PR News 2016 Diversity in PR Awards: Organization

Winner: The Entertainment Software Association

Fostering greater workforce diversity is a priority for both ESA and its charitable arm, the ESA Foundation. They recognize that independent perspectives brought forward by diverse teams help drive innovations and bolster performance.

ESA and its member companies have worked diligently to adopt and enforce anti-discrimination and harassment policies in the workplace, and have partnered with organizations including the Human Rights Campaign, GLAAD and the Hispanic Heritage Foundation to promote diversity within the industry.

ESA’s diversity efforts are largely focused on the broader video game industry. In particular, its efforts have focused on establishing a more diverse pipeline of talent by providing young people with the resources, tools and exposure they need to reach their full potential and start rewarding careers.

To encourage diversity in the computer and video game industry and support the development of its future leaders, ESA provides annual scholarships to women and minority students who aspire to work in one of America’s most vibrant industries.

The scholarships are offered for full-time undergraduate study at accredited four-year colleges and universities in the United States. Up to 30 scholarships of $3,000 each are awarded annually to graduating high school seniors and college students. To date, ESA Foundation has helped over 200 students earn degrees in high-tech fields. Many of these students have landed jobs in the growing video game industry, launched their own video games, or in the case of Liz Fiacco, created their own company.

Fiacco is a 2009-2011 ESA Foundation scholarship recipient who received her Digital Arts and Game Development degree in 2012. Immediately after graduation, Fiacco co-founded Fallstreak Studio, a video game development studio that develops games to equip players with skills to overcome challenges inside and outside the game universe.