Congratulations to all the winners of the Women in Games Global Games Awards 2020!


The first Women in Games Global Games Awards took place this evening on the Hopin platform, streamed to a lively mixture of nominees, conference goers and supporters of Women in Games, who all came together to interact online with an hour long event which included a 40 question Quiz. The quiz featured questions on video game characters, villains and fictional currencies and was won by WIGJ Ambassador, Niamh Loughran with an impressive 31 points.

We give thanks to our Lead Sponsor, the Sumo Group and category sponsors 2K/ Hangar 13, Atomhawk Design, the Fair Play Alliance and Sledgehammer Games, and we give thanks again to our international team of 20 judges.

Congratulations to all those shortlisted and our award winners!


List of Prize and Award Winners

Women in Games Jam 2020 (Sponsored by Sledgehammer Games)

Yiike and Nour- By Jay and Joy
Eggcellent Care- Created by Chloe Byrne, Bethan Buckley and Akvilé Vengalyté

Global Games Advocacy Awards – recognising games organisations advocating for change.
Can I Play That? (USA)
Code Coven (UK)
IGDA Foundation (USA)

Best Game Developed by a Woman or Female Team

Kine (USA)

Runner up
Ooblets (USA)

Global Games Gender Diversity Initiative of the Year (Presented by Fair Play Alliance)
Code Coven (UK)
Gayming Magazine (UK)
Women in Games Quarantine (Spain)

Outstanding individual Ambassador Award (Sponsored by Sumo Group)

Crystal Mills (USA)
Dan Sun (Hong Kong)
Johana Riquier (UK)
Marina Ivanovic (Germany)
Melissa Chaplin (UK)

Corporate Ambassador Behind the Scenes Award (Sponsored by Atomhawk Design)

Amy Renals – Head of Studio Support at Creative Assembly
The HR and Recruitment team at Dovetail Games

Women in Games Student Portfolio Awards

Angela Zawitaj
Beatriz Abreu
Juliette Coquet
Lucy Zini
Sindi Breshani
Tiril Schjerven

Global Women in Games Hall of Fame Awards (Sponsored by 2K/Hangar 13)

Audrey Leprince (Denmark)
Brenda Romero (Ireland)
Elizabeth LaPensée (USA)
Jessica Hammer (USA)
Poornima Seetharaman (India)
Sande Chen (USA)

Congratulations again to all  our award winners!

WIGJ supports invitational Overwatch tournament – Cat Collective Community Cup 12-13 September

Women in Games is supporting its first esports event for women and non-binary Overwatch players from established community groups on 12-13 September. Working with the established, professional tournament organisers, Monkey Bubble, the second day of this event will be streamed through the Women in Games Twitch account at starting at 1.00 pm CEST/ 2.00 pm BST.

Women in Games announced its partnership with the Cat Collective community group in May. The Cat Collective is a female and LGBTQ+ friendly server that wants to focus on creating a safe, open minded and engaging environment to play games. The Cat Collective now has 7 teams and 2 teams will be playing against 6 other teams in this community tournament featuring players in 5 communities spread across Europe.


Other communities with teams in the event are

Galactic Guardians, a loving and welcoming lgbtq+ community with multiple female only/mixed Overwatch teams and an Apex legends team.
Altiora, an Overwatch community founded on principles of sportsmanship, respect, and diversity.
Nerf This, a kind and supportive Overwatch community.
Project Eden is am Overwatch esports organisation focused on creating a healthy environment for gamers.

This tournament has a format and additional rules to encourage a professional but fun community experience for all teams. There is a SR lock or form of handicapping to ensure all teams have a similar level of experience. A ‘no bad manners’ rule goes further than is usual to encourage sporting behaviour. And the preliminary rounds are in an unusual round robin format so that all teams get to play each other rather than have the weaker teams leave early in the tournament.

David Smith, esports lead for Women in Games commented, “Women in Games wants to demonstrate its support for all women and non-binary esports players across Europe. We want to encourage and build existing communities that will expand the talent pipeline. Too often the focus of tournaments is on establishing who is at the very top of the talent tree and not how to grow healthily its roots and branches, which is needed to expand significantly the talent pipeline. This tournament will showcase these less well known communities and their talent and we hope it will encourage many more casual players to join and participate in competitive gaming.”

Women make up 46% of gamers, but only 16% are in top Executive positions

 Avivah Wittenberg-Cox from 20-first opened our conference this year with an amazing keynote speech about the gender balance issues within the video games industry.

Women make up almost half (46%) of gamers, but you wouldn’t know it by looking at the people running the game. The scorecard created by 20-first sends a warning signal.

