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Ten Years On, What Does the Future Hold for Women in Games? Past, Present, Future

Women in Games has a 10-year history of addressing a range of important and progressive causes, with the overarching mission to “achieve full and lasting equality for all women throughout the games industry” Women in Games is a not-for-profit organisation built with the support of dedicated volunteers and a number of companies that have proactively and strategically engaged.

2019 has been a year of transformation for Women in Games. It has grown a dedicated global following and community to more than 20,000 supporters, and formed affiliate partnership organisations in Italy, Spain, Turkey, Germany, Sweden and Norway with more to launch later in the year.

The government shone a light on the work of Women in Games with CEO Marie-Claire Isaaman leading the diversity panel, providing expert witness at the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee inquiry discussing “the UK e-sports industry and diversity in gaming and VR” held in June.

Momentum for the work of the organisation is being globally recognised and embraced by the games industry with many world-class studios stepping forward to partner with Women in Games.  Existing partners such as Hanger13/2K, Outplay and Dovetail Games continue to deepen their integration proving the value of their strategic alliance with Women in Games.

“The games industry is one that celebrates uniqueness and encourages individualism. It welcomes people from all walks of life and strives for greatness by promoting diversity and talent. It is important to continue improving the growing industry’s community by introducing more women to opportunities within games. Women in Games is an organisation which helps achieve this and uses the power of voice and collaboration to get this important point across.  It is proven that a diverse workplace fuels creativity and success by bringing more depth and perspective to the table, which is something that 2K and Hangar 13 promote throughout their studios.” says Rebecca Sampson, Studio Operations Manager

This year a number of important new conference sponsors, strategic partnerships and collaborations have been formed with global studios – Creative Assembly, Sumo Group, Ubisoft and Rockstar, all looking to progress their equality and diversity programme to realise the benefits, both to their businesses and to their employees.

“The work Women in Games does is incredibly valuable for inspiring, supporting and empowering diverse people within this global industry,” said Gareth Edmondson, Chief Operations Officer at Creative Assembly. “Our industry is making great progress and the right conversations are happening, but we need to continue pushing to ensure women and diverse talent across the board are represented and included.” 

“Sumo Group is delighted to join the Corporate Ambassador Programme and to sponsor the Women in Games Conference and Awards 2019. We are committed to addressing gender inequality in the video games industry by inspiring the next generation of female game developers to enter the industry and by ensuring that the women already working in games are empowered and supported to reach their potential. We are proud to support the WIG’s fantastic work and join the community of studios and organisations that share our commitment.” Says Karen McLoughlin, Group Director of HR

CJ Stockton, Head of Communications and Strategic Partnerships comments “Ubisoft Reflections and Ubisoft Leamington has always been strongly committed to celebrating and promoting diversity in the workplace, so, it goes without saying that we are absolutely delighted to be sponsoring the 2019 Women in Games HR Summit in London.  We’re also incredibly excited to be participating in this year’s Corporate Ambassador Programme, too.  We look forward to helping educate, inspire and empower women already working in the industry, and those looking to pursue careers in the industry.” 

So, what now?

Firstly, it’s the annual Women in Games European Conference taking place next week on the 11th/12th September at London College of Communication, UAL Elephant Castle, London – The core theme is ‘The Future of Women’ in the game industries, with strands on Play – Technology – Workplace –Education – Social Impact – Entrepeurnership. A dedicated HR Summit, Lab demonstrations and Awards. The exciting, creatively curated programme explores a wide range of pertinent areas and issues, bringing together world class speakers, in London College of Communication UAL, a world class University.

After that: 

“It’s full steam ahead to implement our vision of a games industry, culture and community free of gender discrimination, where full equality of opportunity, treatment and conditions empowers all women to achieve their full potential”, Marie-Claire continues “we have identified four core verticals of action: Policy, Education, Industry and Community these spaces enable us to engage with and coordinate activism across the sector nationally and internationally. With the growth of our strategic partnerships across games studios, with AHRC research initiatives and diversity collaborations with other organisations within the sector, such as Ukie and the BGI, we are positive significant and lasting change can be achieved. What’s absolutely crucial, is that we must all work together to form a strong, focused community capable of directing, implementing and sustaining lasting change.” 

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