WALKING A TIGHTROPE… A MESSAGE FROM OUR CEO

Only last month, I chose to look on the bright side and highlight some of the positives in the industry when it comes to gender representation and equity – and, in particular, the work that Women in Games is doing to help make some progress.

Then later in the month we heard the devastating news about the closing of Women Who Code. An organisation for the wider tech industry, it therefore had a broader reach – a community that encompassed 360,000 individuals in 145 countries. We have long been an admirer of their work, which aligned very closely with ours here at Women in Games. That is, to support women who are hugely under-represented in the industry; to provide opportunities for them to connect and network; and to work on improving the conditions they face, whether that is the barriers to promotion or the harassment and abuse they often suffer.

Women Who Code closed due to a lack of funding, saying: “This decision has not been made lightly. It only comes after careful consideration of all options and is due to factors that have materially impacted our funding sources – funds that were critical to continuing our programming and delivering on our mission.”

The Women Who Code community is, understandably, desolate, and the news has “prompted fears of a backsliding in progress toward gender inequality in an industry still blighted by sexism,” according to Forbes.

We sympathise greatly with the amazing women who founded and ran the organisation – and the wider Women in Code community.

And we are facing the same huge challenges in the games and esports sectors:

Women in Games is committed to, and passionate about, making a real difference. But we are often met with awkward silence when we raise these difficult issues.

Like Women Who Code, we are severely under-funded. We are grateful to our Corporate and Education Ambassadors plus other sponsors and supporters, as our work is not sustainable without their contributions. We are a not-for-profit organisation, but we are currently facing a situation where any money we raise for our initiatives and events isn’t even covering our costs.

The stark realities are:

  • Securing consistent funding is a struggle. EDI initiatives within studios often compete with other priorities, and not all stakeholders recognise their importance.
  • Women in Games faces the challenge of maintaining its impact while navigating financial constraints. Balancing our work, events, community and initiatives requires creative solutions.
  • The industry’s commitment to EDI can fluctuate, but we need consistent support to ensure our work continues.

We know how important our work is to our community and to many parts of the wider industry. The slow pace of change can be disheartening to all of us, but Women in Games is contributing significantly to raising awareness of the issues facing women in the industry, and to promoting gender diversity. We provide a platform for women to connect, learn, develop and thrive, as well as a safe space for exchange and support.

But we need your support. If your studio or organisation is not yet a Corporate or Education Ambassador, please consider aligning with us to work collaboratively for the greater good of women throughout the industry. You can find out more by contacting hello@womeningames.org.

If you might consider sponsoring one of our events or initiatives, please drop us a note via the same email address. And if you would like to make a donation, please click here – https://www.womeningames.org/about-us/donate-2/

If you’ve not yet read our Manifesto, I urge you to take a look now – https://www.womeningames.org/the-manifesto/

And do please consider how you can help us to continue our Movement.

 

Newsletter pic credit – Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash