Company |Culture |Diversity | Date published: May 24, 2022
Inside Sony Interactive Entertainment: API@PlayStation
Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) is made up of a global team with diverse roots, including many members with heritages from Asian countries. Through the establishment and ongoing support of the API@PlayStation (Asian/Pacific Islander) Employee Network (eNet), SIE gives me, and many others, an opportunity to create equity for the vast collection of individuals from around the globe.
Fostering such an environment gives us an opportunity to connect over passions and create bonds through our heritage, while cultivating a safe, inclusive work environment for all to discuss professional challenges and shared experiences. It also gives us a chance to share the many diverse API cultures with our colleagues beyond our eNet.
API@PlayStation and its Mission
Some may have a very uninformed idea of what Asian/Pacific Islander means. SIE empowers us to break through perception. Part of our mission statement is to increase awareness of Asian Pacific Islander cultures but, more importantly, it is something we put action behind. The initiatives and activities we focus on, for example, have been shaped to uplift all the communities within the API diaspora.
The importance of eNets and establishing an inclusive environment at SIE rears its head in many different ways. For instance, since founding the API@PlayStation eNet, we’ve created opportunities to collaborate with other eNets to highlight stories that may have yet to be told. My colleague and API@PlayStation Co-President Claire Hwang, Sr. Director, HR Business Partner – PlayStation Studios, shared an example where we partnered with ACE (Asian Community Empowerment) at Sony Pictures Entertainment.
“We worked with ACE to host a Ghost of Tsushima voice actor’s panel,” Hwang says. “We had three of the actors from the game share their experiences as Asians in the entertainment industry. It was an engaging discussion and enriching to hear some the lessons they learned. I think alot of the stories they shared resonated with our members.”
Our Tea Time Talk series offers a platform for entertainers and professionals outside of Sony to share their unique experiences with us. We hosted Swedish/Chinese comedienne Evelyn Mok, who shared her experience growing up Asian in Europe and her struggles being an Asian-European woman in comedy. We also hosted Andrew Chau, the owner of The Boba Guys food company, where he spoke to us about his experience as an Asian-American business owner during the pandemic.
The pandemic and other current world events, unfortunately, have exposed many Asians to unwarranted violence. Programs we as an eNet have tapped into not only help prepare our API community to navigate such instances, but also those around us who stand with our community in allyship. The Hollaback! bystander intervention training, for example, trains participants on how to respond, intervene, and heal from harassment. API@PlayStation also hosted virtual self-defense workshops for its members. These serve not only to give people valuable skills and tools to help them in different situations but also to make others aware that those dangerous situations exist in the first place and how they can potentially step in.
Importance of Representation
As is often a key part of eNets across the company, representation is paramount. Not just elevating the different groups, but supporting those groups as they push for more representation in gaming. For example, for the first time in franchise history, MLB The Show will have an Asian athlete on its cover. SIE’s eNets offers spaces with informed, diverse perspectives that developers can reach out to for opinions, as the team behind MLB The Show did when reaching out to API@PlayStation. Through those discussions, we were able to offer valuable feedback that they used to make changes that were a part of the final Collector’s Edition, which featured baseball star Shohei Ohtani drawn with an art style inspired by Japanese manga and animation.
API@PlayStation also regularly collaborates with other Sony companies on internal event programming or by providing networking opportunities by simply bringing Sony employees together. These often expand to our global offices as well as we continue to connect with our Sony sister companies in Japan. Having that culture exchange along with the business exchange is extremely important, elevating a collaborative type of representation that often happens behind the scenes.
“Breaking the stereotypes that people may have about Asians is important to me,” Hwang adds. API@PlayStation gives us a space to address things like the “model minority myth,” which is something that also impacts other eNets, as well as things like the “bamboo ceiling” that incorrectly assumes the temperament of Asians and limits opportunities for leadership. SIE aims to empower by offering the resources and platforms that address such issues.
Going forward, I hope to see API@PlayStation continue to be flush with ideas informed by perspectives from entry-level staff all the way to senior leadership levels within SIE, alongside representation in our content. It is powerful to see the elevation of positive role models across the gaming industry on both a professional level and in the gaming community.
SIE is committed to creating a world where everyone belongs, fueled by our company culture, our products, and also our incredible PlayStation community. If you are interested in a career at Sony Interactive Entertainment, please take a moment to look at our opportunities at PlayStation Careers.