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WIGJ announce evening European Advocacy Awards and call for conference speakers and sponsors

Women in Games WIGJ is pleased to announce that the European Games Advocacy Awards and WIGJ Party will take place on the Tuesday 11th September at a venue near to City, University of London.

Women in Games wishes to recognise the Advocates for Change in the European Games sector.

WIGJ has a 10 year history of advocacy but many more causes beyond diversity are now being discussed and promoted. A number of outstanding Advocates will be invited by WIGJ to present to delegates at the conference and attend a ceremony in the evening where the Awards will be presented. The evening will continue with a networking Party to which both conference delegates and local game developers will be invited. These are new events and partners are now being sought to make these a success.

David Smith, Founder of WIGJ commented, “WIGJ wishes to recognise the importance of the many causes and the individuals behind these causes.  An evening event also lets us celebrate the achievements of the last year and thank our many supporters and allies.  Look out for more announcements for this years conference and get involved! Sign up to speak and get your friends and work colleagues lined up to join us.”

Facebook is the headline sponsor for this year’s European Women in Games Conference which takes place 11-12 September at City, University of London. The themes for 2018 are Education, Entrepreneurship, Engagement, Equality, Evolution and Esports. Our public call for speakers and sponsors starts today. Any speaker or company interested in taking part in Europe’s most high profile games diversity event should contact our CEO, Marie-Claire Isaaman or Founder, David Smith.

WIGJ partner with first female focused GirlGamer Esports Festival in Portugal 20-22 July

Women in Games WIGJ is pleased to partner with the first esports festival in Europe focused predominantly on women. The GirlGamer Esports Festival is an action-packed 3 day event that celebrates and promotes female competitiveness in esports. A full day business conference on the Friday is followed by CSGO and League of Legends tournaments where 8 invited women’s teams from all over the world compete for a 20000 Euros prize pool.

This event was run for the first time last year in Macau, China and the organisers, Grow uP Esports, are bringing it to Europe in 2018. An esports event aimed predominantly at women is a first. Other festivals in Denmark and Sweden have held a women only competition but the one competition for women has always been secondary to a larger number of male dominated, open competitions. WIGJ wishes all the conference and tournament participants every success. This is the model that can be bright to many other cities around the world.

If any of our supporters would like to attend the business conference on the Friday and meet with WIGJ Board members Dr Ying-Ying Law and David Smith, you can use the WOMENINGAMES code to get a discounted conference pass.

Women in Games groups call for more focus on the female demographic in Paper on Esports.

Women in Games is pleased to publish a Discussion Paper to summarise and address the under-representation of women in all aspects of esports. Working closely with women in games groups in France, Germany and Italy, this Paper was drafted at the inaugural Global Esports Forum organised by Intel and ESL in Katowice on 1st March 2018.









The esports industry is male dominated. The number of women working in any role in esports or playing esports is estimated to be about 5% or 1 in 20. Women in Games WIGJ and other women’s groups in Europe seek to use their experience in promoting gender diversity in video, online and mobile games to help encourage more diversity in esports.

The Executive Summary of the Paper is available at The full paper is available by email on request from any of David Smith, Founder of Women in Games WIGJ; Audrey Leprince, Founder of Women in Games France; Ruth Lemmen, Co-Founder of the Womanise! Conference in Germany; and Micaela Romanini, Founder of Women in Games Italy.

David Smith, Founder of Women in Games WIGJ and author of the Paper commented. “We thank all those that have contributed to this Paper and we are pleased to have been able to collaborate with our counterparts from France, Germany and Italy. Many professionals in the esports industry understand that encouraging more women to participate in the industry, both on stage and behind the scenes, is critical for the commercial success of the industry. This Paper sets out recommendations for Intel, ESL and all interested parties.”

Marie-Claire Isaaman, CEO of Women in Games commented. “We are pleased to be able to give some guidance to the esports sector on improving the diversity of players, support staff and audiences. Our conference in September will include a number of initiatives designed to encourage more women into esports.”

Women in Games WIGJ Networking Lunch during Develop 2018 in Brighton

Women in develop confGames WIGJ is pleased to announce its 9th annual Develop Networking Lunch for women in games on Wednesday 11th July in Brighton. Game developers and supporters of women in games who are going to Develop 2018 or live and work in reach of Brighton, Sussex, UK are invited to a free lunch and chance to network with up to 100 others working or planning to work in the games industry.

The speaker will be our CEO, Marie-Claire Isaaman who will update everyone on initiatives under development including this year’s European Women in Games Conference, which is set for September 11th and 12th at City, University of London.

This lunch takes place during the Develop conference but is not part of the conference programme. You do not need a Develop ticket to attend. There is a free expo at the Develop Conference in the Hilton Brighton Metropole (only 50m away) which is an excellent opportunity for you to talk to the games companies exhibiting there.  Men are very welcome as guests of WIGJ supporters.

We are grateful to Mel Ward and Hangar 13 for sponsoring this lunch. Mafia III developer Hangar 13 is opening a new office in Brighton. The company, which is owned by 2K, is working on a new, unannounced triple-A game. Some great job opportunities!

