuinely don't care, or is it because hostility and bad hiring practices make them feel unwelcome?
Yes, I agree. Asking why is always an important question.
So, can we make people go into an industry they don't want to do? No. But can we make it more hospitable and easier for them if they do? Yes.
And of course I never said anything against that, so why are you bringing it up. My only issue is how .. you get there. If you get there by using more discrimination .. then I simply don't agree. I don't care if we have no other way to fix the problem. If you don't have a good way to do it .. then you don't do it at all, or you keep looking for a better way to do it.
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James Berg Games User Researcher, EA Canada3 years ago
If only we had some interactive medium that we could contribute to removing the biases, through engaging with diverse characters and portrayals of events.. :)

Good discussion folks, thanks for keeping it going, and keeping it friendly.
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Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic 3 years ago
@ Brook
This is a very large assumption here, we don't even know if that would actually happen. It could, though I think it highly depends on the industry and roles we are talking about and how much discrimination actually plays a part.
Mmmm... I'm not knowledgeable enough about it (currently), but perhaps women serving in the Armed Forces is a useful comparison? Maybe? Not just because "historically male-dominated", but also because it's within our life-time, so it may be a useful yard-stick from a societal perspective. Certainly in the US Armed Forces there's the same stories of sexism, bullying (and worse) that can be found in this industry. I'll try and dig around in this comparison, actually, when I'm less tired. :)
And of course I never said anything against that, so why are you bringing it up.
Natural conclusion of argument, nothing more. :)
My only issue is how .. you get there. If you get there by using more discrimination .. then I simply don't agree. I don't care if we have no other way to fix the problem. If you don't have a good way to do it .. then you don't do it at all, or you keep looking for a better way to do it.
The problem with that is that nothing would get done? What one person finds perfect, another may find imperfect - at what point do you just shrug and push something through regardless of the nay-sayers? Also, to you it's not a good solution, but I'm sure to the women/minorities who can change things for the better (by enforcing change from within) it's an acceptable practice.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Morville O'Driscoll on 7th September 2015 9:07pm

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Brook Davidson Artist / 3D design 3 years ago
@Morville
The problem with that is that nothing would get done? For one thing, what one person finds perfect, another may find imperfect - at what point do you just shrug and push something through regardless of the nay-sayers? For another, to you, it's not a good solution, but I'm sure to the women/minorities who can change things for the better (by enforcing change from within) it's an acceptable practice.
Well .. I am not trying to look for a perfect solution, I am trying to find a solution that isn't hypocritical.
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Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic 3 years ago
Well .. I am not trying to look for a perfect solution, I am trying to find a solution that isn't hypocritical.
Ehhhhhhh... Humans! Whatcha gonna do?

Sorry, that sounds flippant, but, actually, I see what you mean, I just don't think you've got a chance. Not when so many things we do (as a species and in various cultures) are hypocritical. :(
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Keldon Alleyne Strategic keyboard basher, Avasopht Ltd3 years ago
Brook Davidson: I don't care if we have no other way to fix the problem.
I think it's all too easy to say, "I don't care," when one does not have to bite the bullet.

In any case, it is our responsibility as human beings to correct the wrongs of the past that have led to this climate.

One thing I do notice when studying behavior is how intent is displayed. When someone really wants to do something they tend to seek actions towards (no matter how correct), otherwise if not too interested they are highly critical of any change.

If we are not uncomfortable with inequality then something is terribly wrong.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Keldon Alleyne on 7th September 2015 10:03pm

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Andrew Watson Tools Programmer 3 years ago
Correct me if I'm wrong, but if the point of diversity is to get more different opinions and experiences into one place to come up with better solutions to problems, then surely you want diverse culture, knowledge, and experience rather than race or gender? Why are the latter two even related at all?
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Lewis Brown Snr Sourcer/Recruiter, Electronic Arts3 years ago
Its quite interesting that everyone is hung up on the what if you have 2 identical candidates question....I have hired over my career maybe 400 people and think this is a red hearing, I have very rarely encountered a true "I don't know which situation?", lots of "I would hire both", but rarely a deadlock. When its been close its a case of talking through the candidates fit for the post etc...driven by suitability and capability above all else.

@ John I think the above answer you first question, with regards to the second. Its something leadership in HR, Recruitment and the business look at. In terms of really working out what success is I would say its early days. On a day to day basis its more about the events I mentioned in my first post, encouraging and attracting the best diverse talent to come into process at the beginning and just being very open to everyone.

The industry has a huge way to go at a grass roots, within the industry currently and attracting the best talent from other sectors on the Diversity front and I am very happy to be part of those getting involved at the front line.
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Brook Davidson Artist / 3D design 3 years ago
@Keldon
I think it's all too easy to say, "I don't care," when one does not have to bite the bullet.
You are taking my comment out of context. I am not saying I don't care about the situation as a whole, I am saying I don't care if we don't have the solution to the problem as of right now. I care about working to solve the problem, not using something that just causes more problems. Talking to you is a headache, because you seem to not understand a thing I am saying.
In any case, it is our responsibility as human beings to correct the wrongs of the past that have led to this climate.
Yes, and in an appropriate manner. I didn't say we shouldn't correct things, I am saying forcing diversity is the wrong way to do it. What on earth do you not understand about that?
One thing I do notice when studying behavior is how intent is displayed. When someone really wants to do something they tend to seek actions towards (no matter how correct), otherwise if not too interested they are highly critical of any change.
No . .you simply just have no clue what I am saying or you are ignoring my points. I never stated I didn't want change. Not once, nor is it implied. What I want .. is way to eliminate discrimination without creating more discrimination. A non hypocritical way to solve the problem.

