We have just concluded the busiest time of the year for our organisation, the Women in Games Festival, which saw a series of events taking place in person and online, bringing together women and allies from around the world. I am thankful to all who took part, the sponsors who made our work possible, and the Women in Games team who worked so hard to plan, organise and host the events.

We saw nearly 1,400 individuals, tuning in from some 50 different countries, attend our Annual Conference and Careers & Networking Expo. The speaker sessions, discussions and debates provided much inspiration and created a determination to make those changes for gender equality and inclusivity in games.

Meanwhile our Global Awards gave us the opportunity to showcase the brilliant women and amazing talent from around the world, and you can read more about the winners elsewhere on this newsletter.

Following the Festival, I was in Brussels at the ISFE KEY Facts Event to present the Women in Games Guide ‘Building Fair Playing Field’ where Eduardo Mena, Director of Research, IPSOS Mori presented a detailed glimpse into the European video games industry’s data. This was followed by an impassioned Keynote by Heléne Fritzon, MEP, Head of Delegation Swedish Social Democrats, VP, S&D group who is a staunch activist in Gender Equality.

Gender Equality is a key focus for the EU Parliament. In June of this year, the EU reached an agreement to impose a 40% quota for women on large company boards by 2026.  The European Parliament also voted on the Commission legislative proposal on equal pay for equal work And this year’s EU Diversity Month theme was to build bridges between organisations and areas of inclusion and diversity policy.

The European Parliament’s Culture Committee (CULT) is working on a non-legislative report on esports and video games. MEPs are recognising the value of video games as a growth sector, its IP, its ability to create jobs and its relevance for education.

The report calls for:

  • Getting more women into video games and esports as a strategic priority
  • Considers that, despite the efforts that have been made in terms of accurate, equal and non-stereotypical representation of women in video games, progress must continue and go hand in hand with an increasingly equal presence of women in all positions in the value chain, as well as with the fight against sexual abuse and discrimination
  • Calls for attention to online features that can be misused for online violence or harassment, in particular towards female players and disinformation

The report call-outs listed above have long been at the heart of Women in Games work. We are pleased that there is a growing recognition of these matters and that there is impetus to work politically and collectively to solve these challenges.

Looking ahead to 2023 and beyond, Women  in Games has many exciting plans and projects in the pipeline as our research, initiatives, partnerships, community and reach continues to grow.

We are delighted to confirm we have over 950 Individual Ambassadors from over 70 different countries. You can see the list of our latest Ambassadors elsewhere, which includes our first Ambassadors from Kazakhstan and Romania. We also have 50 Corporate Ambassadors, the latest – Firesprite and Sports Interactive – being highlighted in this newsletter.

Our community initiatives, events and activities are absolutely vital to making change happen. One particular area of focus is to bring more women and girls into the games and esports industries, and to provide support and encourage them once they embark on their careers. Your perspectives on this important area matter to us, and we welcome any feedback from our community on what you would like to see us hosting next year; what you need from us to help your career and goals. Contact us via hello@womeningames.org with your suggestions.

Let’s work together for a brighter, better, balanced future.