Brighton is less than 1 hour by train from London and Brighton Music Hall is about 15 minutes walk from Brighton Station directly on the seafront below the level of the main seafront road opposite the Brighton Centre.  There are only a limited number of places which are being offered on a first come, first served basis. This event is by ticket only so you will need to book your place through MeetUp here. Get the event in your diary. Book your place now!


3 More Board Appointments at Women in Games WIGJ

Vanessa JoyceRuth FalconerWomen in Games WIGJ is pleased to confirm 3 further board appointments. Vanessa Joyce, Manager Business Development at Multiplay Events joined the board in January. In the last month we also welcome Daniel Wood, COO of Ukie and Ruth Falconer, Head of Division: Computing & Mathematics at Abertay University. Ruth takes over from her colleague Gregor White of Abertay who is standing down. Abertay hosts the UK’s first ever university Centre for Excellence in Computer Games Education and is recognised as a world leader in computer games and interactive media courses.

We also give thanks to Deputy CEO, Leigh Jackson who is standing down after 3 years in the role because of additional overseas work assignments. Leigh was leading the Mentoring Sub-Group and has done significant work to take the organisation forward. We also give thanks and say goodbye to Marie Stukoff of the University of Salford as her work takes her more towards the campaign to see more Women in Science and Engineering (WISE), as well as the Salford Chapter of the Girls Network – a mentoring scheme for girls.


Facebook are Headline Sponsor for 2018 Conference, 11-12 September

fb women in gaming

Women in Games WIGJ is pleased to announce that Facebook will be its headline sponsor for the European Women in Games Conference, taking place on the 11th-12th  September at City University.

With the objective to educate, inspire and help stimulate future generations, the inspirational two-day event will comprise of keynote speeches, panel discussions and workshops with insight provided by key staff members from Facebook HQ. There will also be over 40 speakers and panellists from across the games industry that represent the diverse wealth of sectors and the talent within them.

The event will take place at central London’s City University, highlighting the need to promote diversity through and within education, giving rise to a talented, inclusive new generation in the games and tech industry.

Aiofe Brodigan, Head of Games Marketing, EMEA said, “Facebook has a rich history in broadening the audience for playing and building communities around games. We are excited to further this work with our Women in Gaming initiative that offers women in the games industry a platform to share their stories. As the headline sponsor for the European Women in Games Conference, we are looking forward to sharing some of these inspiring stories, working with WIGJ to power meaningful connections between women in the industry. Facebook is committed to supporting diversity initiatives in games and encouraging more young women to lean in to the industry and into leadership positions.”

Marie-Claire Isaaman CEO of Women in Games WIGJ said, “The Women in Games WIGJ, not for profit organisation exists to double the number of women working in the games industry by 2025. Our flagship event is the European Women in Games Conference which has a 7 year history of educating, inspiring, and helping to stimulate future generations of talent in the technology and creative industries. We welcome Facebook as headline sponsor. It sends a clear signal of the intent to change the face of games and the tech sector and we look forward to our long term partnership.”

Women in Games WIGJ is inclusive and male delegates are very welcome.

For more on Facebook’s Women in Gaming #shetalksgames campaign 

Women in Games WIGJ appoint Timea Tabori as National Coordinator for Scotland

1 timea1 rachael gsWomen in Games WIGJ is pleased to announce the appointment of Timea Tabori as Lead Ambassador and National Coordinator for Women in Games in Scotland. In the month that a report from TIGA, the trade association for games developers and digital publishers, shows Scotland now has more than 1500 developers, growing by 27 per cent in the 20 months to last November, WIGJ is keen to reveal the start of a regional policy where individual Board member or Ambassadors will collaborate more closely with regional games trade bodies to represent women in their regions.

David Smith, founder of WIGJ explained, “WIGJ has received several approaches from regional bodies for input into policy initiatives and help in organising speakers for events. With a team of 53 individual Ambassadors, we are now in a position to make appointments where there is the demand. Scotland is already represented by Professor Gregor White from the University of Abertay on the WIGJ board and we have a growing team of Ambassadors in the country. Timea does tremendous work for the IGDA and we are delighted that she has agreed to take this on.”

Timea Tabori commented. “I am honoured and delighted to be appointed Lead Ambassador for Women in Games in Scotland. Promoting diversity is a cause that has been close to my heart from the very start of my career in the games industry and I am eager to take on this challenge and continue to serve this goal. We have some exciting plans going forward and I am always open to questions and inquiries. Say hi or drop me an email if you’re a woman based in Scotland already in games or looking to get started, if you’re organising an event and looking for speakers, a company looking to recruit more diverse talent or just want to find out what the Women in Games Ambassadors are all about.”

In the North West, WIGJ is also pleased to announce the appointment of WIGJ board member and Ambassador, Rachael Gregg-Smythe to the position of regional coordinator. She will work closely with Gameopolis in Manchester and respond to requests for help for Women in Games in the region. Congratulations to both on their new roles.


