We’re looking forward to seeing as many of our community join us this week for our last event of 2023, the Women in Games Careers, Development & Networking Expo. It takes place virtually throughout Thursday November 9th and is free for anyone to attend.

These careers-focused events are always incredibly popular, but this one has particular relevance. The global games industry is currently facing a significant dichotomy. Some studios are undergoing redundancies and restructuring, leading to uncertainty amongst the wider workforce. This is another challenge that women in our community are tackling, alongside issues related to pay gaps (more on that below…), a lack of women in leadership roles and more.

But, at the same time, other organisations are struggling to fill skills gaps within their teams, and are eager to expand their workforces to manage projects.

The Women in Games Careers, Development & Networking Expo will address these challenges head-on, providing support and guidance to individuals affected by redundancies, and offering studios who wish to expand their teams a platform to connect with a wide and diverse range of potential employees.

You’ll see more details of what we have in store for you all on November 9th elsewhere [click here], as well as an overview of our calendar of events for 2024 [click here].

I mentioned the pay gap earlier, and the Fawcett Society – the UK charity campaigning for gender equality and women’s rights at work, at home and in public life – has just marked November 22nd as Equal Pay Day 2023. This is the day when, based on the gender pay gap, women overall in the UK stop being paid, compared to men.

According to the Fawcett Society, the gender pay gap has shifted slightly from 10.9% in 2022, to 10.7% this year. But, clearly, more is still to be done to create equity in the workplace. And it’s worth remembering your worth when negotiating your salary – a topic we pick up on in next week’s Careers Expo.

Meanwhile, Barbie continues to make waves (despite Ken only being able to manage ‘Beach’) within the wider entertainment space, with a new audience now discovering the movie on streaming services. Just in case you’ve missed the point of the movie, it provides a strong lesson to girls and women about empowerment, and highlights their struggles of living in a patriarchal society.

One particular moment in the movie has been shared frequently across social media and in more mainstream media channels, based on its powerful message about being a woman or girl in today’s society. It sees the actor America Ferrera’ character Gloria despairingly talk to Barbie, her friends and Gloria’s own daughter about the challenges of being a woman in today’s society. I’m unapologetically sharing it here:

It is literally impossible to be a woman. You are so beautiful, and so smart, and it kills me that you don’t think you’re good enough. Like, we have to always be extraordinary, but somehow we’re always doing it wrong.

You have to be thin, but not too thin. And you can never say you want to be thin. You have to say you want to be healthy, but also you have to be thin…

You have to have money, but you can’t ask for money because that’s crass. You have to be a boss, but you can’t be mean. You have to lead, but you can’t squash other people’s ideas.

You’re supposed to love being a mother, but don’t talk about your kids all the damn time.

You have to be a career woman, but also always be looking out for other people.

You have to answer for men’s bad behaviour, which is insane, but if you point that out, you’re accused of complaining.

You’re supposed to stay pretty for men, but not so pretty that you tempt them too much or that you threaten other women because you’re supposed to be a part of the sisterhood.

But always stand out and always be grateful. But never forget that the system is rigged. So find a way to acknowledge that, but also always be grateful.

You have to never get old, never be rude, never show off, never be selfish, never fall down, never fail, never show fear, never get out of line.

It’s too hard! It’s too contradictory and nobody gives you a medal or says thank you! And it turns out in fact that not only are you doing everything wrong, but also everything is your fault.

I’m just so tired of watching myself and every single other woman tie herself into knots so that people will like us. And if all of that is also true for a doll just representing women, then I don’t even know…

Marie-Claire Isaaman, CEO, Women in Games