For International Women’s Day 2022, we’re looking at the brilliant initiatives and resources in the gaming industry which aim to support women in the field, or encourage development at all levels. These non-profit organizations and communities work to provide financial assistance, networking opportunities, mentorship, and more. Whether you’re looking for beneficial programs, or would like to support positive change in the field, consider checking out the organizations below then head to their social pages and websites to find out more.
Scholarships & Mentorship: BroadcastHER
A part of the larger 1,000 Dreams Fund non-profit organization, the BroadcastHER Initiative has set its sights squarely on supporting and funding women in the fields of content creation and gaming. Partnered with HyperX and Allied Esports, the BroadcastHER Academy Award provides a $1,000 microgrant and a year-long fellowship program with mentor support (more information here). The Twitch BroadcastHER Grant and Twitch Student Scholarship program both offer financial help to aspiring streamers. Finally BroadcastHER Live is a monthly podcast series on the 1,000 Dreams Fund Twitch channel which invites guests to discuss topics relating to empowering women in streaming and gaming.
Development: Girls Who Code
Aiming to close the gender gap in technological fields, Girls Who Code is a non-profit organization which helps young women develop computing skills from school to college level in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, and India. The organization runs after-school clubs for grades 3-12, teaching foundational to advanced skills in computer science. College Loops in the US create networks of support for college-aged women in tech, with weekly meetings throughout the year. In addition, the two-week Summer Immersion Program develops computer science skills and prepares students for careers in tech. Girls Who Code supports applications from cis and trans women, as well as nonbinary individuals who want to be in a female-identified environment.
See also: Black Girls Code
Support: International Game Developers Association
Website: https://igda.org/ and http://women.igda.org/get-involved/
The US-based IGDA is a nonprofit association intended to support and empower game developers across the globe. The IGDA helps forge connections between peers in all fields of the industry. As part of this, it also hosts yearly events and provides access and discounts to a variety of resources and software. The IGDA Women in Games Special Interest Group provides a community with further resources and opportunities for those in or aiming to enter the games industry.
Recruitment: Women in Games
The UK-founded Women in Games (WIGJ) community interest company is working to recruit more women into the games industry. Represented in 47 countries across the globe, WIGJ hosts recruitment expos featuring companies in video games and esports committed to gender equity and parity in the field. In addition, the Women in Games European Conference is an annual event – though currently postponed due to COVID-19 safety concerns – which brings over 50 speakers and panelists to present over several days. The conference includes speeches, workshops, and networking opportunities for attendees.
Funding: Generation Google Scholarship
Partnering with Google’s Stadia gaming platform, the Generation Google Scholarship for women in gaming helps support North American students looking to complete gaming degrees and progress to careers in the industry. For the previous round, successful applicants received $10,000 USD or $5,000 CAD toward the 2022-2023 school year. Applicants are required to study video game programing, game engineering, game design and development, or “a closely related technical field in gaming.” Applications for the Generation Google Scholarship in North America are currently closed but will open again in Fall 2022. A Generation Google Scholarship for women in gaming has previously been available for Europe, Middle East, and Africa, but unfortunately doesn’t appear to be returning this year.
Community: Black Girl Gamers
Socials: https://twitter.com/blackgirlgamers and BGG Facebook group
Founded in 2015 by Jay-Ann Lopez, Black Girl Gamers is a community intended as an online safe space for black women in gaming. With over 7,000 members on Facebook and more than 50,000 followers across its online channels, the inclusive group advocates for workplace diversity, equity, and inclusion. Black Girl Gamers has held charity events for organizations such as St.Jude’s Children’s Hospital, Black Girls Code, and more. In addition, the community hosts online events such as the 2020 Black Girl Gamers Online Summit which saw the Twitch front page showcase panels and key notes on streaming, voice acting, and changes in gaming.
Mentorship: Limit Break
Founded by Anisa Sanusi, Limit Break is a London-based organization which aims to offer six-month mentorship programmes to underrepresented genders in the UK games industry. Successful applicants are paired with experienced mentors who will help them create connections, establish work structure, and avoid the burnout which is all too common in the industry. Applications are currently closed for Limit Break, but you can read up on the mentors in the program in advance of future availability.
If you know of any other great initiatives or resources supporting women in the games industry, we’d love to hear about them via email or in the comments section below.