Developing video games is increasingly being seen an exciting and rewarding career for women. Whether you come from an artistic, technical, creative, marketing or managerial background there are jobs in the games industry to suit you, offering interesting career progression and a stimulating and passionate work environment.
Traditionally a male dominated industry, game development is increasingly diverse with many companies now actively seeking to balance the gender ratio on development teams. In fact a panel at GDC 2009 concluded that it is more critical than ever for women to get into games. Consoles such as the Wii and DS have massively increased the numbers of women playing games and many games are now targeted specifically at women, with the developers looking to include more women on the teams making the games to help introduce a female perspective to the development process and increase the appeal of these games to women.
In addition to opportunities to work on more female friendly games there are now far fewer barriers to women wanting to work on the more traditional FPS's, RTS's and RPGs and less stigma attached to those that do. A shining example came recently with 'Portal', Valve's innovative puzzler that won Game of the Year at GDC 2008 which was conceived and designed by Kim Swift, a woman, but was far from being a 'girl's game'.
Most employers will look for a passion for games when recruiting and obviously the skills to do the job but are gender neutral and the traditional view of dev teams as sexist enclaves of pepsi swilling and pizza obsessed men is usually very out of date. Many companies are actively seeking to move away from the unhealthy bedroom coder image by offering free gym membership, regularly restocked fruit bowls and even paid overtime.
Interactive Selection is actively seeking to promote the role of women in the games industry. We work with the top studios worldwide and have recently placed women in senior Art, Animation, PR, Marketing, Sales and Production jobs in countries such as UK, Canada, Iceland and Germany. We will help you manage your career, whether you are looking to start out in the games industry or find your next job. While previous games industry experience will always be beneficial, if you have equivalent experience from outside the industry but have a passion for games then Interactive Selection can help you take the next step in your career.
"We know that the numbers of women in the games industry are frustratingly low," comments David Smith, MD of Interactive Selection "It's a failing of the games industry as a whole - not just on a social level but on a business level. But whatever the cause, I want to do more to help women work and progress their careers in the games sector. The industry welcomes - and would like to see more - women recruits to both help develop games and take on business-focused roles. While it's not possible to overtly advertise for guys or girls, the message I get is, if they have two candidates of equal ability, they'd probably hire the women."
Over the coming weeks and months we will be talking to some of the games industry's top women and men from HR, Production, Design and other disciplines about the role of women in the games industry and what they look for in an employee so keep checking back here for updates.
Women in Games Jobs Blog
Women in Games launch Ambassadors programme, sponsored by Google’s Women TechmakersWed, 29 Mar 2017
Women in Games announces the launch of its Ambassador programme, sponsored by Women Techmakers, with 43 individual Ambassadors from across the UK and Europe supporting women and girls in understanding the games industry and the opportunities there are within it. The Ambassador programme from Women in Games exists to grow the membership of the organisation, to help it increase the reach and scale of its programmes and help it achieve the strategic goal of doubling the number of women in games over 10 years.
Ambassadors are expected to reach out to young women at school, college and university locally in their region to encourage them to consider the games industry as a career. They will also reach out to the local public, regional industry and educational leaders and local government to form partnerships and long term strategic relationships.
Google’s Women Techmakers initiative provides visibility, community, and resources for women in technology, implementing global scalable initiatives to support and empower women in the industry.
The first Ambassadors for Women in Games are announced today as Alex Jones, Jade Leamcharaskul, Amelia James, Rhoda Daly, Steph McStea, Leoni Smith, Rory Jackson, Terri Mardel, Alex Grahame, Catherine Woolley, Jessica Curry, Adrienne Law, Amanda Blatch, Amrita Bharij, Amy Parish, Amy Yu, Ashley Riza, Becky Jowsey, Bex Edmondson, Carleigh Morgan, Chella Ramanan, Gareth Johns, Hazel Turnbull, Jess Magnus, Jodie Azhar, Karen Cham, Karen Hedger, Kate Killick, Laurence Bouvard, Liz Mercuri, Lorraine Ansell, Maria Fernandes-Hermida, Martine Spaans, Michael Corinus, Michelle Tilley, Monique Boddington, Nida Ahmad, Nika Dvoravic, Rachael Gregg-Smythe, Sandra Chau, Sharon Toliani-Sage, Tabitha Huchon and Timea Tabori.
Marie-Claire Isaaman, CEO of Women in Games commented: “We are delighted to have the support of Google’s Women Techmakers for the launch of our Women in Games Ambassador programme. During our 2016 European Women in Games Conference I ran a workshop to initiate this scheme and the enthusiasm and drive of the individuals who attended was extraordinary. We are extremely excited to see what our Ambassadors will achieve and confident that this initiative will have substantial impact in supporting us with our strategic goals.”
Rupert Whitehead, Developer Relations Programs Lead, UK, Ireland and Netherlands at Google said: “Women Techmakers and Google are proud to support the Women in Games Ambassador programme. This will grow awareness of the amazing variety of opportunities that are available for women in technology in what is a thriving and creative games industry. Seeing women already in these roles sharing their story is a powerful way of achieving this.”
Over 5000 join the Women in Games Professional Network. Join us today!Mon, 02 Jan 2017
Join over 5000 women and allies of women in games in the professional network for women in video, mobile, online games & eSports. If you work or want to work in the games or esports sector and you are a member of LinkedIn, you can now get together with others who share the same interests. It’s free. Don’t miss out on the inside track.
Please link through to https://www.linkedin.com/groups/Women-in-Games-WIGJ-2739553/about. Start a discussion, share news! Just join the group and start networking. Good luck.
Io-Interactive, Paradox, Techland and Wooga become Women in Games Corporate AmbassadorsMon, 12 Sep 2016
Women in Games, the not for profit, games industry diversity organisation, today announced the names of the first companies to be appointed as Corporate Ambassadors.
Women in Games is recruiting a number of Corporate as well as individual Ambassadors to support the growth of the Women in Games organisation, to help the organisation increase the reach and scale of its programmes and help it achieve the strategic goal of doubling the number of women in games over 10 years
Ambassadors will reach out to women in all cities and regions of the UK and Europe and grow the Women in Games network. They will reach out to young women at school and university to encourage them to consider the games industry as a career. They will also reach out to regional leaders and governments to form corporate partnerships and long term strategic relationships.
Corporate Ambassadors are leading games companies in Europe with a professional standing in their country and a commitment to engage and promote more diversity.
The first 4, founding corporate Ambassadors are:
Io-Interactive from Copenhagen, Denmark
Paradox Interactive from Stockholm, Sweden
Techland from Wroclaw and Warsaw, Poland
Wooga from Berlin, Germany
At last week’s European Women in Games Conference representative from the four companies were invited on stage to introduce their companies. Pictured with David Smith from Women in Games from left to right are Henriette Lønn Jenssen, Junior Sound Designer and Sidsel Marie Hermansen, Game Designer from IO Interactive, John Hargelid, CIO from Paradox Interactive and Marie-Blanche Stossinger from Wooga. Also present but not pictured was Paulina Basta, Head of HR from Techland.
“I am convinced that only the most diverse team can deliver the best possible product for our global audience”, commented Jens Begemann, founder & CEO, Wooga. “We’re honoured to serve as a corporate ambassador for Women in Games and are looking forward to supporting the many extremely talented women we already have in our industry as well as showcasing the games industry as an excellent career option for girls and young women.”
Nikola Nielsen, HR Manager at Io-Interactive commented: “We are delighted to be able to support Women in Games and help promote diversity in our wonderful industry to the next generation of game creators. This is a great initiative and one we are very passionate about.”
Fredrik Wester, CEO of Paradox Interactive said “Our philosophy is that by bringing people with different backgrounds, competences, experiences and ideas together, we will continue to grow as a successful industry. An industry that today is present in every aspect of society.”
Paulina Basta, Head of HR at Techland commented: “Techland is very proud to be a part of this Women in Games initiative. Diversity and inclusion topics are very close to our hearts and we are eager to promote the idea in our company and our part of the world.”
David Smith, Founder of Women in Games, said: “Women in Games is delighted to partner with these 4 Founding Corporate Ambassadors. We look forward to working with these companies to further diversity across Europe in the months and years ahead.”
Creative Skillsets Employment Census 2015 for games and other Creative Media sectors now publishedSat, 23 Apr 2016
We know this as the results have now been published on the Creative Skillset website without any fanfare at http://creativeskillset.org/about_us/research/creative_skillset_employment_survey_2015
The finding are remarkable and critical to all bodies interested in employment and the makeup of the Creative Media sectors. No press release has been issued by Sector Skills Council, Creative Skillset to signal that the numbers are in the public domain. But we should be grateful that the numbers have been crunched and made available on their web site. Creative Skillset has been publishing these surveys since at least 2006. They are to be commended for working on this survey every 3 years to bring to the UK the results that are so important in understanding how industries are growing and creating wealth with analysis on the representation of women and Black Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) talent, the workforce by region and freelance employment status. Most European counties do not collect this data at national level and are unable to formulate and measure the effects of policy impacting at sector level.
Women in Games has reproduced below 2 tables from the Survey and has commented on possible headlines in the 2015 data. In understanding the data, there are some health warning on comparative data because of a change in methodology and weighting compared to previous Employment Censuses. To underline this, what started out as the regular 3 year Employment ‘Census’ when launched in the autumn of last year has now been renamed the 2015 Employment ‘Survey’. The Key Findings published by Creative Skillset have included comparable figures from the 2 previous surveys for reference so we will be including and commenting on trend data. Often this is the most interesting analysis. The 2015 will be the most reliable data ever published as it is clear that more and more effort has been put into tying the numbers down. Only 371 organisation responded to the 2012 Census in comparison. Just bear in mind that the data in previous years – which was thought to be the best data available at the time – will not be quite as robust.
