The International Game Developers Association (IGDA) has launched the Speaker Diversity Initiative to help spotlight a broader selection of talent and foster speaker diversity at games industry events.
Writing in a blog post, the IGDA explained there are many members of the game dev community who are qualified speakers in their own right, and who also happen to come from under-represented or marginalized communities -- and yet, they're still being overlooked.
The new Speaker Diversity Initiative wants to help those under-represented voices step up to the podium by championing them as speakers while also removing any potential economic barriers.
The program will have two individual components: the Speaker Diversity Network and the Speaker Diversity Grant. The former will make it easier for conferences and events to find diverse speakers, and the latter will grant financial help to eligible candidates by covering travel costs.
"It may seem like a small thing, to see speakers at an event who look like you or sound like you. But when we see excellence in people of all genders, of all races, of all ages and ethnicities, of all sexual orientations, we see excellence in our community," wrote IGDA Foundation managing director, Jen MacLean.
"When every person is given the opportunity to make their voice heard-on stages and platforms that reach hundreds or thousands of their peers-our community is stronger."
You can find out more about the initiative, including how to get involved, over on the IGDA website.