We’re kicking off what we hope will be a regular series of articles, showcasing our Corporate Ambassadors and the work they are doing to help Women in Games in its work supporting women and girls around the world.
First up, we speak to Sports Interactive’s People & HR Director Stephanie Easton…
Women in Games’ purpose is to advance a fair, equal, empowering and safe environment for all girls and women, people of diverse gender identities as well as transgender, gender diverse and intersex women in the global gaming ecosystem. How does your company’s mission and values align with the goals of Women in Games, and why is it important to you to support the organisation?
Sports Interactive team considers themselves as progressive and active participants in ensuring a more just and equal world – our values include Teamwork and Considering the Bigger Picture. We have ongoing conversations in the studio not only within our Women @ SI group, but in AMAs and studio updates.
It is important to support Women in Games both to signal internally our willingness to provide help to the high standards that Women in Games expects, as well as to external audiences, that all our welcome in our games and studio.
In what ways do you believe Women in Games has helped/continues to help support women and girls in games and esports?
An important, vocal and active organisation that engages and supports at all levels and parts of the games industry to ensure visibilities on areas that are not yet where they should be. The Women in Games Conference was a good source of information and provided some interesting content for initiating potentially difficult conversations. Offering free tickets to the conference at a time when job losses were being announced in the industry was a good way to support.
We welcome the more practical advice and recommendations to studio leaders who have influence on the policies and processes in the studio.
In your opinion, what are the benefits of fostering a more inclusive environment for women in the games industry?
Happy people = great games = happy customers. Happy team members is very hard to achieve, it is an endless journey, but starts with respect and empathy.
Teams deserve diversity to keep them open, curious and innovative to opportunities for the success of all.
What do you think are the key issues facing women who are working in games and esports, and similarly the issues facing women and girls playing games?
Working in games – stability/long term outlook for career progression – everyone is quick to move when in other industries progression comes from experience/mastery. If you look at some of the most successful role models in our industry – they have a lot of stability in their careers.
Playing games – this was addressed very well at the recent conference, in that historically video games were created predominantly by men, and male figures in games were given higher value or status. This is changing but there is more work to do. Having more in-game equality will appeal to more women and girls playing games.
Why do you think it’s important for companies like yours to actively support and advocate for women and other under-represented groups?
Because we understand and value diversity in the workplace. There’s a phrase: ‘if you can’t see it, you can’t be it’ – and this is especially true if we don’t actively advocate for women and other under-represented groups, we will never appeal to diverse groups to work in our industry and more broadly, we won’t be supporting the industry to make this much-needed shift.
If you’d like to find out more about becoming a Corporate Ambassador, click here: https://www.womeningames.org/ambassadors/corporate/