Women In Games Festival 2022

Written by
Dee Lever

Women In Games is a not for profit organisation founded in 2009, whenjust 6% of the Games industry workforce were women.

The organisation are inspired by, and celebrate, the work being done across the sector whilst shining a light on the fact that the gamesindustry is still the most gender imbalanced of all creative industries.

The number of women working in any role in gaming, or competing in esports, is around 5% - that’s just 1 in 20. But 50% of players globally are women, which means there’s a long way to go in achieving a games and esports industry that’s representative.

Having built a powerful and diverse community from grass roots social media-based outreach, they seek to make gender equity and parity a lasting reality. To do this, they engage in a range of activities and initiatives such as:

  • Their annual awards – which celebrate the achievements of women in gaming.
  • Career events
  • Special projects – such as ‘It’s Showtime!’ which showcases the creative work of talented women making games across the globe.

And since 2021, they’ve been running their annual Women In Games Festival.

What is the Women In Games Festival?

Taking place during the 6th September to the 17th September, Women In Games Festival highlights the importance of gender equality, diversity and inclusion within the games and esports industries.

The two-week event includes their annual conference, their annual awards, satellite events, and the Career & Networking Expo.

The festival’s activities are entirely virtual, taking place in all time zones, to engage with a truly global audience of women and allies.

What activities and events take place during the Women In Games festival?

From conferences and awards to roundtable discussions on everything from wellbeing to women in games in Africa, to career development workshops, there’s plenty of events and activities to take part in. You can discover the full event calendar here, but we’ve put a few highlights below for you.

1. Creative Leadership Lab in collaboration with University of Nottingham

Taking place on Monday 12th and Tuesday 13th September between 9:30am – 6pm, in collaboration with University of Nottingham, the two-day Creative Leadership Lab offers advice on career and personal development.

The two-day event will offer 24 UK-based women working mid-level positions in the game industry the resources to instigate and manage culture change within their organisations, and the framework for nurturing and mentoring more junior colleagues.

Spearheaded by Women in Games CEO Marie-Claire Isaaman and Helen W Kennedy, Professor of Creative and Cultural Industries at the University of Nottingham, this event will help women step up to the next level of their career.

2. Women In Games Annual Conference

This year’s conference takes place online from 8am to 10pm on Wednesday 14th and Thursday 15th September.

Day 1 will feature keynote speakers and conversations based on real world accounts of leadership and collaboration in pursuit of fairness, enabling the audience to hear from ‘Building a Fair Playing Field’ contributors. On Day 2, they’ll be interactive discussions, picking up the threads from the first day, adding to and expanding on them.

The conference’s goal is to bring the Women In Games Guide to life, sharing thought-provoking, constructive ideas from experts in their fields, and helping women and allies create meaningful connections. The conference offers opportunities to meet others intent on change, exchange ideas, network and lay the foundations for new, fruitful partnerships.

 3. Africacomicade

On the final day of the Women In Games Festival, Saturday 17thSeptember at 5pm, Africacomicade are hosting an opportunity to connect with other women to discuss the state and growth of the African games industry.

Africacomicade is a platform that brings together enthusiasts and digital creatives across the games, animation, comics, and movie industry in Africa via insightful events such as conventions, game jams and so much more.

Their aim is to invite investments into the space and foster collaboration among digital creatives across Africa as well as celebrating the rich and amazing level of creativity possessed by Africans.

 4.    Women in Games Global Awards

Closing the festival at 8pm on Saturday 1S, the annual Women In Games Global Awards will honour the inspiring individuals, the outstanding organisations and the companies championing change in the industry.

Celebrating those which have had a real impact on games and esports, providing opportunities and support for women and marginalised genders in the industry, this year’s categories include:

  • Favourite Woman Game Protagonist
  • Best Representation of Women in a Video Game
  • Community Group making an impact in Diversity –sponsored by Rocksteady
  • Individual Diversity Advocate
  • Most Inclusive Esports Initiative
  • Most Inclusive Video Games Initiative
  • Amplifier of Diversity in the Industry – Media
  • Games or Esports Diversity Initiative
  • Student Achievement – sponsored by Creative Assembly
  • Games or Esports Educator
  • Outstanding Corporate Ambassador of the Year –sponsored by Testronic
  • Outstanding Individual Ambassador of the Year –sponsored by Dovetail Games
  • Lifetime Achievement Award

 How can I get involved In the festival?

 It’s easy – simply visit their events calendar and get signed up. And if you’d like to support Women In Games beyond the festival, you can find out more here.

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