VR Diversity Initiative wants to ensure VR is for everyone

A new UK event has been launched that aims to ensure that the growing virtual reality sector starts from a position of diversity.

The VR Diversity Initiative offers support and workshops for groups who are typically underrepresented in the tech sector, including women, LGBT, black, asian and minority ethnic professionals.

Its first event will offer a roundtable discussion on how to tackle these diversity issues specifically within the VR sector, as well as three one-hour masterclasses.

The VR Diversity Initiative is fronted by Catherine Allen, who currently curates VR content for independent cinema Watershed and has previously produced VR and 360 content for the BBC.

VR is fast evolving from a cool new medium into a fully-fledged industry,” Allen said. As this happens, this industry is truly what we make of it. We have a golden opportunity, before norms bed in to make VR healthy and inclusive from the beginning.

This approach is not only ethically sound, but makes commercial sense too: a diverse workforce is what we need to attract mainstream audiences and sustain the industry for the long term.. The need to turn words into actions has become increasingly pressing, and therefore I am delighted to lead the efforts of the VR Diversity Initiative.”

Kevin Joyce, CEO of The VR Diversity Initiative sponsor VRFocus, added: Promoting diversity in the technology industry is rapidly growing in importance, and I’m proud that VRFocus can offer support to directly raise awareness of this issue. Catherine Allen is hugely respected as a spokesperson for diversity in VR and with the support of VRFocus, will drive opportunities for a more diverse industry in the UK.”

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