- The 7 Creative Media Sectors in the UK – TV, Radio, Post Production, Film, Animation, VFX and Games – employed 147050 in the autumn of 2015.
- The TV Sector in the UK is the largest of 7 Creative Media Sectors employing 58650 which is 40% of the total in Creative Media.
- The UK Film Sector now employs 38150 and is second biggest employer in the Creative Media sector behind the TV sector.
- TV and Film combined employ almost 97000 people or 2/3 of the Creative Media sector.
- After TV & Film, 5 sectors, Radio, Games, VFX, Post Production and Animation, are each reported to employ between 13550 and 7750 in their own right.
- Games is now the fourth largest employer after TV, Film and Radio and at 10300 has almost doubled in size since the last Survey in 2012.
- VFX employs 10000 in UK and like Games with 10300 is growing employment faster than any other Creative Media Sector.
- Employment in UK Radio, 13550, and Post Production, 8560, has not changed significantly in the last 3 years.
- The number employed in Animation sector in UK at 7750 makes it is the smallest Creative Media sector but it has grown substantially since 2012.
- 39% of those employed in 7 Creative Media Sectors in UK – TV, Radio, Post Production, Film, Animation, VFX and Games – are women, 57800 out of a total of 147050. k
- The Terrestrial Broadcast subsector of TV in the Creative Media industry in UK is the first to achieve parity in the workforce – 50% men and 50% women in the history of the Creative Skillset Census.
- The representation of women in the Cable and Satellite subsector of TV at 32% is substantially below the TV subsectors of Terrestrial Broadcast (50%) and Independent Production (47%)
- TV and Film combined employ almost 42600 women which is 73% of women in Creative Media industry. #employment #CreativeCensus2015
- More women are employed in Radio 46% than TV 45% and Film 43% but these sectors employ substantially more than the newer industries of Animation 30%, VFX 26%, Post Production 24% and Games 19%.
- The games industry continues to employ the fewest women in Creative Media Sector but the growth in recent years is remarkable with almost 2000 now making games compared to 400 in 2009.
- There are more women working in Television in the UK than all the men working in the Games, VFX and Animation industries combined. #diversity #CreativeCensus2015
- Just 7% of those employed in 7 Creative Media Sectors in UK – TV, Radio, Post Production, Film, Animation, VFX and Games are men and women of colour compared to 13% of UK population
- 9% of those employed in TV and Radio sectors in the UK have BAME heritage which compares with BAME groups representing 10% of the UK workforce and 35% of London’s workforce.
- There are more people with BAME heritage employed in the TV sector in the UK, 5200, than all the 6 other Creative Media sectors combined.
- 4 sectors of the Creative Media Industry – Film, Post Production, Games and Animation employ 1 in 20 people of colour or less, compared to all other industries where the average level of employment is 10% or 1 in 10.
|Extracts from 2015 Employment Survey for Creative Media Industries from Creative Skillset published March 2016.|
|Sector||Total Employment||Women %||Women Employment~|
|TV – Terrestrial||15750||16650||19350||48%||49%||50%||7600||8200||9700|
|TV – Cable/Satellite||12700||12300||12000||36%||33%||32%||4600||4100||3800|
|TV – Independent||21700||21650||27300||38%||48%||47%||8200||10400||12800|
|Film – Production||N/A||N/A||14600||34%||5000|
|Film – Sales||1200||1200||6100||41%||51%||48%||500||600||2900|
|Film – Exhibition||17650||17700||17450||43%||46%||48%||7600||8100||8400|
|* 2015 Survey data was collected and analysed differently so previous years included for reference.|
|~ Rounded to nearest 100|
|Sector||Total Employment||BAME %||BAME %||BAME %||BAME Employment~|
|TV – Terrestrial||15750||16650||19350||9.3%||9.5%||9%||1500||1600||1700|
|TV – Cable/Satellite||12700||12300||12000||12.3%||9.5%||13%||1600||1200||1600|
|TV – Independent||21700||21650||27300||7.0%||5.0%||7%||1500||1100||1900|
|Film – Production||N/A||N/A||14600||3%||400|
|Film – Sales||1200||1200||6100||6.9%||3.4%||8%||100||0||500|
|Film – Exhibition||17650||17700||17450||4.5%||4.5%||4%||800||800||700|
|* 2015 Survey data was collected and analysed differently so previous years included for reference.|
|~ Rounded to nearest 100|
In the original report there is additional analysis that looks at the proportion of women and BAME groups in the strategic management or executive teams in the 7 Creative Media sectors. We have not reproduced these here as it looks misleading, certainly for the games sector and possibly for most groups. The numbers are statistically correct reflecting the responses for this particular survey question. What does not look to have been taken into account is the large number of respondents who have skipped the question on the grounds of it being difficult or even too embarrassing to answer. If those skipping the question had all answered nil, the average would have come down significantly. It is just not our experience that almost 3 in 10 of every games team at executive level are women.