What do you think are the biggest challenges for females in the industry?
Unfortunately in the past I have had some less than pleasant experiences that I very much doubt would have been the same for a male counterpart. I have found, however, that this is less of an occurrence these days. It can be tough when you start out to feel like you can call out this sort of thing, so I think it’s really important for those who do feel like they can, to do it, so as to promote a better working environment.
Perhaps not a challenge for women already in the industry, but for attracting more to the games industry – knowledge on the types of roles available. The number of women working in games dev has increased since I first started but I think there is still work that could be done in schools and colleges to show the diversity of roles available. It’s not just coding, art and design!
Working flexibility is also a big factor, part time roles in my experience, are very rare, in many studios. Also, flexible working hours and working from home; there are many studios who just wouldn’t entertain flexible hours or the option to work from home.
For women with families or planning families, maternity options could also be a big challenge, other industries just do it better with more options and benefits, which probably comes from games dev being historically very male orientated. This isn’t to say all studios are like this of course, there are many that are very good with all of the above!
Women make up just 20% of the worldwide workforce in the games industry. Do you feel efforts to improve female representation are starting to build momentum?
From what I’ve seen of university courses, conferences and events, it is still very much male dominated, but it’s certainly improving. If more women are coming from college and university and seeing games as a real option for them, they’ll see you can have a fulfilling and rewarding career, which will inspire the next generation to do the same and that’s a strong position to be in.
It’s also great to see so many more diverse and creative studios shouting about their talented employees (of all genders!) on social media, that has over the years shifted the view of games dev being dingy offices full of middle aged men (sorry!) to fun, vibrant, creative places to work.
What advice would you give to a female professional considering working in gaming?
Just do it! It took me a year to get my first role, with many, many, an application. If it’s what you really want to do, keep plugging away. Attend game dev events, join groups on social media, keep an eye out for Women in Games events, join mentorship programs, bother me on LinkedIn and look into the variety of roles available, beyond the usual art, design and code.