Taken from Avivah’s Forbes article, “The astonishingly stereotypical depiction of sexy women and hunky men seems the sectoral norm. No wonder perhaps, since our Scorecard shows a pretty consistent picture of heavily male-dominated Executive Teams industry-wide. Of 144 executives in the Top 14 companies, 121 are men and only 23 are women. So women make up only 16% of Executive Teams, significantly below the average female representation for the industry as a whole.”

Marie-Claire Isaaman, CEO of Women in Games said “Avivah is a progressive forward thinker on gender balance in business and why it matters. She asks challenging questions and is reframing the gender debate across the globe. She has found a new language and a clear approach to unpacking complex problems that affect us all. We warmly welcome her engagement with this conference, where her perspectives will be invaluable in advancing the games industry.”


Hangar 13 and 2K confirmed as Headline Sponsors for Women in Games Global Conference 2020

Women in Games is thrilled to confirm the continued relationship with Hangar 13 and 2K for this year’s conference. Hangar 13 and 2K said,

“Two years ago, Hangar 13 began its long-term partnership with Women in Games. The studio is proud to build upon this relationship and its commitment to the organisation’s mission by renewing its headline sponsorship and supporting the first-ever Global Women in Games Conference. It has been an incredible time period for both Hangar 13 and Women in Games, as both have grown in stature and numbers. Women in Games has increased its number of ambassadors, and its members now span more than 30 countries around the world. In addition, Hangar 13 has tripled in size, as the studio is gearing up for the eagerly anticipated release of Mafia: Definitive Edition on September 25.


It has been incredibly rewarding to see Women in Games go from one corporate sponsor to the many that it has today. ‘Strength in numbers’ really resonates here, as Women in Games has made some fantastic leaps this past year and is poised to flourish as  it continues to expand. We’ve all had to experience some difficult times these past few months, making organisations like Women in Games, along with its industry partners, integral in championing awareness, opportunity, support, diversity and inclusion. We are excited by what the next year may bring for Women in Games and Hangar 13, and what can be achieved by everyone we help within the games industry.”

Marie-Claire Isaaman, CEO of Women in Games commented “For the third year 2K and Hangar 13 support Women in Games as Headline Sponsors for our Global Conference. We have worked closely together across the last couple of years and will continue to do so, with exciting plans to increase our activities and impact globally going forward. This support demonstrates the continued drive from 2K to proactively address diversity and gender balance in the games industry and we are looking forward to what we can achieve in the next year”.


Avivah Wittenberg-Cox is announced as a keynote speaker for Women in Games Global Conference

Women in Games is thrilled to announce global gender balance expert, Avivah Wittenberg-Cox as a keynote speaker for our conference in September. This year will see the first ever Women in Games Global Conference, which will be completely virtual. This provides us with the opportunity and scope to make this the biggest and most engaging event ever.

Running across 7th to 13th of September. The core conference programme will take place on the 9th and 10th September. A variety of fringe events, a game jam and Esports tournament will take place during the week.  Once again we will be presenting our awards and celebrating some amazing women and allies in the video games industry from across the globe.

Avivah Wittenberg-Cox is CEO of 20-first, one of the world’s leading gender balance consultancies, helping global companies build back balanced, across genders and generations. She is the author of SEVEN STEPS to Leading a Gender-Balanced Business (Harvard Business Review), HOW Women Mean Business (Wiley) and WHY Women Mean Business (Wiley), named Business Book of the Year by the Conference Board. She was also named by ELLE magazine as one of the TOP 40 Women Leading Change.

Marie-Claire Isaaman, CEO of Women in Games said “Avivah is a progressive forward thinker on gender balance in business and why it matters. She asks challenging questions and is reframing the gender debate across the globe. She has found a new language and a clear approach to unpacking complex problems that affect us all. We warmly welcome her engagement with this conference, where her perspectives will be invaluable in advancing the games industry.”

Avivah stated “I’m delighted to be invited by Women in Games to speak on the important topic of engaging men in gender balance. Ahead of the conference we’ll be launching our Gender Balance Scorecard, focusing on the gaming sector. Our research shows that there is a long way to go before companies reflect the 46% of gaming enthusiasts who are women. One thing’s for sure, the sector will struggle to balance without engaging the men who currently make up the majority of leaders. This is not just a ‘women’s issue’ but a strategic opportunity for all of us to seize together – both men and women.

Message from Marie-Claire Isaaman, Women in Games CEO

We’ve received some queries and questions regarding our forthcoming conference so I am taking the opportunity to answer some of them here.

As a result of Covid-19 we have reinvented our annual conference and pivoted completely to an unknown virtual conference format, something we have never done before. The aim of our 2020 conference: is to provide an online community space, where women from all over the world can learn from each other’s experiences, knowledge and insight, something we believe is crucial in the advancement of women in the industry.  