A Normal Lost Phone by Accidental Queens and Elaine Reynolds win WIGJ Mobile Awards

Women in Games was pleased to host the first edition of the Women in Games Mobile Awards showcasing some of the best, published mobile games created by teams with women developers in Europe at its conference on 6 September. This new competition was endorsed by the IMGA (International Mobile Gaming Awards), the longest standing mobile games award program. The awards were sponsored by Tamalaki Publishing.

award1award2The Grand Prix award for the best mobile game made by a team including women developers or a team led by a woman was won by A Normal Lost Phone led by Elizabeth Maler, Co-Founder at Accidental Queens from France. A special mention was made for Eden Isle: Resort Paradise led by Elaine Reynolds, CEO at Simteractive Ltd. from Ireland. The awards was presented by Marie-Claire Isaaman, CEO – Women in Games WIGJ and Martine Spaans, Owner – Tamalaki Publishing.

Other shortlisted games were

  • South Park Phone Destroyer Led by Neha Joshi, Producer at RedLynx, a Ubisoft Studio from Finland
  • Jungle Animal Hair Salon 2 Led by Miglė Šaulytė, CMO at TutoTOONS from Lithuania
  • Birdie’s Adventure Led by Astrid Refstrup, Co-Founder at Triple Topping Games from Denmark
  • Rocket Rumble Led by Vicky Smalley, CTO at Small Jelly from UK
  • Serena Supergreen und der abgebrochene Flügel (Serena Supergreen and the broken blade) Led by Linda Kruse, Co-Founder & MD from Germany

award3award4The Leadership Award recognizing the exceptional quality of the work of a mobile game developer, as defined by a jury, specifically selected for this contest was won by Elaine Reynolds, CEO at Simteractive Ltd. from Ireland. A special mention was made for Vicky Smalley, CTO at Small Jelly from UK.

The awards were acknowledged to be a great success and WIGJ thanks the participants, presenters, sponsors, IGMA and jury of Martine Spaans, Tamalaki Game Publishing; Carolin Krenzer, former Head of Studio,; Chella Ramanan, Writer, Game Industry News; Gemma Johnson Brown, VP HR, Dovetail Games; James Batchelor, UK Editor,; Racheal Gregg-Smythe, Producer, Ripstone; and Rosemary Ball, Producer, Chucklefish.

Catherine Woolley, Glenna Buford and Anita Sarkeesian join the WIGJ European Hall of Fame

Women in Games WIGJ is pleased to welcome Catherine Woolley of Media Molecule, Glenna Buford of Wooga and Anita Sarkeesian of Feminist Frequency to its European Women in Games Hall of Fame. The European Women in Games Hall of Fame was created in 2011 and recognises the achievements of women in the European games industry. The 2017 Awards are sponsored by Tamalaki Games and again celebrate the lifetime achievements of women working in the games industry in Europe. From a shortlist of 6, Catherine and Glenna received the most votes from members of the WIGJ Facebook group and WIGJ Twitter followers.

Catherine Woolley Hall of Fame 2 compCatherine Woolley is Designer at Media Molecule. Worked on Alien: Isolation. She is on the BAFTA Games Committee and a BAFTA Breakthrough Brit. Also a MCV Top Woman in Games. 30 under 30. Game Jammer.

Anita (2) Glenna Hall Fame 2 (2)Glenna Buford is an iOS Engineer at Wooga and Director of Women Who Code in Berlin. She also founded Girls’ Games Workshop, teaching girls how to develop games and speaks at international conferences.

A special, honorary, award was also made at the European Women in Games Conference to Anita Sarkeesian, founder of Feminist Frequency, for her work in improving diversity in many sectors across the world. Anita is the first non-European to receive this award.

See the full list of all 14 in the Hall of Fame.


Women in Games WIGJ appoint further Individual and Corporate Ambassadors

WIGJ_logo_primary_AmbassadorWomen in Games is pleased to add 13 further individual ambassadors and 2 new Corporate Ambassadors to its Ambassador Programme. After attending a series of workshops at the European Women in Games Conference, the new Ambassadors were finally approved by the Women in Games Board last week. The organisation is proud to have now 53 Ambassadors and you can see the full list with details of location and jobs title on our Ambassador Page

WIGJ welcomes Amy Scott, Alison-Julia Riguelme Cihak, Danette Beatty, Jamey Stevenson, Lucy Kyriakou, Lynne Liu, Michelle Chen and Rosa Carbo-Mascarel from England as well as Erin Stevenson and Hannah Aitken from Scotland, Claire Bourgoin from France, Pauline Mariliere from Belgium and Marina Amores from Spain. Anyone interested in joining the WIGJ Ambassador Programme should contact our CEO, Marie-Claire Isaaman.

The Women in Games Board were also pleased to hear presentations from Laura Cole of Codemasters and Tamsin O’Luanaigh of nDreams as they told of some of their plans to make their studios more inclusive. Their applications to become Corporate Ambassadors for WIGJ was unanimously approved. Any games company interested in joining the WIGJ Ambassador Programme should contact the Founder, David Smith.