Codemasters host G into Gaming event

Codemasters, the award winning British video game developer and publisher specialising in high quality racing games, has held an event to lead the discussion around gender diversity in the gaming sector and highlight steps the Company has taken to increase the number of women employees.

The event, which included talks from Tamsin O’Luanaigh from nDreams and Paula Whelan from Right Track, and a panel discussion with Marie Claire Isamaan from Women in Games and Charlotte Nangle from GI.BIZ, noted that more could be done to make the gaming industry an attractive sector for women to work in.

Currently, women only make up 20% of the gaming industry workforce and, alongside the attendees at the seminar, Codemasters’ is committed to improving this statistic.

When discussing how to encourage women to choose a career in the gaming industry Marie-Claire said that “there has been a shift and education has a lot to do with it” but said there was still more work to be done, particularly around culture and flexibility.

It was agreed that education should start early, where teachers and parents have the opportunity to advise children on possible career paths. During the panel discussion, Charlotte Nangle noted that primary schools were starting to introduce gaming-related learning but recognised that high schools needed to have a similar approach in order to sustain that momentum.

Discussing what businesses can do, Liz Prince also stressed that employee diversity was a major priority. “The industry must address this topic through all levels of the life cycle of an employee: Attraction, Selection, Development and Retention,” she said.

It was acknowledged that more work needed to be done as an industry, but that there already was clear commitment to do so. Codemasters has already begun implementing changes in order to encourage the number of female employees, including offering flexible working hours, participating in girl schools career days and having an approachable, confidential ‘open door’ HR department to address any issues of discomfort being experienced by staff.

There was a consensus that both male and female advocacy will be needed to generate change and Codemasters is in the process of creating a joint male and female steering committee to co-ordinate further progress. They will also be promoting case studies in the media to highlight successful women already working in the Company, showing female applicants that they will not be a lone voice and that a games career is a fully viable option for them.

As well as reviewing job advertisements to ensure inclusive language, there will also be participation in outreach programmes at local school and universities, and exhibiting at events designed to showcase games careers to local people in order to make Codemasters more accessible to a broad range of talented irrespective of gender.

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