Facebook has revealed a new initiative for women in games, a positive step forward to encourage more women to get into the gaming industry.
As a female gamer and content creator working within the gaming industry, this programme is inspiring and certainly welcome.
Having built a community of women within the games industry, Facebook has launched its own Women in Gaming initiative, which aims to provide a more open and inclusive industry for women.
Speaking to GamesBeat, Aoife Brodigan, head of Marketing for Facebook Europe and the Middle East, said that Facebook aims to bring women together to share stories, empower others and further the conversation surrounding the issues women face.
Women Are Underrepresented In The Industry
According to Brodigan, half of gamers are women but only 23% of those working in games are female. She notes that women of colour are even less represented.
“We believe women are underrepresented here, and they have a very important role to play in the industry” Brodigan said.
The first step of the initiative is a website or hub that will provide information and a platform for women in the industry to share their stories via #SheTalksGames.
“We heard a lot of back stories of how women got started, and that got us thinking on how to elevate these stories, Brodigan said. “We hope to encourage more women to join this industry. We want to look at how we can evolve and change this industry” Brodigan further noted.
The initiative will also include partnerships with associations such as the Women in Games Jobs to bring new research and perspectives to the discussions and conversations. Further, the group hopes to create support networks around the world to bring people together to support and empower one another in order to create positive change.
“We wanted to see how Facebook could get involved in a more meaningful way,” Brodigan said. “It’s part of our history at Facebook to broaden our role. We were looking to figure out how to roll this forward and promote diversity in the industry.”
Key Women To Be Celebrated At Gaming Events
Facebook will also be highlighting women in the industry at key gaming events throughout the year including E3, Gamescom and the European Women in Games Conference.
Facebook president, Sheryl Sandberg, shared her thoughts on the initiative, detailing the importance and value of women in the gaming industry, including game development and players as well.
“Gaming is one of the best examples of people connecting around their interests and women have a really important part to play in this industry. […] Yet gaming still doesn’t fully reflect the audiences it serves or the stories it tells […] We need to use the full talents of the population to create titles and businesses that speak to everyone. And that’s what our Women in Gaming program is about. We want to build a global community for you to share your stories, your challenges, your hopes and your dreams.”
Brodigan further mentions that whilst there are some challenges to overcome, the sentiment received has been overwhelmingly positive thus far.
As a female gamer, who actively participates and works within the entertainment and gaming industry as a content creator, I for one salute Facebook for identifying the need to support women in gaming and for taking a step towards creating positive change in the industry.
Learn more about #SheTalksGames here.