The thing you need to remember, is not every way to solve a problem is the right way to solve a problem.
If we are not uncomfortable with inequality then something is terribly wrong.
*sighs* I wonder if you even read what I wrote.
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Brook Davidson Artist / 3D design 3 years ago
@Lewis
Its quite interesting that everyone is hung up on the what if you have 2 identical candidates question....I have hired over my career maybe 400 people and think this is a red hearing, I have very rarely encountered a true "I don't know which situation?", lots of "I would hire both", but rarely a deadlock. When its been close its a case of talking through the candidates fit for the post etc...driven by suitability and capability above all else.
Ya, I know. It's rare, but it doesn't change the fact that .. if you are looking for diversity .. it very likely would occur in that manner. When in reality we shouldn't be look at skin color or sex at all during the hiring process regardless if the company is diverse or not. It simply shouldn't even be a factor.
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Lewis Brown Snr Sourcer/Recruiter, Electronic Arts3 years ago
I am sure metrics will be looked at as they are with all things and we have people focused on Diversity as we would with all manner of things. In terms of pressure to do things in a forced way that's not my experience at EA as someone on the front line, more a focus on inclusion, activities such as mentioned in my first post and a cultural philosophy at the company.
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Keldon Alleyne Strategic keyboard basher, Avasopht Ltd3 years ago
I am not saying I don't care about the situation as a whole, I am saying I don't care if we don't have the solution to the problem as of right now.
Brook, I didn't think I'd have to quote your entire sentence to prove I've read it, of course I can read and understand what you're saying, it's not complicated at all. I just want to raise awareness to how pernicious the current bias is and what the implications of your sentiments mean in all practicality.

When people empathise you can see it, and I don't think you can empathise and prefer inequality over forced equality at the same time. You will see different attitudes towards the subject.

The idea of doing nothing (not saying you said that) though suggests denial, and I was appalled at that suggestion of anonymous posting. Accountability and professionalism is king, and is what keeps GI discussions adult and mature.

But kudos to those who have seen the statistics on racial bias and actually taken the time out to introspect on themselves. When I did so I gained a lot from the process as it causes you to unravel the mind a little. More kudos to those actively engaged, participating and taking action.
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Keldon Alleyne Strategic keyboard basher, Avasopht Ltd3 years ago
My point is that we may already be at a natural equilibrium point or very close to it
John, this has nothing to do with equilibrium. Please examine the recent history regarding race and equality.

See the chart in article below. No equilibrium for race. The gender gap is slowly decreasing but it's still huge. Reminder: candidates are discriminated against from the CV stage by name (and if I recall location). Other facts eliminate education as well as increases in education were not met with increases in wages or job prospects (in the UK at least).

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonkblog/wp/2012/09/30/a-closer-look-at-the-pay-gap-in-charts/
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Keldon Alleyne Strategic keyboard basher, Avasopht Ltd3 years ago
I don't think you are empathizing with the people who ultimately would be the ones that are going to lose out
Currently John, who is losing out right now? Your notion of "lose out" is relative to biases. They will "lose" just as much with natural equality so that argument isn't kosher.

Maternity is a though one.

It's not a matter of "socialist" thinking, just being practical. It's all too easy to defer towards a theoretical solution, but fact remains that the figures don't hint towards it.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Keldon Alleyne on 8th September 2015 10:06am

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Keldon Alleyne Strategic keyboard basher, Avasopht Ltd3 years ago
It is socialist thinking. It's the belief that we are all entitled to the same outcome or as close to it as possible
@John: I'm going to stop you right there. Racial equality is not socialism. Period. John, all studies show that people of equal skill are less likely to even get an interview based purely on race. Racial equality is not socialism.
If two people go for a job and gender or race is used so the other person get's the job then try making that argument to the person who lost out.
But isn't that what racial bias does anyway? The bias being implicit makes it no different. Minorities are losing out right now purely because of race.
At the very least if you are expecting other people to lose out on jobs due to you policy views the very least you can do is refrain from insulting them while you do it.
@John: like I said, jobs are only lost relative to the bias, so removing the bias isn't a loss unless you think you have a right to that bias - and even if not enforced by policy (which I wasn't suggesting), any social change that removes bias results in the same "loss" (which isn't an actual loss, because it comes from a bias). And it is that sense of privilege that stunts development. People think they have a right to the bias, thus considering any correction of the bias as an actual loss, unaware that the actual losses are coming from those who are discriminated against right now.

I get it that you feel defensive. Truth is, the subject matter is awkward. It's awkward for me to talk about it because I know how so many people see this, that they see it just as you do and feel entitled to the bias they benefit from.

If equality is achieved naturally rather than through policy, the net difference is practically identical, right? So when you oppose manual equality because of supposed "losses," that notion of losses is also opposition to equality itself, since the same amount of "loss" takes place. That's all I'm getting at.
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Keldon Alleyne Strategic keyboard basher, Avasopht Ltd3 years ago
@John: you might notice that I've only ever discussed what it is and that I favour forced equality over inequality (preference, not advocacy, for reasons I've not mentioned). Read through and you'll see my actual suggestions are: media, TV, film, music, culture, integration, introspection and mindfulness.

I also think there are a lot of subtle presumptions (see link below for more info), like the idea of a person in forced equality only getting the job because of race. That is an illusion of perspective because if correction was employed they would still have to have been a top candidate in the first place, but it is always assumed they had no comparable skill.

The main reason I discuss this topic is to highlight the biases we are unaware of purely in the way we perceive this subject. You can at least accept that like me, you have biases you are unaware of. See Akala's video on everyday racism (courtesy of The Guardian) for examples of how even even black people unwittingly demonstrate negative prejudice against themselves. This should give you a better understanding of how much negative bias there is and how influential and damaging it is.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Keldon Alleyne on 8th September 2015 11:27am

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Brook Davidson Artist / 3D design 3 years ago
@Keldon
Ya, I am done with this subject. You claim you understand what I have said, but it's pretty clear you don't. Not even close.
I favour forced equality over inequality.
Just to point out to you . .that isn't what you favor. What you favor is forced inequality. Just because you make the numbers equal doesn't mean you are no longer discriminating. That is where you are misunderstanding. All you are doing is instead of being random in your inequality .. you are doing it in a more structured manner to make it look better. It's still inequality though. You are simply masquerading it as equality.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Brook Davidson on 8th September 2015 11:30am

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Keldon Alleyne Strategic keyboard basher, Avasopht Ltd3 years ago
Ya, I am done with this subject. You claim you understand what I have said, but it's pretty clear you don't. Not even close.
Your thinking is this:
1. You would rather a non forced solution, something else, but not a forced solution, even if it was the only solution.
2. You consider forced equality to take jobs away from people because of race.

Did I miss anything?

Where we differ is how we perceive that thinking. Correct me if I'm wrong.
That is where you are misunderstanding. All you are doing is instead of being random in your inequality
The current inequality isn't random, it's biased. There is a difference.

I understand your point of view (it's not complicated), we simply disagree on perspectives, preference and priorities for reasons that haven't been discussed. Empathy and curiosity causes people to inquire.

To consider forced equality as inequality is interesting given that the same CV has to go out 50% more times just because it has an African sounding name.

You seem to be confusing understanding with sharing perspective. If that were true, then would it be fair to say that you too don't understand what I'm saying? Of course not.

--

On the other hand, forced equality aside, please, what are your suggestions on addressing equality, biases and prejudices? For reference, mine were media, TV, television, music, integration, introspection and mindfulness.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Keldon Alleyne on 8th September 2015 11:44am

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Brook Davidson Artist / 3D design 3 years ago
Your thinking is this:
1. You would rather a non forced solution, something else, but not a forced solution, even if it was the only solution.
.
The solution being forced isn't the problem. The problem is forcing specifically diversity because it means you still have to discriminate in order to make the work place forcibly diverse.. I swear you have reading comprehension problems or something. I don't mean to insult .. but common ... freaking read the dang sentence . .it's pretty clear. I don't know how to get anymore clear than that . .and you some how still keep misunderstanding some how. It's really irritating.
2. You consider forced equality to take jobs away from people because of race.
Forced diversity .. not forced equality. These words are very different. Just because a work place isn't diverse, doesn't mean there is some form of inequality going on. However, forcing diversity does cause inequality. That is my point. It causes inequality because it means in order to get the numbers you want, you have to choose based on skin color or sex. It makes it a factor in the hiring process, when it shouldn't be at all.
Did I miss anything?
Ya. .everything.. Good job.
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Keldon Alleyne Strategic keyboard basher, Avasopht Ltd3 years ago
I swear you have reading comprehension problems or something. I don't mean to insult
But you do mean to insult Brook. It's not the first time you've done so, it seems to be your modus operandi. It says a lot about you, sadly.
The solution being forced isn't the problem ... The problem is forcing specifically diversity
So let me get this straight, you are saying that the problem isn't the solution being forced, but forcing the solution (diversity). Or maybe you're perceiving the "solution" as something else, what is that? Of course, I think the problem isn't purely one of comprehension or clarity, but attitude. It's much more productive to seek to understand than insult.

My guess however is that your behavior (insults) will get this topic locked like the last topic.

Edited 3 times. Last edit by Keldon Alleyne on 8th September 2015 12:28pm

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I hate having to step around my usual ignore list to see what's going on when a topic explodes like this but can I just remind everyone posting here to be respectful of each other. Bear in mind that a lot of people read this site but don't necessarily comment, and your attitudes toward other users in this casual but still professional space speak volumes.

I don't want to stifle intelligent debate, but this is starting to look more like bickering back and forth at this point.
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Keldon Alleyne Strategic keyboard basher, Avasopht Ltd3 years ago
@Jessica: agreed.
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Bonnie Patterson Narrative Designer, Writer 3 years ago
What's happening isn't companies hiring people based on the colour of their skin or their gender in order to be diverse. What's happening is that they're stopping doing that.

Everyone has unconscious prejudices; they're washed into our brains from the moment we learn to see and hear. When we're dealing with someone from a perceived "lower status" group, we skip over the details of what's really there and fill in the blanks with what we subconsciously expect. You can even watch it happening, right there in the neurons.

That doesn't happen with white guys. Everyone's thoroughly learned that they're top of the heap, no matter the conclusions he or she might have come to in the conscious mind.

The only thing that counters these unconscious prejudices is exposure, and the effects of exposure are sharpened by our willingness to pay attention. The more kinds of people you mix with - at work, socially, in the family - and are exposed to in media, and the more you share their experience, through talking, being present, watching - basically learning to see them in different roles rather than the immediate stereotypes that tell you what that person is "for" (and remember that the unconscious mind is much, much slower on the uptake than the conscious; it takes time and repetition to drive it in).

As for EA's motives in making these statements, please don't forget that we women in the games industry have been asking companies to make exactly this kind of statement, so we can show it to girls we're mentoring and to make it more commonly known that yes, video games are a career you can suggest to girls in schools. So maybe instead of dark and sinister motives, they're just doing what we asked for?

And with regards to maternity, it would be nice if anyone checked if we are planning on having children - if we are even capable of having them - before deciding not to employ us or drop our wages because "women have children."

And here's the other thing:

So do guys. A guy is involved somewhere in the production of at least 98% of all offspring. And they are entitled to Paternity Leave in most - if not all - of the EU. It's the same length as maternity leave minus the time for actual medical inability to work.

In those countries where men are encouraged to use their paternity leave, the results to date have been highly positive, both for families and for the employers, who seem to think that both mothers and fathers return to work in a better state having shared the early weeks.
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Adam Campbell Game Manager, Azoomee3 years ago
I really appreciate your posts Keldon and of course, Jessica and Morville.

I don't have a one stop solution to the issue of diversity in our industry but one things for sure, ignoring it or closing down any discussion as 'not important' only insures we're doing ourselves a disservice and in many cases, failing people.

Why wouldn't you want to remove any barriers people may face to getting employment? Why wouldn't you want to find ways to create an environment where huge portions of the productive population would actually like to work in the industry and can?

As for whether diversity 'matters' or not, well, yes it does. Apart form generally getting more of the population working in the industry, we should be aiming to, the opportunity for different perspectives and world views is incredible and you can see the effects in other industries and aspects of life.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Adam Campbell on 8th September 2015 3:06pm

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Keldon Alleyne Strategic keyboard basher, Avasopht Ltd3 years ago
This is an example of that. If you live in a society that treats you like a victim then you begin to behave like a victim. Victims don't stand up for themselves. Victims wait and expect others to stand up for them.
@John: this is nothing to do with behaving like a victim. No matter how much a person stands up for themselves, they still have to send out more CV's and are subject to biases. Having a positive attitude doesn't mean you must be oblivious to discrimination. You can quite happily be focused towards your own solutions by your own strength and at the same time lobby for just measures because you are aware of its true influence.

