The first part of Season 4 of the Netflix phenomenon and uber brand Strangers Things dropped recently, with critics hailing its return to form in terms of plot, twists and jump scares.

But there’s another particular reason why, at Women in Games, we’re enjoying this Season of Stranger Things – the role of the women characters. No spoilers here, but we’re not just watching them take centre-stage, we are seeing their strength and leadership, in particular this season’s badasses Nancy and Robin. The show has even provided pop icon and longtime female icon Kate Bush with something of a renaissance.

Why is this important – and what does this have to do with women in games? Outside of Netflix and the Upside Down, it’s about role models for girls and women. If more women are to break that Glass Ceiling, they need to have watched those before them smash through it, and into positions of leadership.

While the games industry is making some progress in terms of attracting more women into a career in the sector, it is still every much lacking in terms of women taking Director or C-Suite level positions.

It means we are lacking role models. It means that studios’ culture and attitudes towards gender diversity are not being fully addressed and tackled. And it means that we have few women leaders who can ‘lower the ladder’ to the upcoming talent that exists amongst the brilliant Women in Games community around the world.

All of this is why we have collaborated with  Helen Kennedy, Professor of Creative and Cultural Industries at the University of Nottingham to create the Creative Leadership Labs, a major initiative to help women throughout the games industry to get ready to take the next step in their careers.

More women in leadership in games will make a huge difference to attracting and retaining women in the industry, as well as making studios and other companies in games more welcoming and attractive places for all under-represented groups.

To that end, we urge you to get involved in our Creative Leadership Labs. More info can be found here.

As Eleven is told in Stranger Things 4, we can’t win this war without you

Photo by Quentin Marquet