Interactive Ontario ipprenticeship Career Fair highlights importance of supporting emerging Black talent

A partner since the program inception, Ubisoft Toronto will continue collaborating with Interactive Ontario on the 2022 edition.

Ubisoft Toronto is a proud sponsor and supporter of the Interactive Ontario (IO) ipprenticeship Career Fair for Emerging Black Professionals and Students. This initiative took place during Black History Month earlier this year to connect Ontario employers with emerging Black talent seeking opportunities in the video game and interactive digital media industry.

Interactive Ontario ipprenticeship Career Fair

Venessa Nyarko, a Production Manager at Ubisoft Toronto on Far Cry 6, kicked off the event delivering an empowering introduction to share her experience as a Black woman in the games industry, and the positive impact of diversity initiatives: The full text of Venessa’s introduction is below.

Venessa Nyarko
Venessa Nyarko, Production Manager at Ubisoft Toronto

It is no secret that we can feel as though we stand apart, in media representation, in company composites, and in class cohorts.

Being a young black woman and trying to dance a toe into the technology industry made me brace for impact.

The water was cold and there weren’t many fish with faces like mine.

And while standing apart became even more apparent, what stood to become a pivotal part of my time in the industry was the willingness of various companies, at times even competitors, to stand together to commit to the outreach of voices just like ours.

What started as a co-op placement at Xbox, led to a contract with the Ubisoft graduate program, which led to managing and shooting all the gameplay animation for the biggest Far Cry game yet.

And truthfully, there’s still a lot of work to be done in the industry.

At times, I feel like a fish out of water, but these placements gave me the opportunity to swim upstream. They showed me that sometimes you’ll swim with the sharks, but more often than not you’re among the salmon, pushing each other, climbing together, working towards the same goal and reaching the top as one.

This is the reason why true diversity and inclusion are so important…

Why these initiatives are so important.

It was through the Ubisoft Graduate Program that I was able to have the opportunity to connect with so many incredible people.

These programs don’t just give newcomers crucial exposure to companies, they let you connect with a diverse group of people, to better understand key perspectives, teach you methods of reaching out to different communities, and can show you how to connect with people outside your own social circles.

My promise to the newcomers is that your hard work and your passion will get you there.

My message to all of us already working in the industry is that we must get there together. We have the power to change the way stories are told, but we must be willing to include new chapters.

The industry doesn’t want us because we have long stood apart…

This industry needs us because we are born to stand out.

– Venessa Nyarko, Production Manager, Ubisoft Toronto

 

Did you miss this year’s Career Fair? Check out the video below!

For more information, please visit the Interactive Ontario public website

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