June marks the month of Pride: a month dedicated to celebrating LGBTQ+ communities all around the world, honouring the Stonewall riots of 1969 that advanced gay rights in the USA and paved the way for change in many other countries.
Enormous strides have been made since then in all aspects of society, due in no small part to the continued campaigning and advocacy of LGBTQ+ communities and allies in the global, ongoing fight for true equality and freedom. It is important to acknowledge, though, that there remains much to be done.
And yet, despite the progressive fight for LGBTQ+ equality being far from over, we in the games industry also have plenty to proud of. A recent industry census found that 21% of people working in the UK games industry identify as LGBTQ+, with trans people making up 3% of the industry workforce. Compare this to the national data that suggests that 3-7% of the overall UK population are LGBTQ+, and you can see that our industry is on a positive pathway to becoming more inclusive.
We all strive for a world that removes barriers for the LGBTQ+ community, enabling those within it to feel comfortable being their authentic selves. Despite more support than ever for LGBTQ+ people in society at large, it is beyond comprehension that in today’s world we are seeing news headlines such as Jake Daniel publicly coming out as the UK’s FIRST active male professional footballer who identifies as gay. It is heartbreaking that this is even considered noteworthy enough to be news, and it is just one of many vitally important battles for inclusion that are still being fought.
At nDreams, we want everyone to feel safe. We work hard to create a culture where people feel accepted and comfortable being their true and authentic selves. One way we aim to continually improve this culture is with our regular diversity meetings throughout the year, when we come together and collaborate in a safe space about the biggest challenges facing minority groups. Crucially, it’s also a space to voice concerns and suggestions that can meaningfully impact company policy.
We also have a fun and casual LGBTea meetup group that everyone is welcome to join and socialise in, learning more from one another’s experiences. We even held an extra-special version of this with Pride-themed treats to mark the occasion!
On a more day-to-day level, nDreams encourages those comfortable enough to add the flag they identify with to their Slack profile so it displays alongside their name, as well as being able to display preferred pronouns on messaging services and internal communications.
We feel proud of what we have set up and how we are working to educate our team and support the LGBTQ+ community, but it’s clear that there is still lots more we can do. We are absolutely committed to doing this and working towards a future that is safe and free of prejudice for everyone.
That’s why, each year, we donate to an LGBTQ+ charity to celebrate Pride month. Our amazing team gets to collectively choose which charity to support, and last year we donated to the amazing work of Mermaids. This year, we're proud to support the work of Mind Out, who provide mental health and wellness support to those in need in the LGBTQ+ community, and beyond.
Happy Pride month, everyone! 🌈