We are small but mighty with big ambitions. Women in Games has no full-time salaried staff and our dedicated conference team is working flat out to deliver this event, going above and beyond, from the bottom of my heart I thank them all.

Innovate UK Grant

In May 2020 Women in Games applied for an Innovate UK  Business-led innovation in response to global disruption grant. This is public money, every aspect of the grant spend is accountable to Innovate UK. This grant does not cover all the costs and resources involved in putting on the conference but covers a wide range of things such as significant investment in the ‘Hopin’ Conferencing Platform, fit for a global event – conference design, planning, production, management, outreach, curation, website, and delivery of the event – and post conference a legacy space, showcase, playbook, retrospective and reporting. 


Our annual conference is not B2B. Sponsors are not just sponsoring a one off commercial event It’s so much more, their valued support helps sustain us and we work closely, as partners, across the year to support diversity and inclusion initiatives within the sector.  We are on a journey towards sustainability and increased impact, our long term goal is to be a sustainable charitable organisation. 

Ticket Sales

The majority of tickets have been offered to our communities at no cost. This includes: all ambassadors, students and community organisations participating in our community booths. 

We have included a nominal $10 USD ticket price, this is mainly to act as a deterrent for trolls and toxic people, a very real problem for virtual events, especially those that are free. We want to ensure a safe and welcoming environment for all our participants. Covid-19 has had a detrimental financial impact for some, on our registration page, those that are struggling, can reach out for support.


We are supporting our community and listening to you. There is currently no clear industry standard with regards to speaker fees and across sectors there are questions about the nature of events – is it profitable or is it charitable? 

As a non-profit we simply do not have the resources to address this, to a level we want to yet. But we are committed to supporting our community. The conference team has reviewed what we can do, with limited funds. And agreed, we will divert all paid for, net costs of ticket sales, towards a speaker monetary pool. This is an interim solution whilst we build a longer-term strategy to tackle this cross-industry wide issue.

We have been transparent with everyone engaged with the conference and hope they consider giving their time as a benefit to supporting a positive and worthwhile cause. If anybody feels that they are being compromised by contributing to the forthcoming Women in Games Global Conference and wishes to step down, we understand. 

Until then we remain steadfast in what we are setting out to achieve. We believe in supporting each other, our community and all women who want to enter the games industry and all those working within it.

We look forward to seeing you all at the Women in Games Global Conference 2020 9th and 10th September. 

We ask that you are kind and respectful, if you want to ask questions, email us or talk to us directly to find out the facts about the work we are doing.

Women in Games is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to achieving our vision for a games industry, culture and community free of gender discrimination, where full equity and parity of opportunity, treatment and conditions empowers all girls and women, from all backgrounds, to achieve their full potential.


Women in Games appoint 39 Ambassadors in countries which now include Bolivia, Tunisia and Ukraine.

Women in Games is pleased to announce the appointment of a further 39 Ambassadors bringing the total to 362 in 44 different countries. We welcome our first ambassador from Bolivia, Rommy Barriga Cano, from Tunisia, Samia Chelbi, from Ukraine, Valeriia.

Women in Games is a non-partisan, not-for-profit organisation founded in 2009, grown from grassroots to be the leading global force on gender equality in the gaming business. It works to achieve full and lasting equity and parity throughout the gaming and esports industry pipelines and beyond. Its vision is of not only an industry but a culture and community free of gender discrimination, where equality of opportunity, treatment and conditions empowers girls and women from all backgrounds to achieve full potential.

Ambassadors are grouped by geographical region and we welcome Amanda Ford and Sarah Blackburn from Scotland. Arianne Garin, Georgia Reeve, Hannah Treston and Jodie Donovan for the North of the UK. We welcome Ann Lennon from Northern Ireland. From London and the South East, we welcome Cat Chew, Ena Echavarria, Indigo Levy, Jay Shin, Joanna Cook, MJ Widomska and Naville Carita. From the Midlands we welcome Charlene Sharp, Jasmine Hong, Kahina Foudad and Rebecca Wright. From the South of the UK, Katie Laurence, Millicent Thomas and Sophie Hendley.

From mainland Europe, we welcome Caterina Casapieri from Italy. Katriina Penttila from Norway. From Poland, Katazyna Janoszka and Natasha Skult from Finland.

From the North American region, we welcome Anish Lathker, Carrie Sloane, Josh Lindsey, Lindsey Williamson Christy, Mariana D’Ornellas and Tina Merry. In the Rest of the World region, we welcome Ayesha Samman from Pakistan. Erin Hughes from New Zealand, Florencia Fole from Argentina, Jacqueline Garrett from Australia. Marcela Paz Salazar Hernadez from Chile.

