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International Women's Day 2022

Category: studio

8 March 2022 11:50 AM
IWD 2022

Celebrating the Women of Firesprite!

Working in Code, Art, Animation, Design, Narrative, QA, Production, HR, People Engagement, Marketing, Recruitment and Finance; this International Women's Day, we spotlight and celebrate the incredible women of Firesprite.

IWD FS 2022

Inspired by this year's Break The Bias theme, some of our talented sprites discussed what that powerful statement means to them, and to our wider industry.

What does Break the Bias mean to you?

“It means giving everyone with the passion and talent to work in games an equal chance to break into the industry and progress their careers."
- Anna, Associate Game Director

“For me, Break the Bias is all about becoming more aware of the everyday biases that exist around us and challenging those preconceptions that we all hold. Each individual has to work harder to acknowledge bias within ourselves and break those biases down to work towards and achieve equality for all."
- Rebecca, People Development Director

“Breaking the bias means being respected equally for the work I do. No one is looking for special treatment. Just a fair and safe environment in which to do their job which I don’t think is too much to ask!"
- Charlie, Development Manager

“To me “Break The Bias” is a call to action! Having worked within Games and Technology, I wish I could have told my younger self how wide the net of opportunities are for these kind of industries. You also don’t have to be perfect to be a valuable member of the team – mistakes are just opportunities to widen your understanding of a situation and grow your skills.”
- Fiona, Talent Acquisition Coordinator

“Break the Bias is a great way to show the diversity and equality of genders. We are all capable to do whatever we want to do and become whoever we want to be. It also allows us to show off our achievements and share our future goals."
- Tiffany, Junior Animator

“To me, Break The Bias means fair and equal opportunities for those who come from under-represented backgrounds, as well communities showing means of allyship and support."
- Chloe, People Engagement Manager

“To me Breaking the Bias is challenging those ‘norms’ which may be so ingrained into everyday life for us that we might not ever normally call them into question. You know the age old ‘bossy’ woman but ‘assertive’ man, yeah that one? It’s about having that self-awareness to question your own attitude and being brave enough to really shine a light on them and speak up against them. Women should be encouraged to promote themselves more and use their voice, and more important being confident in doing so. Breaking the Bias isn’t something that can be done overnight, but even just initiating these types of conversations, especially within the workplace, all helps towards us building a world free of stereotypes and discrimination and instead focused on being equitably diverse and inclusive. If you ask me, its been a long time coming."
- Anita, HR Advisor

What can our industry do to Break the Bias?

“We can make sure people responsible for hiring are aware of unconscious biases they may not even know they have, check for hidden barriers like access to education and childcare, and even simply making sure that the idea of working in games is populated to more than the usual suspects – games cover a wide breadth of platforms, business models and subject matter these days and we need a diversity of developers to match that!"
- Anna, Associate Game Director

“The first step is not being afraid to acknowledge that bias exists, no matter how small it may appear. Having challenging conversations, ensuring companies within the industry promote an open environment where all voices are heard and respected, and issues surrounding bias can be raised, discussed and addressed fairly and consistently across all disciplines, regardless of seniority. It's essential for all studios within our industry to promote a positive culture, where opportunities and development happen in a safe inclusive space and are there for everyone.

Even with the best culture we should never assume that bias doesn't exist, we should be constantly learning, evolving and looking for ways to improve, so the conversations can continue moving forwards positively.

Using external consultants, from underrepresented groups within the industry can give an invaluable perspective and education and continue to help us learn and evolve our work place culture and environment."
- Rebecca, People Development Director

“Keep striving for equality, supporting minorities, educating and holding companies and people accountable."
- Charlie, Development Manager

“Actively ensuring the industry is made up of differing perspectives and experiences. Discuss the problems and look for ways to encourage a more accepting environment."
- Sophie, Writer

“The industry is gradually improving when it comes to Breaking the Bias. I have been seeing a lot of strong female leaders, ambassadors who break the stereotype of women being inefficient in top roles. I think the industry should carry on celebrating their female employees and their achievements."
- Tiffany, Junior Animator

“There will always be continuous room for improvement when it comes to Breaking the Bias in the games industry, from reducing stigma, sourcing through different means of recruitment, being an ally for those who come from under-represented backgrounds, and much more!"
- Chloe, People Engagement Manager