I do agree with you that in that correcting equality can result in further negative biases. My only comment was just that it is still better than the current situation (this is just a preference). Problem is, just about anything done to address equality will face objections and could be viewed in very much the same way - barring mindfulness and introspection.

I think Bonnie said it well, awareness and attention are key.

In terms of the benefits of diversity. I think it's sad that the only way to stimulate equality is to tout the benefits of diversity, as in, it seems as if we are only motivated to fix a serious problem for gain, not out of empathy or having values of equality. Maybe Seligman was right, just focus on self actualization and equality may be a natural by-product (similar to the mindfulness and introspection approach).
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Adam Campbell Game Manager, Azoomee3 years ago
I wanted Obama to win the presidency even though I disagree with him on policy for no other reason that I hoped it would serve as an example and dispel the ideology of victim hood.
There are a huge number of people in the US and worldwide who think Obama's rise 'to the top' means society is post discrimination and there are no barriers for people to be successful or represented other than oneself. I think its sad.

Hilary Clinton could become the next US president, it still doesn't mean women in society necessarily get the same deal, or don't have barriers for whatever reasons may be behind it. The reasons go deep and delving into them is tiring for anyone.

A strong individualist ideology, prevents people from taking a collective responsibility. Like Keldon said, its not even about playing a victim but recognising the situation in the quest for you and others like you, or even not like you to achieve their best.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Adam Campbell on 8th September 2015 2:15pm

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Keldon Alleyne Strategic keyboard basher, Avasopht Ltd3 years ago
That sounds a bit like a victim and I did say I know it's not fair. At what point do you believe you are being discriminated against as opposed to simply not being good enough for the job you are applying for and how does that then change someone's behavior.
It is also what an honest person would say about discrimination. Fact remains, studies in UK, France and America (a study that is very easy to carry out correctly) shows biases at the CV stage. It is far too simple of a study to get wrong. Plus biases have been shown across the board. Let's not pretend there aren't racial biases and that it's all down to political outlook. Every study proves that notion to be false.

In terms of considering whether one was discriminated against. Technically you cannot pin any single event down to discrimination, that is faulty logic, but your prospects will be lower regardless. Bear in mind I've only mentioned the sending out of CV's. Also given increases in education were not met with equivalent increases in wages, we can be certain that it is not purely down to skill or ability either.

But these are some of the problems, because from the moment one asserts there is no discrimination and it is purely down to skill, the blame is shifted onto the subject, when it is incorrect to do so based on what we know about racial biases.

To acknowledge prejudice does not mean a negative outlook. It's like suggesting that people who assert that there are scarcities have a "scarcity mindset." You can acknowledge scarcity and still have a positive outlook. They're not mutually exclusive when you are mindful.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Keldon Alleyne on 8th September 2015 2:38pm

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Bonnie Patterson Narrative Designer, Writer 3 years ago
"but it's a view shared by plenty if not most people from minorities who have made it."

Except for all those industry surveys where those very people from minorities who have made it into our industry say the current system is biased against them and could easily be improved to be less partisan in its practices.
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Darren Adams Managing Director, ChaosTrend3 years ago
Damn, this article was so close to having a happy comment collection. Maybe next time....

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Darren Adams on 8th September 2015 5:10pm

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Brook Davidson Artist / 3D design 3 years ago
@Keldon
But you do mean to insult Brook. It's not the first time you've done so, it seems to be your modus operandi. It says a lot about you, sadly.
What else do you want me to call a person who seems to be having trouble understanding what is written?
Here is the definition: Reading comprehension is the ability to read text, process it and understand its meaning.
So if you seem to be having trouble with what I am saying, then that is really what it seems like to me.
Also .. it doesn't say much about me at all besides that I get frustrated.
So let me get this straight, you are saying that the problem isn't the solution being forced, but forcing the solution (diversity).
Diversity isn't the solution. That doesn't create equality. You can have an equal amount of males, females, all races, sexual orientations .. etc. If there is discrimination still going on .. that isn't equality. Getting equal numbers is very different than having equality among people. Also .. how you got to those equal numbers also lead to inequality as well, because in order to get that diversity required taking all these factors into consideration during the hiring process.

I feel like a damned parrot. -.- Not like you are going to understand that anyway.
Or maybe you're perceiving the "solution" as something else, what is that?
The solution is a less hypocritical way of doing things, that doesn't involve discrimination in the hiring process at all. We don't currently have such a solution but that doesn't mean we shouldn't look for one. All I am advocating for is a better solution, not no solution. You are advocating for a faulty solution.
Of course, I think the problem isn't purely one of comprehension or clarity, but attitude. It's much more productive to seek to understand than insult.
Really .. then what about the entire conversation we had prior where I didn't insult you? What now you are going to use that one insult . .that might very well be true, as some scapegoat for the reason this conversation has ended up the way it is? Please .. the insult only occurred in the last comment. It also doesn't negate any of my points I have made. The issue is you simply don't understand the points I have made.
My guess however is that your behavior (insults) will get this topic locked like the last topic.
Oh sure .. blame me as if you actually know it was I who caused the topic being locked. Yet you wonder why I insulted you. However, maybe you can point me to the article, because as far as I am aware, most articles I participate in don't get locked.

Edited 3 times. Last edit by Brook Davidson on 8th September 2015 8:47pm

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Brook Davidson Artist / 3D design 3 years ago
@Bonnie
What's happening isn't companies hiring people based on the colour of their skin or their gender in order to be diverse. What's happening is that they're stopping doing that.
To push diversity, will automatically create a bias because you are looking to create such diversity. If you want an equal amount of diversity it means you have to think about who you hire based on things you shouldn't being hiring based off of, such as skin color.
It's essentially the same thing. It didn't solve the problem, it only hid it.
Everyone has unconscious prejudices; they're washed into our brains from the moment we learn to see and hear. When we're dealing with someone from a perceived "lower status" group, we skip over the details of what's really there and fill in the blanks with what we subconsciously expect. You can even watch it happening, right there in the neurons.
Yep ,and I am saying in the quest for diversity ... it makes that worse. Just, instead of it being random, it's now designed to make numbers more equal. If you know you need more females in the work place, then subconsciously that is going to be part of the hiring process.
The only thing that counters these unconscious prejudices is exposure, and the effects of exposure are sharpened by our willingness to pay attention. The more kinds of people you mix with - at work, socially, in the family - and are exposed to in media, and the more you share their experience, through talking, being present, watching - basically learning to see them in different roles rather than the immediate stereotypes that tell you what that person is "for" (and remember that the unconscious mind is much, much slower on the uptake than the conscious; it takes time and repetition to drive it in).
I agree, but the problem I see is how we get there. Forcing diversity isn't how to go about it. Also . .don't act like it isn't being forced, because it is. If there are initiatives to hiring more of any individual sex or race, such as competitions, grants, or anything else for that matter and you don't have the same for every race and every sex .. then that means it's inequality right there. It's not solving the problem, it's just changing it into something that looks better on the outside. When eternally the same crap is still going on.
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Keldon Alleyne Strategic keyboard basher, Avasopht Ltd3 years ago
What else do you want me to call a person who seems to be having trouble understanding what is written?
Here is the definition: Reading comprehension is the ability to read text, process it and understand its meaning.
So if you seem to be having trouble with what I am saying, then that is really what it seems like to me.
Also .. it doesn't say much about me at all besides that I get frustrated.
People can get frustrated without being condescending and arrogant.

You presume I cannot comprehend simple thoughts, yet the thought has never crossed your mind that you could just as easily have misunderstood my responses (which you have funnily enough). The difference is that I'm not so arrogant as to think you don't have comprehension skills and I am also aware of how common miscommunication is as a result of the ambiguity present in context specific responses.

The sooner people become more tolerant of miscommunication and more geared towards understanding each other the better able we are to discuss sensitive subjects.

I'll reiterate, your responses showed that you did not understand a few things that I said. So either we both have no comprehension skills or it's just plain old miscommunication, which is much more likely given we've both graduated from universities and written essays and dissertations.
Getting equal numbers is very different than having equality among people. Also .. how you got to those equal numbers also lead to inequality as well, because in order to get that diversity required taking all these factors into consideration during the hiring process
Equality does not mean having equal numbers. Is that what you think equality is? Perhaps that is the first missing link in our miscommunication. Edit: ignore that, ... misread that, ...

Anyway I'm sure we can have a much more productive discussion without the ego.

Edited 3 times. Last edit by Keldon Alleyne on 8th September 2015 9:31pm

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Brook Davidson Artist / 3D design 3 years ago
@Keldon
Equality does not mean having equal numbers. Is that what you think equality is?
*facepalms* And yet you say you are comprehending me just fine.

Holy crap. I'm done.

Edit: I will insult myself. Clearly ... I am such a terrible writer that anything I seem to write you get the opposite impression of what I am trying to say. I didn't even know it was possible to be so terrible at writing. I mean just look at that. I essentially said equality does not mean having equal numbers, and ... you think I said the opposite.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Brook Davidson on 8th September 2015 9:15pm

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Keldon Alleyne Strategic keyboard basher, Avasopht Ltd3 years ago
You're right, I did skim that a little (my bad). You are saying that equality is not about getting equal numbers, right ;) Yes, I understand that, it's not complicated, really.

To be honest, I just saw the mention of achieving equal numbers, copy/pasted. But, what was the equal numbers in relation to anyway? I'm a little confused as to how it came into the conversation in the first place, why did you bring up equal numbers?

Edited 3 times. Last edit by Keldon Alleyne on 8th September 2015 9:30pm

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Brook Davidson Artist / 3D design 3 years ago
@Keldon
You're right, I did skim that a little.
Thus, I will no longer talk to you on this subject. If you are skimming through what I say .. then that very well could be why we have such a miscommunication. Let's just leave this one to rest.
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And people wondered why I was so pleased when this site got an 'Ignore User' function... Keldon, might I suggest that you stop wasting your time arguing with a brick wall and use the button? It makes this place much more pleasant, I assure you.
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Brook Davidson Artist / 3D design 3 years ago
@Jessica
Ignoring people only shows you are the one who is a brick wall because you ignore people who disagree with you. Very contradicting.
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Tom Keresztes Programmer 3 years ago
Brook, spot on about ignoring people. Could not agree more.
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Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic 3 years ago
I don't know... Not specifically related to anyone here, but I can definitely see why people take the line of reasoning that "I shouldn't have to educate other people about their privilege, they should learn on their own". Ignoring users can be a good way to stay sane if people are unwilling to examine themselves (and their situations) fully. :)
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Brook Davidson Artist / 3D design 3 years ago
@Morville
Well, I personally feel if someone has that much issue with disagreement to the point of needing to ignore to stay sane, they really shouldn't even bother discussing in the first place.

I personally, love disagreement and debate. Especially when someone makes a good enough point that I change my mind on a subject and admit being wrong. I find it more interesting when that happens. The down side is when I feel like my points are not coming across correctly or being misunderstood. I get very frustrated. Even more so when I don't understand why the person isn't understanding and I don't know how to make it any clearer.
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Keldon Alleyne Strategic keyboard basher, Avasopht Ltd3 years ago
You know my suggestion has always been mindfulness, integration, introspection and addressing representation in the media, TV and film, which I think are the biggest influencers.

I was only saying I prefer forced equality over inequality. Addressing the source of the biases is key.

There is also the network effect given that 40% of jobs come through contacts, so integration may also play a strong role in this too; not only in changing perceptions but also in the availability of opportunities.

Edited 5 times. Last edit by Keldon Alleyne on 9th September 2015 12:16pm

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Helen Merete Simm Senior UI Artist, Ubisoft Reflections3 years ago
Thanks for pointing out that button Jessica, that specific user has often deterred me from commenting on gender related subjects on here, as they seem to need to dominate the comments sections.
They have the right to their opinion of course, but its nice to not have to witness the repetitive bickering.
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Keldon Alleyne Strategic keyboard basher, Avasopht Ltd3 years ago
@bonnie: I only use ignore with clear trolls / persistently rude people, but we don't have that here so I can't imagine ever needing it.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Keldon Alleyne on 9th September 2015 11:14am

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Adam Campbell Game Manager, Azoomee3 years ago
These issues can be summed up in one argument repeated a variety of ways.

"I'm special so you have to do things for me."
"No you aren't and no I don't"
Its not that. Its really the difference between those who perceive there to be an issue and those who don't.

1. "I'm observing or experiencing barriers/bias/discrimination in my industry/society and think we should have a discussion and come up with potential solutions."

2. "I don't see an issue, I'm not discriminate myself, I think its about personal merit."

I tend to find a lot of wasted energy either goes into derailing the first point, with people who believe diversity, bias and all of the above are non issues and will try hard to prove they are non issues, often by using their own experience as an unaffected person . Or for people who do believe its an issue, they will waste a lot of energy arguing against those who don't.

Its not just about games, we see the same thing over and over again in all discussions about race, gender etc.

The best thing anyone can do in response to a claim of a lack of diversity or a claim of any other issues such as discrimination or bias, is simply to listen. For those who do recognize an issue, it would be more constructive to attempt to quantify it and come up with practical solutions if shown.

The only reason these discussions go so many comments and pages on whatever the platform, is because the core issue ends up being derailed, particularly by those who either have not experienced, cannot sympathize with it or think it doesn't exist. This is a waste of time.

On this topic particularly, there are some quantifiable issues that have been identified. i.e. grass roots girls in STEM and games dev, competition with other industries for talent, job application bias all which can be quantified. It would be wonderful if people, participating members of the industry wouldn't spend so much energy derailing the topic and diminishing it, when you could be either use energy on being part of the solution or doing something else.

Ultimately, the frustration from both sides just ends up in a prolonged slanging match, even from people usually of good nature. We shouldn't have to be using ignore lists.

Edited 3 times. Last edit by Adam Campbell on 9th September 2015 11:27am

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We shouldn't have to be using ignore lists.
I agree, but I have spent far too much time arguing endlessly on the Internet with people who refuse to listen to want to waste my time with more of that. I'd rather talk to people who, even when they disagree, do so respectfully and make an effort to listen to what I'm saying.
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Justin Biddle Software Developer 3 years ago
@Brook
You do realise that Jessica pretty much implied she'd pushed the ignore user button so she's not going to read anything you direct at her. Rendering your direct reply to her somewhat futile :D

Concerning something you wrote in general later on not directed at Jessica.
The down side is when I feel like my points are not coming across correctly or being misunderstood. I get very frustrated. Even more so when I don't understand why the person isn't understanding and I don't know how to make it any clearer.
Concerning this though there is an important to make. No matter how well you feel you have formed your argument if someone doesn't accept your position it doesn't mean they are stupid or not reading you correctly. It doesn't mean by not accepting what you're saying is correct that they have misunderstood. It means they don't agree with you despite that. That's not a dig. You quite rightly have an opinion that means you just don't accept their arguments either and that is definitely your right just as it is there's to dismiss your arguments even if you feel you've made a strong irrefutable case. To them you haven't just as to you they haven't. Some discussions will end with two people holding very different opinions that no amount of debating will change and that is fine

Edited 4 times. Last edit by Justin Biddle on 9th September 2015 12:32pm

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Adam Campbell Game Manager, Azoomee3 years ago
I can completely sympathise. I'm even a little angry for feeling the need to write my last post, because that's time and frustrated energy I could be using to propose some solutions to the problems. I think there are several actually and they could make a difference big or small if we let them.

Some users who get angry every time they see a post regarding feminism or women in games have already volunteered not to enter the discussion, because they know they're going to derail it. I prefer as many people to be part of a discussion as possible but if its going to waste time then there's no need to be there.

For the rest of us, there are times we get frustrated and I can't imagine having such a hostile discussion face to face. We really do need to be more respectful of each other. Those trying to change things may discover different solutions, those who are not so keen may discover a new perspective. I can't be the only one who feels little progress has actually been made in this area for the number of debates and arguments to date.
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Adam Campbell Game Manager, Azoomee3 years ago
@John

It wasn't an accusation at all, so sorry if you read it that way. I was offering an alternative view of what the two core arguments actually are. It may seem meaningless, but its quite important.

What I was saying is that the argument isn't usually about people who feel entitled and people who don't (feel they're entitled). Its about people who see an issue and people who don't see an issue.

'Entitlements' you could argue are one way of forcing diversity and special dispensation (and I know its one argument within this thread), but not everyone believes in special entitlements, even if they think action needs to be taken on the subject. So its not necessarily a defining position in the argument between two sides in most of these discussions. I would say its much simpler than that.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Adam Campbell on 9th September 2015 12:46pm

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Keldon Alleyne Strategic keyboard basher, Avasopht Ltd3 years ago
Well said Justin.
John: I was referring to the arguments people make when proposing some of the more discriminatory solutions and I don't care what the intellectual theory behind it is it's still discrimination
@John: please see my comment below.
You know my suggestion has always been mindfulness, integration, introspection and addressing representation in the media, TV and film, which I think are the biggest influencers.

I was only saying I prefer forced equality over inequality. Addressing the source of the biases is key.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Keldon Alleyne on 9th September 2015 12:52pm

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Darren Adams Managing Director, ChaosTrend3 years ago
Slightly off topic, but it is really interesting looking at the patterns in these comment sections regarding race, gender and equality.

They always start civil enough, each giving their opinion or observations and going back and forth as you would expect. Then somewhere along the discussion things always start to get messy with clashing opinions and no apparent understanding from either side. Which usually result in sending the comments into petty arguments about semantics and "The might of being right" scenarios.

Try to remember that in this age of social network reality that we lose a large chunk of the emotional feedback we get from face to face discussions. Some people are better at explaining themselves than others, so we have to be kind to each other and do our best to hear people out even if we can't understand or totally disagree with them. Shutting people out is never a good thing and only furthers alienation and marginalisation of that individual/group (hence why we are here in the first place).

So what the hell am I saying?

Well as Bill and Ted once put it "Be excellent to each other". :)

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Darren Adams on 9th September 2015 1:15pm

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Keldon Alleyne Strategic keyboard basher, Avasopht Ltd3 years ago
There are lots of different viewpoints on the issue and just like politics it does tend to polarize.
Agreed and yes, the commercial benefits of diversity does provide motivation to address the subject within organizations.
Darren Adams: Try to remember that in this age of social network reality that we lose a large chunk of the emotional feedback we get from face to face discussions. Some people are better at explaining themselves than others, so we have to be kind to each other and do our best to hear people out even if we can't understand or totally disagree with them. Shutting people out is never a good thing and only furthers alienation and marginalisation of that individual/group (hence why we are here in the first place).
Well said!

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Keldon Alleyne on 9th September 2015 1:56pm

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Beware public discussion on subjects we feel emotional about, as we tend to remould the person we're debating into everything we hate about the subject. We only want to hear them repeat arguments we dislike, and to accept any point at all from them becomes a form of treachery.
Thus endeth the Left Wing parties of Europe and all forum discussions on diversity in videogames.
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Brook Davidson Artist / 3D design 3 years ago
@Adam
Its not that. Its really the difference between those who perceive there to be an issue and those who don't.

1. "I'm observing or experiencing barriers/bias/discrimination in my industry/society and think we should have a discussion and come up with potential solutions."

2. "I don't see an issue, I'm not discriminate myself, I think its about personal merit."
The strange thing is I fit into the first one. However, my views on the matter tend to be different than those who are usually on that side. It's like how when people are for equality but against feminism. Technically both sides want equality, but they don't agree with what is considered equal or how to solve the problems. I guess you could sort of say I am like in the middle. I don't think the problems are as extreme as it's made out to be. However, I do certainly still feel there is a problem.

@Justin
You do realise that Jessica pretty much implied she'd pushed the ignore user button so she's not going to read anything you direct at her. Rendering your direct reply to her somewhat futile :D
That's fine, I am still going to reply to her anyway even if she can't see it. Others are still capable of seeing it and it helps me to formulate my arguments better than to just remain silent.
Concerning this though there is an important to make. No matter how well you feel you have formed your argument if someone doesn't accept your position it doesn't mean they are stupid or not reading you correctly.
No .. see right here is what we call a misunderstanding, not a disagreement. The reason you are misunderstanding is because you are assuming I am saying someone isn't reading correctly because they disagree. That is never the reason why I say that. When I say someone isn't understanding me correctly, it's because they are not. You can usually tell with how they reply. Such as them saying you said something that you didn't, or them arguing a point that has no correlation to what you said.
Morville disagreed with me, and it ended because he understood me, and I understood him. It was over quickly, and we still technically do not agree with each other. Keldon often seemed to not really understand what I was saying.

Him and I both want equality. He believes we should force equality and I am fine with that. I actually agree with that too to some extent. However, I don't believe we should force diversity. However, for some reason it seems like Keldon feels diversity and equality is one and the same.

In other words . .we agree, for the most part funnily.
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Keldon Alleyne Strategic keyboard basher, Avasopht Ltd3 years ago
He believes we should force equality
No I don't; I only said I prefer forced equality to inequality (not that I'm necessarily advocating it, I just think it is better, and yes I am aware of the risk of it increasing negative biases for the same reasons John said, which is one of the reasons I am against it and have said this many times in the past). The first thing I said was, "I don't think the answer is quota based diversity" (quota based denoting the forced). I also said on four separate occasions that I think the best solutions are to address representation in media, film and TV as well as the use of mindfulness, integration and introspection.

Yet, even though you failed to understand what I was saying, I don't go around saying you lack comprehension skills.
it seems like Keldon feels diversity and equality
No I don't, but they are mildly related in practicality (hence why I might refer to them almost interchangeably). Equality is about having equal opportunities whereas diversity is about having people from different backgrounds. I have never said or suggested that equality and diversity are the same, nor have I ever thought they were either (or ever).

From a practical perspective, seeking diversity (I believe) is rarely about creating anything more diverse than a natural representation. The objective (again this is how I see it), is simply to address providing equal opportunities. It's why the two are often discussed together (again this is just my impression of how the subject is addressed).

Seeking diversity in and of itself can in theory (if diversity was solely sought after) lead to over representation, therefore creating inequality (pretty obvious), though diversity is only preached (at least as I see it) because of its relation to equality not for equal representation or even representation beyond the national representation (and yes Brook, I understand that equal representation does not mean equality). The relation, I would add is more to do with changing the culture of organizations that have no diversity at all, so praising diversity is more to do with addressing whatever influences may be shaping the workforce.

Edited 3 times. Last edit by Keldon Alleyne on 10th September 2015 12:00am

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Brook Davidson Artist / 3D design 3 years ago
@Keldon
No I don't; I only said I prefer forced equality to inequality. The first thing I said was, "I don't think the answer is quota based diversity" (quota based denoting the forced). I also said on four separate occasions that I would look seek solutions in addressing representation in media, film and TV as well as the use of mindfulness, integration and introspection.

Yet, even though you failed to understand what I was saying, I don't go around saying you lack comprehension skills.
Ok first of all, I just want to point this out in my defense, you replied on my comment first and I feel you where the first to misunderstand what it was that I was trying to say. Because now that you have pointed this out and I am rereading everything, I find we heavily agree for the most part, we are just saying it in different manners and both misunderstanding each other. Because I was always talking about forced diversity in particular. So if you agree "I don't think the answer is quota based diversity" ... then why did it seem like you disagreed with me?
Probably because you disagreed with the word I said "deal with it", even though I am pretty sure you didn't understand what I meant by that. Just to reiterate ... I am not saying we shouldn't do anything. I was saying deal with it, for a very specific scenario.

But anyway, I do apologize for questioning your reading comprehension, because it's pretty clear I failed at comprehending what you where trying to say as well. I also feel your use of diversity and equality and interchanging them really through me off too.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Brook Davidson on 10th September 2015 12:22am

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Evan Barnett Social Advisor, EA3 years ago
I'm kind of confused how we're equating the choice of the minority to the white person as racism if both are equally matched technically.

