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How Inclusive is the XR Industry? The XRI Diversity Survey Provides the Best Look Yet

Last year a group of XR and non-XR professionals created a volunteer initiative called XR Inclusion (XRI); the aim being to help build an inclusive and diverse industry for the future. As part of its efforts, the group launched a survey to help build a clearer picture of the XR industry as it currently stands. Those findings are now in, providing important insights into underrepresented groups within XR.

XRI - Report

The XRI Survey saw approximately 200 respondents from across 30 countries provide feedback, reporting across a range of demographics. But, it did also reveal how wider and more extensive data sets are required because over 50% came from the US and 62% were White, with Hispanic, Latinx and Spanish origin the next highest at 21% of respondents. As the survey is so extensive here are some key takeaways:

  • Out of the 21% of Hispanic respondents, the survey found 7 out of 10 said they felt the need to hide parts of their identity whilst at work, more so for males rather than females.
  • When it came to age those over 55 felt less respected than younger respondents, with the 45 to 54 age back saying they felt the most respected (accounting for almost 15% of those surveyed). As for gender in this category: “female respondents were less likely to feel completely or moderately respected by their peers than male respondents (8/10 vs 9/10).”
  • In the field of diversity, inclusion and harassment training within companies there was a notable average of around 40% saying they’d never had any sort of training. Those that did say yes, saw 19% for diversity, 18% for inclusion and 24% for harassment. Those over 55+ were more likely to have had harassment training.
  • An important part of all of this starts with the hiring process. However, those who reported disabilities apart from learning disabilities said that their company was ‘less likely’ to have a structured and consistent hiring process (3 out of 10 vs. 5 out of 10 overall).
  • There is good news though. 58% reported ‘Completely’ when asked whether they could openly speak with their company about their concerns. And when it came to fairness female and non-binary respondents felt the same level as male respondents.
XRI - Sky

“The aim of this call to action is to foster the practice of inclusivity – not in name only – and to realize true strength and tangible results of greater diversity and inclusion within the XR industry. The call is for the meaningful promotion and integration of diversity and inclusion in the funding, growth, and management of both XR startups and established companies as well as the design of XR products and services,” XRI’s 2020 Annual Report notes.

XRI plans on conducting this annual survey every year for the next decade, helping to build a more accurate picture of the XR industry and those who make it what it is.

Head on over to the XRI website to see the report in full and for further coverage of inclusion and diversity within the XR industry, keep reading VRFocus.