Raise the Game Diversity Pledge

Animex Inclusivity & Diversity Showcase A selection of inspiring speakers doing amazing things to make positive change in the animation, VFX and games industries.


In partnership with Ukie and #RaiseTheGame, our Inclusivity & Diversity showcase brings you a fantastic selection of speakers highlighting how they make positive changes across the games, animation and VFX industries. There are seven diversity tracks to come and enjoy: Gender Inclusivity, Culture & Ethnicity, Sexual Identity, Disability & Accessibility, Neurodiversity, Mental Health & Wellbeing and Social Mobility.


Programme

02 June 2021

Time Talk/Event
9:00 AM Neurodiversity - 9am Benefits of a Neurodiverse Workforce
Emma Walker auticon
Emma will provide a brief overview of auticon before talking about the cognitive profile and strengths of neurodivergent individuals and the benefits of having a neurodiverse workforce
9:20 AM Neurodiversity - Neuro Diversity in the VFX industry with Industrial Light and Magic An Informal discussion about ILM’s approach to celebrating Neuro Diversity. ILM's Amy Backwell, Mandy Mok and Fleur Willis talk with Teesside’s Penny Holton about their Enabled support group and reflect on their personal experiences.
9:40 AM Neurodiversity - Why you should Employ Autism
Jade Fuller Ambitious About Autism
Understand about the benefits of recruiting and retaining autistic talent in your organisation and the talents and skill sets that they offer. Hear more about our national Employ Autism programme, where we are supporting employers to offer paid internships to autistic people as well as some practical changes you can make now to access this untapped talent pool.
11:00 AM Culture & Ethnicity - Launching an international game jam in a pandemic
Laura Martin Digital Schoolhouse Programme at Ukie
Laura Martin (Digital Schoolhouse) and Bukola Akingbade (Kucheza Gaming) talk about the lessons they learnt launching the inaugural Mobo Game Jam, an international game-making challenge designed to facilitate a rich cultural exchange between students in the UK and Nigeria. Learn about how they managed to receive over 1000 public votes it’s first ever final, plus the challenges they encountered along the way.
11:30 AM Culture and Ethnicity - My Personal Insights into the Video Games Industry
Zakia Abdullah Play Well for Life & BAME in Games
With several years of experience as a Character artist for companies such as Rare, Mediatonic and Natural motion, Zakia shares her journey and some honest truths about what it means to be both an artist and a person.
12:00 PM Sexual Identity (LGBTQ+) - Why LGBTQ+ inclusion matters at work
Carla Tully Stonewall
An inclusive workplace is one where everyone can achieve their potential. However, for many LGBTQ+ people being unable to bring their full selves to work creates barriers to staying and progressing in some organisations. In this session we’ll introduce Stonewall and our work, talk a little more about how to create a more inclusive workplace and provide you with some practical things you can implement right away.
12:20 PM Sexual Identity (LGBTQ+) - LGBT+ Inclusion in the Workplace - Building a more inclusive environment at work Inclusion specialist Jack Williams shares his experiences of inclusion in the workplace and, through a mixture of best practice and action-focused tips, shares how you can make a difference in your workplace to develop a more welcoming and open environment for everyone.
12:40 PM Sexual Identity (LGBTQ+) - Advocacy and Visibility in Games
Kat Welsford London Gaymers
Becca (Pride Co-founder, Square Enix) and Kat (Admin, London Gaymers) talk about advocacy in games. They will discuss how to use an internal ERG like a pride group to increase diversity in your games and amplify the voices of those it represents. Whether you're a member of an underrepresented group or an ally, this segment will provide insight into how and when ERGs are best utilised, how they can be an invaluable tool to adding genuine diversity to your games, and how to make sure they're heard effectively.
2:00 PM Mental Health and Wellbeing - On Mental Health in the Games Business, and Technical Roles The games landscape is restless and still emerging, and often irresistibly absorbing with it, but it’s also relentless and exhausting in ways that can test our mental health. This talk will look at topics like anxiety and impostor syndrome, from the perspective of technical and business-related roles in games, with the hopeful aim of better equipping you to face such challenges in your own lives.
2:20 PM Mental Health and Wellbeing - Burnout: Too exhausted to carry on Burnout is characterised by emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and reduced personal achievement within the workplace. It affects a significant proportion of people in the community secondary to work related stress. This talk would look at how it presents and what needs to be done to address it.
2:40 PM Mental Health and Wellbeing - Mental health and the games industry
Rosie Taylor Safe In Our World
Safe in our world is a mental health charity focusing on the games industry and utilise a passion for playing games as a platform to talk about mental health and to destigmatise it. Although a relatively new charity Safe in our world has already had an impressive impact starting a moderated safer together discord server, an industry wide pledge programme working with some of the best-known publishers and developers to creative more supportive workplaces focusing on wellbeing; a website of useful resources and specific job role training focusing on mental health for customer facing roles.
3:00 PM Gender Inclusivity - Diversity on the creative team; unheard stories and animation
Lesley-Anne Rose Stop Motion Animation
Lesley-Anne talks about through her journey of working as a stop motion animator in the North East, from getting her first commission through to working on her current BFI project 'Type' and the experiences that influenced her decision to work with an all-female lead creative team.
3:15 PM Gender Inclusivity - Busting myths and misconceptions
Emma Smith Creative Assembly
Emma will be sharing her experience of setting up Motion Capture Experience sessions with students as a way to bust the myths and misconceptions held about the Games Industry. By taking a practical and experience-led approach, the sessions challenged the students’ career choices and gave their educators a more well-rounded view of our often misunderstood profession (plus they had a whole load of fun along the way!)
3:30 PM Gender Inclusivity - Building a Game Studio and Advocacy Organisation from Scratch
Sally Blake Silent Games
Sally Blake, CEO of Silent Games, discusses how she built the foundations of her career which led to the creation of her own studio Silent Games, and advocacy organisation, Women Making Games. Sally runs through each of the key decision points in her 10 year games industry career and talks about her experiences in AAA game development at Ubisoft, and independent studio experiences at Dimension and No More Robots.
3:45 PM Gender Inclusivity - The Grimoire of Gender - Code Coven's quest to dispel inequality
Tara Mustapha Code Coven
Karla Reyes - Code Coven -

