“Talent is everywhere, but opportunity is not. Our industry is committed to expanding opportunities in our sector by working to grow talent and spark interest and excitement for STEAM (science,technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) careers, especially for those from underrepresented groups,” said Stanley Pierre-Louis, the ESA president, CEO and ESA Foundation board chair, in a press release.
Anastasia Staten, ESA Foundation executive director, told CNN that she heard from numerous students who credited their success to the BGC programs they went through as young girls.
“When we looked specifically at Black Girls Code, the programming that they offered, the recommendations of the young women that have been through their program, and how they are diverse and spread across the country, really spoke to us,” Staten said.
This ESA partnership will allow collaboration between the broader tech and gaming industry with BGC’s chapters across the country, including Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.
“By cultivating the next generation of developers, we hope to grow the number of women of color in the technology sector who will ultimately become the future leaders in this space,” said BGC in a statement included in ESA’s press release.
Staten said ESA plans to roll out workshops this summer at which girls will be exposed to basic game design, allowing them to establish and grow programming skills.
ESA will also tap into its member companies, which include Microsoft, Nintendo and Epic Games, to staff its workshops. Virtual workshops are also being planned, so girls who live in cities where BGC does not have a chapter can still participate.
After this two-year program with BGC, Staten said ESA hopes to learn and evaluate how it can continue to support women in the tech and gaming industry.