We are honoured that there are now over 1,300 individuals across 72 countries involved in our Individual Ambassador Programme, which is powered by Keywords Studios.
In this regular article, we talk to some of them about why they became Ambassadors, what Women in Games means to them, and their advice to others. First up, we speak to
Kah Hui Teo, Global Localisation Manager at Keywords Studios, to discuss her role as a Women in Games Ambassador, her journey into video gaming as well as the challenges facing women in the industry today.
What inspired you to enter the games industry?
I joined the games industry by accident. I was recruited by a game publisher as a project coordinator in 2008, and I haven’t looked back. This is my 15th year in the industry, and it has been a hell of a ride. There is never a dull moment which may be because we are delivering player experience in the entertainment space. Though entering the industry was an accident, staying in the industry is a conscious decision. Every day I continue to be inspired by my colleagues and people I am connected to in the industry.
As a woman in games, have you had to face many challenges throughout your career?
The most challenging period of my life was when I had my children. It was then that I realised women had to work around career barriers as they navigate the integration of their personal and professional lives, especially as parents of young children. I had a very supportive manager, who is a true male ally, and very supportive colleagues, some of whom are still working in Keywords today. They inspired me to want to do the same for other women now that I am in a position to influence certain policies and practices in the company.
The other challenge is the lack of female role models, which in a way limits the perception of women in the organisation and the leadership opportunities that are available.
Are there any specific industry issues you are seeking to address in your activities as a Women in Games Ambassador?Yes! There are so many issues I would like to address in my activities as a Women in Games Ambassador. Currently, I am prioritising three areas, namely: building the community, supporting the community, and policy advocacy.
Women are under-represented in the games industry, and more so in Asia. APAC makes up 48% of the global games market revenue, but there is a lower awareness of DEI in the region. We have been building the WIG community in Asia to allow women working in the Asia games industry to have access to the network and support, even if they may be from smaller game studios where such resources are not made available to them.
As a Women in Games Ambassador in Asia, I work together with publishers and major game studios in the region on their DEI activities, which includes mentorship opportunities, technical workshops and initiatives to support the women in our community. We are currently collaborating on a white paper which will be focused on the landscape of the Asia games industry. The data and information from this paper will support our policy advocacy, where we will push for corporate policies and employment practices to be more inclusive and create cultures of equality at the workplace.
What does being a WIG Ambassador mean to you?
Since I was appointed a WIG Ambassador, my journey has been nothing short of amazing. Other than the W Coffee sessions, which I co-hosted alongside other WIG Ambassadors in Asia.
I also lead the development of the Women in Games Asia Chapter with my co-director, Dan Sun of Riot Games. This is the first Chapter for Women in Games and as a pilot, and we are working closely with the CEO Marie-Claire Isaaman and Sharon Tolaini-Sage, Director of Publishing & Projects to learn and then inform the growth of Chapters programme globally and in other regions. I was also awarded the Outstanding Individual Ambassador of the Year 2022 by Women in Games.
However, I feel the true inspirations are the many wonderful women I have met in the games industry, many of whom are WIG Ambassadors, who shared heartfelt stories of their journeys as well as the awesome female founders of game studios in the region, who continue to thrive against all odds.
Would you have any advice for other women considering a career in video gaming?
My advice would be to join a community such as Women in Games. Listening to the stories of other women in the games industry, the challenges they have encountered, how they have overcome obstacles to get to where they are today, truly broadens your perspective.
This is not to encourage bonding through negative experiences, but rather to see how women persist, despite systemic barriers. Such communities are where we find support, encouragement and advice when needed and this is where life-long friendships are often formed.
If you are interested in becoming a Women in Games Ambassador, click here.