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Women in games: how to encourage gender diversity in the industry

girl gamer wear headphone competition play video game online with smartphone
girl gamer wear headphone competition play video game online with smartphone
iStock / Getty Images Plus / Tirachard

Marie-Claire Isaaman

CEO, Women in Games

To attract more women and girls into the games industry, we must build a fairer, safer and more equal environment that will empower them.


The games industry, like many other sectors of the tech world, has historically been dominated by men. The time for the sector to step up its efforts in embracing diversity is well overdue. We need to encourage more women and girls to consider a career in games; not only because it’s the right thing to do, but also because it makes business sense.

Benefits of having more women in games

Diverse perspectives lead to innovation: The best games are drawn from different backgrounds and experiences. When a team is more diverse, it brings richer perspectives to the table, leading to innovative gameplay mechanics, more relatable characters and stories that can appeal to a broader audience.
Reflecting the gaming audience: The stereotype that gamers are predominantly male is outdated. Today, half of all gamers are women. By not having women in key decision-making roles, we risk alienating a significant portion of our audience.
Economic growth: Diversity in the workplace leads to better financial performance. McKinsey’s 2020 report showed that companies with greater gender diversity were 25% more likely to have above-average profitability than their peers.

Today, half of all gamers are women. By not having women in key decision-making roles, we risk alienating a significant portion of our audience.

How to encourage women into gaming

Education and outreach: We must start young. Partnering with schools and offering workshops focused on game design and development can spark interest from a young age.
Mentorship: Women in the industry should take on mentoring roles, guiding newcomers. This creates a support network that is invaluable in navigating challenges and building a successful career.
Promote from within: Recognising and promoting talent is essential. Companies should ensure they’re giving equal opportunities for leadership roles. This shows commitment to diversity and provides role models.
Inclusive workplaces: A culture of inclusivity starts at the top. Companies should foster environments where all employees feel safe and valued. This includes creating strict anti-harassment policies and promoting work-life balance.
Showcasing female talent: Highlighting the achievements of women in the industry can inspire others to follow suit.
Eradicating toxicity and harassment in gaming spaces: Create welcoming environments for girls and women as participants within the sector.

Unlocking a vibrant, inclusive future

The games industry stands to benefit from attracting more women. The unique perspectives women bring, combined with the undeniable business benefits, make it a no-brainer. As our world becomes more interconnected and gaming continues to grow in cultural relevance, the industry needs to evolve alongside it.

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