Code Coven is the first global games industry accelerator for underrepresented talent. This talk will highlight the need for diversity in the games industry especially in regards to gender and race, as well as featuring the work that Code Coven is doing to dispel inequality.
5:00 PM Social Mobility - Making That Social Mobility Leap
Carmen Antiqueira Making The Leap
What Making The Leap does and how we contribute to creating a more inclusive and fairer society for all, Why social mobility should be a key part of every organisation’s strategy, How the Games, Animation and VFX sector can start or expand their social mobility activity by partnering with us and being directly involved in our project activity and the SOMOs.
6:00 PM Disability & Accessibility - A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words: Bringing animation alive with Audio Description Dr Amy Kavanagh is a blind cinema fan, but she is often excluded by tv shows or films which don't include Audio Description tracks. This talk will explore what Audio Description brings to your work, the audiences that rely on it and the artistry of describing the moving image.
6:20 PM Disability & Accessibility - Digital diversity as a bonus
Simon McKeown MIMA School of Art and Design
Digital artist Simon McKeown and former Head of 3D and Animation at Reflections Interactive (makers of the Driver Series) in Newcastle discusses his background in computer games, digital art, disability, diversity and deafness.

McKeown showcases how he has embedded diversity as a central creative resource in his work (including games, exhibitions, projection mapping events), empowering storytelling, gameplay and artistic endeavour to create new creative projects and audiences.
6:40 PM Disability & Accessibility - Accessibility within the Design of Gaming Headphones Disability & Accessibility - Accessibility within the Design of Gaming Headphones - Nickie Harper-Williams -

Accessibility Advocate & Streamer - In this talk, I will be looking at the design of gaming headphones and how it affects disabled gamers.

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Dr Amy Kavanagh

Dr Amy Kavanagh

Sally Blake

Sally Blake Silent Games

Steven Bailey

Steven Bailey

Carmen Antiqueira

Carmen Antiqueira Making The Leap

Eugene Blavo

Eugene Blavo Making The Leap

Lesley-Anne Rose

Lesley-Anne Rose Stop Motion Animation

Emma Smith

Emma Smith Creative Assembly

Jack Williams

Jack Williams

Zakia Abdullah

Zakia Abdullah Play Well for Life & BAME in Games

Mandy Mok

Mandy Mok ILM

Laura Martin

Laura Martin Digital Schoolhouse Programme at Ukie

Bukola Akingbade

Bukola Akingbade Kucheza Gaming

Jade Fuller

Jade Fuller Ambitious About Autism

Peter Wynch

Peter Wynch Ambitious About Autism

Rosie Taylor

Rosie Taylor Safe In Our World

Sarah Sorrell

Sarah Sorrell Safe In Our World

Amy Backwell

Amy Backwell ILM

Dr Chun Chiang Sin Fai Lam

Dr Chun Chiang Sin Fai Lam Gaming The Mind

Emma Walker

Emma Walker auticon

Carla Tully

Carla Tully Stonewall

Sarah Campbell

Sarah Campbell Stonewall

Nickie Harper-Williams

Nickie Harper-Williams

Tara Mustapha

Tara Mustapha Code Coven

Kat Welsford

Kat Welsford London Gaymers

Becca Green

Becca Green Square Enix

Karla Reyes

Karla Reyes Code Coven

Simon McKeown

Simon McKeown MIMA School of Art and Design