“Women in Games is proud of all our Ambassadors, who increasingly join us from all corners of the world to support us with our vision and mission. We look forward to connecting everyone at our Women in Games Global Conference 2020. The focus of this year’s conference is designed to support our growing global community through the Covid-19 crisis. With a focus on business and entrepreneurship, game development and culture, education, careers and esports alongside our awards, showcase and worldwide games jam, we look forward to hearing everyone’s stories, engaging with debate and discussion as well as enjoying congenial virtual networking.” says Marie-Claire Isaaman, CEO Women in Games.

You can see the full list of Ambassadors including their location and job role, as well as how to apply if you are interested in joining our Ambassador team here

Sumo is lead sponsor for our Global Games Awards. Fair Play Alliance to partner on Diversity Award

Women in Games are pleased to acknowledge the support of the Sumo Group as lead sponsor for our Global Games Awards taking place online on 12th September at 6.00pm BST, 1.00pm EST, 10.00am PST.
Sumo Group, comprising Sumo Digital and Atomhawk, supplies world-class, award-winning game development and creative services to blue-chip clients. The Group employs over 750 staff in eight UK game development studios in Sheffield, Nottingham, Newcastle, Leamington Spa, Warrington, The Chinese Room in Brighton, Red Kite Games in Leeds, and Lab42 in Leamington Spa, along with their studio in Pune, India and Atomhawk studios in Gateshead, UK, and Vancouver, Canada.
Sumo Digital will present the Outstanding Individual Ambassador Awards. Atomhawk will present the Corporate Ambassador Behind the Scenes Awards.

Karen McLoughlin, Group Director of HR at Sumo Group commented “Sumo Group is delighted to support the Women in Games Global Conference and the Global Games Awards as main sponsor. We would like to encourage as many entries as possible before the deadline of 26th of August.”

Women in Games is also delighted to announce a partnership with The Fair Play Alliance which comprises over 160 gaming companies today, all united in our mission to identify, define, and enable awesome player interactions, fair play, and healthy communities in online games. The Fair Play Alliance has been asked to present the Global Games Gender Diversity Initiative of the Year award. This award is particularly relevant to all FPA members who are actively working to reduce the level of disruption in games, especially those where there is an element of harm based on gender identity. Members of the FPA are encouraged to participate by nominating individuals or companies working on the very important topic of ridding games from harm and harassment based on gender identity.

Marie-Claire Isamaan, CEO of Women in Games said, “We welcome both Sumo Digital and the Fair Play Alliance to our new Global Games Awards. Both organisations are committed to improving diversity and a more equitable global games industry. We could not put on this event without their support together with the conference grant from Innovate UK.”

The closing date for entries is 26th August at 6.00pm BST, 1.00pm EST, 10.00am PST. Please enter at our dedicates Awards site at

Registration for the Women in Games Global Conference is NOW Open!

We are thrilled to announce that registration for our conference is now open.

The conference this year will be our first ever fully virtual and global. We are excited about the line up and will be sharing more information about the actual event, the fringe events and the awards shortly.

Sign up for tickets here:

We will see you there!


Women in Games launch the first Global Games Awards with 3 new Awards, Call for Nominations

Women in Games is calling for nominations for 8 Awards in a much expanded Global Games Awards. Like the Women in Games Global Conference, this year’s awards will be completely virtual and part of the biggest and most engaging event ever! Whilst the core conference programme will take place on the 9th and 10th September, the Awards will be a standalone event on Saturday 12th September at 6.00pm BST, 1.00pm EST, 10.00am PST
Women in Games are excited to be producing a conference and awards that will be diverse, relevant, engaging and truly global. The event is being hosted through the virtual event platform Hopin.
New Awards for 2020 include Best Game developed by a woman or female team and Global Games Gender Diversity Initiative of the Year. Existing awards that now move focus from European to Global include the Global Games Advocacy Awards – recognising games organisations advocating for change, Outstanding Individual Ambassador Awards, Corporate Ambassador Behind the Scenes Awards, Women in Games Student Portfolio Awards, and our longest standing Global Women in Games Hall of Fame Awards. There will also be an award for winners of our planned Game Jam.

More details, including how to nominate are at our dedicated Global Games Awards site.

Women in Games seeks entries from North America and Asia Pacific just as much as from Europe. Our awards seek to recognise outstanding individuals, companies from all over the gaming world.

Marie-Claire Isamaan, CEO of Women in Games commented, “We are delighted to take our Awards to a global audience. They form an integral part of our conference programme, showcasing and connecting women around the world. We wish to highlight and recognise the companies and talent that are doing so much through the Covid-19 crisis. We recognise the support of Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency to help make this event possible. Please enter our Awards and support the global Women in Games community”