Debugging D&I – Amiqus’ Liz Prince on women-only celebrations

With the MCV Women in Games Awards having taken place earlier this month, Amiqus Business Manager takes a look at why women-only celebrations are still super important …

Amiqus was honoured to once again support the MCV Women in Games Awards at the beginning of March. Like other celebrations, such as the Women in Games Global Awards, this event remains important when it comes to recognising and celebrating talent across the UK games industry; highlighting the individuals at the top of their game – who also happen to be women, or identify as women.

The event also provided a great opportunity for women and allies to get together for an afternoon of networking; and as ever, it was a joyful day. We thank MCV for hosting this event, and we applaud all the amazing women who attended and, in particular, all of the nominees and winners.

This event took place following a series of controversies surrounding women and awards outside of games. In music, for the second year running, the Brits chose to drop the best male and female artist categories and have an all-encompassing gender-neutral category. All finalists in the category were men…

Following the Grammys, Madonna – a trailblazer and much-celebrated artist who has continually pushed the boundaries – was the victim of frenzied social media and national media speculation about her face. It overshadowed a powerful speech she made about the fearlessness of Sam Smith and Kim Petras. At the Emmys late last year, Jennifer Coolidge won the award for Outstanding Support Actress – but was ushered off-stage before finishing her speech, despite pleading “this is a once in a lifetime thing!”. Thankfully, at the Golden Globes, where she won a similar accolade, she was allowed to finish her speech. It was worth it – if you’ve not watched it, Google it right now!

It’s clear that women and other underrepresented groups get a raw deal when it comes to awards. In a time when it’s right for us to celebrate all spectrums of identities, it’s understandable that awards events like The Brits aim to be gender-neutral. We all want to ensure that all under-represented groups feel included, and celebrated.

Women in the games industry should be lauded for their achievements, which is why events like the MCV Women in Games Awards are so important. We need spaces and occasions to highlight the brilliant work that women are doing in games and, crucially, it’s imperative that girls and young women who are looking into the industry, considering if a career here is right for then, are able to see role models; women in positions they can aspire to.

Gender-specific awards events may not be the perfect format, but without them women, and other under-represented groups, are often overlooked in the shortlists as well as the line-up of winners. So, for now, we should continue to recognise and celebrate the talents of women, and those who identify as women. The industry still has some way to go in terms of attracting and retaining more women – let’s continue to highlight the achievements of those who are forging brilliant careers in games.

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