I'm not a hiring manager like Lewis, so take this with a grain of salt, but I think there's a lot to be said for differing view points, which would be a contributing factor in the hire. People aren't just hired for their technical skills, they're also hired based on how they will impact the job positively. If you have a predominantly white employee base, the minority applicant would definitely have more impact if all other things besides their ethnicity or race were equal by providing a different perspective.

If it is clear that both people can technically perform the job at hand, I would assume at that point the hiring managers start looking at how they will perform the job. And the white person and the minority person cannot be equal in this regard, full stop. Their lived experiences are inherently different, and will affect how their day to day behaviors and lives, which in turn affects how they go about performing the duties of their job.

And even in the scenario where the white person is more technically skilled to compensate for not providing additional view points, we're still looking at two people who are not equally matched: one is more proficient on a technical level, and one can help provide insights the other might not be able to. And then the decision is which is more important, currently.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Evan Barnett on 10th September 2015 3:19am

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Keldon Alleyne Strategic keyboard basher, Avasopht Ltd3 years ago
I find we heavily agree for the most part, we are just saying it in different manners and both misunderstanding each other.
Easily done with such a complex subject matter.
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Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic 3 years ago
Very relevant, even if it is politics:

Taiwan Is Poised to Elect Its First Woman as President
But the most influential factor, scholars say, is a series of quotas that have gradually been imposed to ensure that women are represented in government.
Efforts to bring more women into the political system began when the 1951 Constitution set aside a small number of legislative seats for women in what was then an authoritarian state. By the time democratization began, the idea that women should have a certain level of participation was already well established.
@ Brook

This is a good example of what I said above, I think:
The argument's conclusion is that once women/minorities become more accepted in a given role, successive generations of women/minorities will find it easier to fill that role without the explicit bias that helped the initial wave of standard-bearers gain a foothold.
:)

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Morville O'Driscoll on 10th September 2015 8:36pm

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Brook Davidson Artist / 3D design 3 years ago
This is a good example of what I said above, I think:

"The argument's conclusion is that once women/minorities become more accepted in a given role, successive generations of women/minorities will find it easier to fill that role without the explicit bias that helped the initial wave of standard-bearers gain a foothold."

:)
There is no reason to assume that it would do that though, as it relies heavily on the assumption that the imbalance isn't caused by women/minorities simply not being interested. So the numbers very well could just end up right back where they were.

We have no idea how much bias plays a role in the numbers being the way they are. We know bias plays some role, but how much? If it only ends up being 1% .. .do you think anyone would be satisfied with that? You can't prove it, even if it is only 1% . .and thus we will continue to try increasing it, believing it's caused by bias.

I wish there was a sure fire way to solve this problem, however, I don't see it. I feel it's always going to exist because .. there is to much we don't know and too many assumptions.

Edited 3 times. Last edit by Brook Davidson on 10th September 2015 9:58pm

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Keldon Alleyne Strategic keyboard basher, Avasopht Ltd3 years ago
By all means it makes sense to have different people offering different perspectives but should we really determine that based on their race or gender and not judge each individual on their respective merit.
When looking for diversity of thoughts and perspective, personally I think race and gender are weak metrics. I would look at how an individual works in a group. You may find general trends across cultures and genders, but you really need to take it on a case by case basis.

I tend to find people naturally fall into miscellaneous problem specific roles that drive productivity in unexpected ways. It takes a perceptive individual to be able to identify the traits that are lacking and that will best benefit the team.

An attitude towards diversity of thought result in a greater tolerance of different world views, this increasing equality and cultural diversity in a much more natural way.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Keldon Alleyne on 11th September 2015 1:05am

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Joan Graduate Fellow, University of Southern California3 years ago
As a woman who likes games and wants to work in the game industry, yes. It is patronizing.
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Keldon Alleyne Strategic keyboard basher, Avasopht Ltd3 years ago
I have found something useful, an article on reducing bias itself

http://m.fastcompany.com/3037359/strong-female-lead/how-unconscious-bias-affects-everything-you-do
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Brook Davidson Artist / 3D design 3 years ago
@Keldon
Pretty decent article.

I only have one minor issue with it. They explained how in 1970, only 5% of musicians, in the most prestigious orchestras of the world where female, but they never gave a number for how many women at the time where musicians as a whole. It's actually a pretty important factor.
If you have nearly an equal amount of musicians male and female, but only 5% are in these orchestras .. that clearly points to bias.
However, if only 5% of musicians as whole where females, then it could be either bias or other factors. You wouldn't be able to come to an accurate conclusion as easily.

In this case, I am assuming it has to do with bias considering it has drastically increased since then.

My point is, just because there are not a lot of females or males in a particular industry or activity, doesn't always necessarily mean it's due to biases. You have to really look at the statistics, and sometimes that isn't even enough. The only thing you can do .. is try different things to see if anything changes.

I do agree though, we really need to change our process of doing things when it comes to hiring and such to try and prevent as much bias as possible.
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Sam Twidale Studying Computer Systems and Software Engineering, University of York3 years ago
@Brook I linked you to the study about orchestras before. It proved that a large part of that bias went away because of the switch to blind auditions: http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2015-02-10-women-in-games-everyone-needs-a-hero#comment-96745 - Specifically: "the switch to blind' auditions can explain between 30% and 55% of the increase in the proportion female among new hires and between 25% and 46% of the increase in the percentage female in the orchestras since 1970."

Also I want to say that I read the comments here regularly and tend to find everyone has something worthwhile to add. Thank you for discrediting that "study" by Rosalind Wiseman which was covered here a few months ago, that was an eye opener for me.

@Evan
If you have a predominantly white employee base, the minority applicant would definitely have more impact if all other things besides their ethnicity or race were equal by providing a different perspective.
I'm not clear what you mean by this. Are you arguing that white candidates definitely cannot have perspectives that are as useful in a majority-white company, as compared to non-white candidates?
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Brook Davidson Artist / 3D design 3 years ago
@Sam
So you did it seems.
I some how missed it, probably overlooked it while replying to David. Sorry about that.

As for discrediting that study? Lol ya .. not exactly hard when they conducted the study using social media and their own audience. I still don't understand why they didn't go to actual schools instead. Seems like common sense to me.
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