What advice would you give to women aspiring to work in the games industry?

Category: studio

March 31, 2021

Interview series celebrating the women of Firesprite this March.

For International Women’s Day 2021 we celebrated the amazing women of Firesprite! Working in Code, Art, Animation, Design, QA, Production, HR, People Engagement, Marketing, Recruitment and Finance, some of our talented women explored questions on the topic of women in games in our IWD 2021 video.

A huge thank you to the women of Firesprite who offered their time this March to discuss key topics of importance to them surrounding women in games in our series inspired by International Women’s Day #ChooseToChallenge and Women’s History Month.

Our team discussed the importance of diversity - of all kinds - in gaming, celebrated women in the industry who inspire them, shared how they started their career in the industry and much more.

In this last article of the series, we ask the women of Firesprite how we increase the number of women in the games industry, and they share their advice to women aspiring to work in games.

What advice would you give to women aspiring to work in the games industry?

“If you have passion for the games industry, then chase it. If you want to become a programmer, animator, character artist, level designer, concept artist, QA, whatever career you choose to go for – research it as much as you can. If you go into an interview showcasing all the things you’ve been learning independently off your own back, the employer will recognise that you’re committed to the position you’re applying for. As long as you have passion for the industry that you work in, you’ll go far in your career”
- Victoria T, QA

“I will tell them to be always curious and humble, there is always something new to learn or code to improve. Video games is an industry that evolves, and us as an active “asset” should be able to evolve and keep learning.”
- Ester, Senior Engine Programmer

“The general perception of the gaming industry is that it’s quite technically challenging and might seem very intimidating to people or students looking at game development as a career option. There is much more to games than computer programming such as animations, texturing, concept art, modelling, lighting and various other stages which offer a variety of art centric roles.

I would tell students to not get intimidated and build a rock solid foundation of Computer Graphics concepts. Once they have a good foundation to build on then they can start specializing. This will help them to pick skills up faster once they start working in production. Lastly, build a good online presence and network on LinkedIn, ArtStation etc. A lot of recruitment happens over these sites, or at least is facilitated by them.”
- Darshita, Senior Cinematic Animator

“The best advice I would give is to just be yourself and show off your skills. Doesn’t matter what gender you are, we are all the same, the only difference is our skillset. Being a woman in the games industry is something to be proud of and enables other women to be inspired by you.”
- Tiffany, Junior Animator

“Its a tough job, and I mean tough, don’t think that just because you play games, you’ll have an easy road to working on them, you have to be dedicated to hone your skill and be itching to learn more! But its worth it!”
- Abby, Animator

“I think social media is a good way to connect with other women in the industry, find opportunities and get advice/encouragement. You can find lots of groups like Women in Games WIGJ who also put on conferences with cool informative talks and networking events!”
- Natalie, Junior Programmer

“One of the main the things I’d say, based on my experience and age group, is don’t be afraid to pursue something which seems intimidating or difficult to pursue. A lot of people in my university course, especially the women, where intimated by the idea of working in games, and a lot of people ask me if it was daunting for me since games is still considered to be not a particularly female oriented field, but all I’ve been given whilst pursing my career is support from everyone. I think we can all pitch in ideas and make amazing games together!”
- Nagia, Character Artist

“I’d say have a focus and push for your dreams. In any creative industry you’re always going to get knock backs, but don’t lose sight of who you are and what you want.”
- Victoria G, Environment Artist

“Don’t let dwindling percentages with regards to your pronoun in tech and games put you off from applying. You are just as capable and worthy as anyone else, don’t forget that. Another piece of advice is network, network, network! Make connections, sign up to LinkedIn, follow game devs on Twitter. There are other devs from other studios that I’ve never physically met in person but that I still talk to actively through the power of social media. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there.”
- Chloe, People Engagement Manager

“Just be yourself. If you love games and it’s a part of who you are, then that will shine through during any interview! All good studios (ahem, Firesprite..) are looking for passionate, dedicated, and genuine people to help make the fantastic games that they do, and if you believe that’s you, then don’t let any of life’s obstacles stop you.”
- Anita, HR Assistant

How do we increase the number of women in games?

“To increase the number of women in games I think it’s super important to actively celebrate the women of the industry to young girls. We can do this through events, webinars, mentoring, partnerships, and physically getting the women of the industry into schools for talks. It’s important to remember that working in games development is not a masculine or feminine field - it’s available to anyone who meets the criteria, and reinforcing this notion to the younger generation I think would massively help.”
- Chloe, People Engagement Manager

“While it is true that the games industry has been made up of primarily males, no reputable company is going to dismiss your application just because of your gender, so never be put off from applying to an industry where you know the majority of staff are another gender. There are many women out there who would love to work in the games industry so it’s more the statement of “please apply everywhere you can!”. There has definitely been a surge in women working for games in more recent years, I’d like to see that continue and grow even more.”
- Victoria T, QA

“And not only in video games, I believe women need to increase our presence in STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). To make girls and young students feel attracted to science, it is necessary to make them visible and accessible role models. It’s important they can see the existence of other women in this sector with interesting and successful jobs and careers. It is very important to eradicate malicious stereotypes and discouraging environments that cause girls to refrain from pursuing a career in science.”
- Ester, Senior Engine Programmer

“We should aim at recruiting a minimum number of women in each department. However, this should also be secondary to the merit of the candidate as we still want to deliver a quality product. There is no shortcut to doing this. In the long run I think we should make game industry/computer graphics more accessible to students, so they know what different skill sets are required for game development other than computer programming.

We should hold workshops at schools showing female students how games are developed and pique their interest in the craft. Allow the interested students to visit the studio to experience the life of a game development and pair them up with a mentor to help them with any doubts.

However, it’s not just about increasing the numbers, gaming companies also need to work harder to retain female talent.”
- Darshita, Senior Cinematic Animator

“It’s a difficult question. It’s so hard to get into games as it is because it’s such a niche job and lots of people want to do it, and when there’s less women to start off with at the beginning it makes the numbers drop. So I think it’s about helping women to be more confident and push for what they want and don’t give up.”
- Victoria G, Environment Artist

“At this point its silly for anyone to think that girls don’t play games, and as per usual we as women just have to prove them wrong. Challenged Accepted.”
- Abby, Animator

If you’re feeling inspired to purse your dream career in gaming, join us! We have several opportunities live now and are accepting speculative applications, we’d love to hear from you. View the latest opportunities on our careers page.