Iceland has been holding down the top spot for gender equality on the Global Gender Gap index for 15 years. But even with this achievement, gender representation in tech and gaming still needs plenty of work. Our Corporate Ambassador CCP Games is determined to contribute to the empowerment and equality for women and underrepresented genders in our industry, says its Talent Acquisition Specialist Arna Kristín Sigurðardóttir…

Earlier this summer, CCP Games planned and hosted two events, ‘Conversations with Women in Games’ at Iceland Innovation Week. We invited everyone involved in the gaming industry in Iceland to come and discuss how we as an industry can ensure that we all have a safe space – a space where we as players and developers can thrive regardless of gender.

For the main event we had a mixture of networking and short talks that showed the varied experiences women in our industry have, and why it’s so important that we take an active part in shaping our industry. The talks included sessions from player, developer, esports and trans perspectives, along with an inspiring presentation by Maria Gudmundsdottir, CEO of Parity Games, and a woman who founded her own studio.

These discussions dug deep into some critical issues like imposter syndrome, questions about belonging in upper leadership and the doubt many of these incredible women felt when they ‘stumbled’ into tech, as many of them phrased it. From the player perspective it was also eye-opening to learn about the ‘only girl syndrome’ some female players experience, highlighting the need for more inclusive and welcoming gaming communities.

The attendees constituted a diverse crowd, including developers from various companies, gamers, esports organisations, and students exploring potential careers in the gaming industry. In the crowd you would also find curious individuals eager to learn more about the video games world. It was heartening to see that about a third of the attendees were males, showing their support and interest in learning about the experiences of other genders in games.

The event was an undeniable success, with the venue packed to the brim with enthusiastic individuals networking, sharing ideas, and envisioning a brighter future for the Icelandic gaming domain. These topics, although started by our amazing speakers, are still being discussed today, with the potential for future collaborations across the Icelandic games industry to further contribute to the empowerment of women and other under-represented genders in the video games industry. Hopefully this will be just one step of many that we all take together as a unified industry.

Special thanks to Anna Cowden, Arna Kristín Sigurðardóttir, Eldar Ástþórsson, Eva Margrét Guðnadóttir, Hilmar Veigar Pétursson, María Guðmundsdóttir, Meghann McGregor, Melína Guðmundsdóttir, Payal J. Shah, Sigfríður Sigurðardóttir, Svanhvít Bjornsdottir and Þorbjörg Sæmundsdóttir for making this possible. Your contributions are greatly appreciated.