The Women in Games Awards kick off TODAY! There’s just a few hours to go before we’ll see you at 26 Leake Street!
It’s an honour to be able to recognise the amazing talent in our industry, and we can’t wait to see you all and raise a glass in their honour.
Just as we’re getting ready for this afternoon, we wanted to reach out to our sponsors, without whom the Women in Games Awards would not be possible.
Today we’re talking to Suicide Squad studio Rocksteady, who are are proud to have supporting our Rising Star award.
What is the appeal of sponsoring the Women in Games Awards, especially in 2022?
Celebrating the role of women in the games industry is an important step on the road to having more women in the industry at all levels, as well as getting better representation of female characters into the medium. Some studios are doing amazing work in these areas, but I don’t think the change is happening quickly enough. Women are still underrepresented in some parts of the gaming industry, and acting as sponsors here is a way for us to give recognition to the great work that women do our field. Every year we are seeing seniority and representation of the women at Rocksteady improve. Therefore, we are proud to sponsor and shine a light on the outstanding efforts and achievements of all women working in games.
Why the Rising Star Award in particular?
Attracting new people into the games industry is one of the most effective ways to change representation. Rocksteady has focused on empowering the best junior staff to gain access to the industry, through hiring more junior staff in 2021 than we ever have done before. The superb rising stars we have found are already making a huge impact. They’re some of the ones making a big positive difference in games. That’s why the Rising Star Award speaks to us.
How important is it to Rocksteady that the studio supports the efforts of women working in the games industry?
To change the balance of representation in the games industry, we all need to make a conscious effort to drive awareness on the opportunities available to people, including how to get into the industry in the first place. Inspiring young people to consider games development as a career needs role models and games developers getting into schools to embolden students. On top of breaking down barriers to enter the industry, we also need to offer the right kind of support to people who already work in games, to ensure that we don’t lose talented women from the workforce. Here at Rocksteady we’ve been focusing on this in particular, with initiatives like 6 months maternity leave on full pay, a returnship programme piloted with WarnerMedia, and putting equity at the heart of our rewards process. Supporting the efforts of the women in games today will hopefully inspire and shape the future generation of tomorrow.
How else does Rocksteady support women in the games industry?
- Inclusive game design to ensure everyone is comfortable with the games we make
- We run a mentorship scheme with Ravensbourne University to support younger generations looking to get into the game industry, including women
- We have also given mock interviews, reviewing portfolios and presenting at various education institutions to improve access to games industry
- We are working on a returnship program alongside Warner Media to be launched in 2022, to support women returning to the workplace after time off work
- We work with a D&I group at Warner to improve our diversity within Rocksteady, including working with Asif Sadiq, the Head of Equity and Inclusion
- We provide gender equity, gender fluidity, D&I training + more throughout the year
- A new and revised maternity policy with 6 months full pay
- We gave unlimited paid time off for parents to look after their children during the first lockdown
- As part of our sponsorship strategy we are partnering with a variety of gaming organisations, including being an ally of Ukie’s #RaiseTheGame initiative
- Inclusive recruitment processes, including working with hiring managers around practices to improve diversity and inclusion such as bias training, diverse interview panels and interview questions
- We offer a private counselor for anyone in need at anytime throughout the year
- We have a cultural awareness calendar to celebrate various events throughout the year, including international women’s day
- We have had speakers in the studio, such as Samantha Reinike, who shared her journey to success as a proud disabled woman and what businesses can do to ensure accessibility and inclusivity.
- We have internal community groups, such as Wellbeing Champions that run a range of well-being initiatives, as well as Gender Champions and women of Rocksteady groups.
- We ensure that equity is central to our rewards process
- Talking Talent program to support working parents, with 1-1 coaching, to support parents returning to work
- Participating in the Women in Games conference, in which we ran a virtual booth that allowed people to come and chat with us and give them CV/Portfolio/Reel reviews.