External development is a common practice that relies on human connections across companies and cultures around the world. XDS aims to continuously provide an opportunity to collaborate, share best practices and contribute to the advancement of our industry. This includes fostering our community through increasing awareness on Diversity & Inclusion.
At XDS 2019, an initiative around d&i was made aware for all international attendees. For three days, XDS Advisory Committee Member, Nikki Roth, of Google AR/VR advocated for, informed attendees and discussed ideas around d&i, through efforts such as:
- Placing of D&I activation pledge wall in a high traffic area near the registration desk, where attendees were asked to join the conversation and make a pledge for how they will advocate for diversity and an inclusive culture within their teams and partnerships
- A dedicated Table-Topic that encouraged an open conversation for all participants. During the segment, they discussed ways on how to promote inclusive hiring and a healthy workplace environment, select external partners and ways to actively advocate for d&i.
As attendees stopped by to read or to add to their own, they also often shared a story that inspired their pledge:
- When doing research, and by being more thoughtful, would have avoided an offensive visual
- A time when using a fairer (e.g. pick-out-of-hat) approach actually resulted in a more diverse and interesting character set
A topic that is sometimes dismissed for being too political, emotional or not even seen as an issue, the D&I wall successfully brought people together to inquire and talk about their opinions. Throughout XDS, the wall was welcomed and appreciated. Many people came by to read pledges, spark conversation and ask questions. At the end of the summit, there were 90+ pledges on the wall, which showed great promise on the attendees’ commitment to increasing and supporting awareness on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
The goal during XDS was to bring awareness, help inform and foster a community that will result in better partnerships across and within studios and XDS was able to provide a space for that.