Updated: May 12, 2021
When women aren't recognized for their contributions, they tend to be omitted from history. Whether carelessly neglected or intentionally overshadowed, in the early 2000's it was evident that women were being portrayed as simple bystanders or entirely nonexistent in the gaming space. Women in Games International (WIGI) took the initiative to set the records straight through building a conference dedicated to celebrating the accomplishments and impact women were making in the global games industry.
WIGI was established in 2005 to provide a safe and inclusive space for women to gather, network, and learn. The Women in Games International conferences were created to support women in the games industry, and featured mixed-gender speaking panels, round table discussions, and impactful networking opportunities. WIGI has evolved over the past 15+ years, but our purpose and message remain clear: We're focused on empowering women to empower themselves. We lift as we climb. And, with a massive, international community, we're all in it together.
At 46%, women today make up almost half of gamers worldwide; however, if you look at the 144 executives in the Top 14 gaming companies, only 23 or 16% are women. According to the 2020 Bryter Female Gamer Survey, more than half of those polled felt that the games industry wasn't doing enough to support and welcome women gamers or women interested in gaming careers, and 62% didn't feel women were well-represented in the industry currently.
Which sucks. Because women are pretty great. And a diverse team can be extremely advantageous. According to Glassdoor, 67% of all candidates prefer a diverse work environment. Inclusive companies are also noted as enjoying higher revenue and are more likely to capture new markets. Because it's easier to enter a market that you understand. And who better to understand a market than an employee who is part of that demographic or group. Diverse teams will generate broader ideas due to the varied perspectives.
Organizations that don't maintain diversity in their current staffing structure may be unintentionally discouraging otherwise top candidates from even applying. During a recent workshop conducted by WIGI, over 70% of participants noted they first researched an organization's executive team before applying for a job with that company. If the candidate doesn't see clear self-representation within the current executive team, the presumed glass ceiling will stop the applicant from applying 9 out of 10 times. Because representation matters.
WIGI's Get in the Game Program enables women who otherwise couldn't afford it the opportunity to attend a gaming industry conference. Focused on impactful networking opportunities and industry insights, WIGI is determined to help more women get in the door and in the game!
The Who & What
Women in Games International is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in Los Angeles, California, with a mission to cultivate resources to advance economic equality and diversity in the global games industry.
We are a dedicated group of women and allies passionate about normalizing diversity in the gaming industry through mentorship, skill-building programs & workshops, and global networking opportunities. WIGI is empowering the next generation of leaders and providing a platform to amplify the voices of underrepresented gaming professionals. Our Team and our Board Members work tirelessly to identify and overcome barriers to promote the inclusion, advancement, and retention of women in the games industry.
We are everywhere gaming is. WIGI works to normalize women in professional roles across all areas of the broader gaming industry of console, mobile, tabletop, esports, and more. From game devs to marketing teams to finance and sales, we want to see women at every table, in every room, and on every Board, making the decisions that impact game play, character development, and inclusive representation.
Whether you're a full-time competitive player or a casual weekend warrior, we'd love to have you on our team. Subscribe to our WIGI Weekly newsletter to receive industry highlights and job opportunities straight to your inbox. Join our global community of women and allies on social media using @GetWIGI for all platforms. Check out our Programs and Events pages for updates on how to join us for future panels, streams, networking events, and conferences.
Since our inception in 2005, the number of women in the industry has doubled. WIGI has been building traction through developing sustainable programs and initiatives to create meaningful change. And we are always looking for partners and allies. If our mission resonates with you, we'd love to hear from you. Send an email to info@getWIGI.com to start the conversation!