Culture |Diversity | Date published: Apr 15, 2021
Inside Sony Interactive Entertainment: Black@PlayStation
It is important to find ourselves in a welcoming and supportive work environment in order to be able to express ourselves and embrace who we are – no matter where we come from, our backgrounds or any other factors. For me, Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) provides exactly that space. I joined the company nearly two decades ago, and I have always felt a part of the team and included throughout my career. There are many reasons why, but Black@PlayStation has for sure played an integral part. Today, I’d like to give you a look inside our company and share what Black@PlayStation is.
SIE is committed to being “the best place to work and play” for all communities, and internally it is manifested through our Employee Networks such as Black@PlayStation. It is one of the “Employee Networks’’ PlayStation has established to provide a safe space to meet, build and foster relationships, and exchange thoughts.
Black@PlayStation and its mission
Black@PlayStation instills a sense of community, giving Black employees a space to gather, engage, and voice their thoughts with colleagues, who look like them, share similar experiences or are simply showing up as allies for the Black community. This Employee Network also provides an opportunity for us to get together and raise awareness about the contributions Black people make, and celebrate our achievements – not only within SIE, but also in the industry and beyond, from local activations to global achievements.
Corporations play an important role when it comes to social issues and racial equality and I am honored to be with a company that is actively looking to identify how to correctly approach those issues. Our purpose as Black@PlayStation employee network is to provide insights and advice, and ultimately create opportunities for the Black community through mentorship, sponsorship, career development, and opportunities for advancement.
Providing Community Impact
As a voluntary, employee-led group, Black@PlayStation aims to elevate an inclusive culture within SIE and our products, but we also want to evoke long-lasting change and give back to Black people outside of the organization. We recently announced our Strategic Partnerships to support the Black Community and the next generation of Black game developers. This commitment leveraged or built on relationships Black@PlayStation had been cultivating with some organizations for many years.
It is important that we continue to ask ourselves how we can allow more people of color to step into the gaming industry, and what are the access points we need to provide. We could not be more proud to work alongside such a strong network of partners to build a better structure for Black voices to be heard, and there is certainly more to come in the future.
If we look at video games themselves, the growing representation in current and next-generation games keeps rising and is an important step. This only reflects our diverse society which is driven by so many different voices, perspectives, and cultures. Within SIE, Black@PlayStation is committed to be such a voice. We come up with ideas and provide insights that are applied across the organization, and can also be amplified by other employee networks such as Women@PlayStation, Able@PlayStation, and many others.
We use our influence within SIE to initiate conversations and hopefully inspire change. Heritage moments like ‘Black History Month’ for example allow us to bring cultural awareness to the forefront, and we get to celebrate our Black voices. For instance, this year Black@PlayStation organized several talks for SIE and Sony employees to listen, learn, and get inspired.
Our event series included a talk with one of the first drag queens in New York. During a virtual coffee chat we learned about her experiences, discussed transgender challenges within the Black community, how that impacts us today, and learned more about LGBTQ+ issues.
In addition to that, two virtual events provided a powerful platform for our Black@PlayStation community to connect with Black Sony employees and allies across our sister companies:
Firstly, a talk dedicated to ‘The Power of Black Voices: Echoes of the Past and Future’ which highlighted Black voices in history, current pop culture and in future technology – it started with a narration of Black leaders and influencers during the civil rights era, transition into current pop culture, and Black culture’s influence on American culture.
Secondly, a virtual panel of Black executives from each Sony group to amplify Black voices across our company, and therefore within the various entertainment sectors, including pictures, music, electronics, and gaming.
We’re excited to celebrate and elevate Black employees through Black@PlayStation at SIE and beyond, so that the groundwork is laid for Black professionals, creators, and innovators in future generations. 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.