Sony announced the addition of two new partners to its $100 million Global Social Justice Foundation, launched in June 2020 by Sony Group to promote diversity, equity and inclusion. As part of the initiative, the expansion of the PlayStation Career Development Program, first established in 2021, will now extend to the UNCF and USC Games scholarship programs to reach “hundreds of black and underrepresented students in the future.” So far, Sony Interactive Entertainment has already committed $11 million “to advance racial justice in the gaming industry and beyond.”
What the Social Justice Foundation offers PlayStation Career Pathways for scholars
Tiffany Johnson, SIE’s global head of diversity, equity and inclusion, said in a statement on company blog that these scholarship programs will help fund mentoring and early career support for “aspiring black university students seeking a degree related to the games industry.” The USC Games Gerald A. Lawson Foundation-supported PlayStation Career Paths video (posted above) shares racial diversity statistics from Ramon Russell, product development and brand communications specialist at San Diego Studio. He states:
The video game industry is no different. More than 80 percent of black youth play video games. When we flip that number and look at who makes video games, that number is in the single digits.
Johnson adds that this is a challenge moving forward, trying to figure out how to “attract, attract, train underrepresented talent not just to get a job in the games industry, but to have a career.”
For added clarity, Sony shared additional video reveals that each PlayStation Career Pathways Scholar will receive up to $30,000 in stipends as well as mentorship from PlayStation Studios employees. They will also get first-hand experience of careers during their student years, with videos showing Santa Monica Studio and Naughty Dog’s own logos as examples of potential companies these students can learn from.