“Hear women's voices, share their experiences and tell their stories. This is true for all marginalised groups. Gaming is for everyone! So making games more accessible and inclusive is crucial to the future of interactive entertainment. Promote a culture of diverse talent in studios and celebrate those voices across the whole industry - from gamedev and studio support teams, to the creators and players who spend hours in our game worlds."
- Caroline, Senior Social Media & Content Manager

“Our industry is known for being predominantly male dominated – working in games that’s something you accept early on. I would be naive to not mention the recent issues brought to light within our industry that indicate some main issues with regards to diversity and inclusivity, which highlights that sadly, we do have a way to go yet. The fact is that the games industry is still not fully diverse, but the majority of studios are ready for that to change. Instead of simply demanding a change and hoping it happens, there are tons of movements out there already helping to facilitate it.

Girls who Code, Ukie’s Raise the Game and Women in Games, are just a snippet of the amazing initiatives out there right now for studios to take part in.

According to recent statistics, only 24% of those working in the industry are women – 24%?! To me that seems shockingly low and proof that vast imbalances still remain normal. We all have a responsibility within the games industry to increase the representation of female developers, which undoubtedly will change how females are depicted in games. I believe one of the main reasons why we have less women in our industry boils down to a continuous loop of underrepresentation – simply put, if women are less represented in games, they are less likely to want to choose to study for a career in the games sector.

Though, it isn’t all doom and gloom, and many studios are choosing to make a change - consider Uncharted: The Lost Legacy – hugely successful franchise featuring two strong female leads, and Horizon which of course features Aloy, who is now considered an icon in her own right, effectively changing the narrative of protagonists within AAA games. I believe that creating games which centre around strong, female characters will help quash the assumption that gaming is wholly reserved for ‘boys’, and we absolutely need to see more kick-ass lead female characters!"
- Anita, HR Advisor

What will you do to Break the Bias?

“I will take opportunities to be visible and speak about how fulfilling a job in games can be and hopefully encourage more women and girls to consider games and tech as career options."
- Anna, Associate Game Director

“I will continue championing and supporting via my ambassadorship with Women in Games and being a vocal and approachable member of the game dev community."
- Charlie, Development Manager

“Taking a step back and assessing (with an empathetic eye) the world in which we live.
Put myself in other people’s shoes in order to gain a better understanding of the troubles others face.
Continue to be a voice within the industry that encourages others to speak and be seen."
- Sophie, Writer

“I’m currently the only female animator in my project and have had several animations that have been approved by the client. I will continue producing amazing work, showing that I have the same abilities and knowledge as my male colleagues."
- Tiffany, Junior Animator

“I'll continue to support women's communities in gaming and champion the achievements of my absolutely incredible sprite and industry peers. Women across all aspects of gaming, from development, leadership, studio support teams, streaming, content creation and community are breaking biases every day with their crucial expertise and valuable voices."
- Caroline, Senior Social Media & Content Manager

“Breaking the bias is something I am personally passionate about. As a woman in business it’s vital that we are doing everything we can to have our voices heard. Working within HR I feel it's my duty to ensure that Firesprite continue to be progressive and inclusive when it comes to diversity within our industry.

We are advocates for Diversity at Firesprite and take part in all sorts of cool movements and initiatives – Firesprite have recently launched our own internal Diversity and Inclusivity group – a chance for a group of us sprites to sit down and discuss how we can align our processes and practices to be more inclusive, currently focused on how our recruitment efforts can entice more women and diverse candidates into the industry. Since becoming an SIE studio last year, we now can take full advantage of Sony’s pilot scheme for Women’s Leadership Development lab, which was developed by women, for women, with the objective of the program to equip women in our industry with tools for effective leadership, communication, and problem-solving, leading to positive outcomes, including career progression, diversity in leadership roles.

In addition to improving representation, I think we also need to work harder on retaining and fostering our female current talent which is why support networks, mentorships and development schemes are hugely important.

For me, I break the bias by making sure all our wonderful women at Firesprite know that they are valued, and their contribution is equal. I make sure that all our sprites know HR is there should they need to confidentially speak to someone about any issues surrounding discrimination and know that they will be dealt with appropriately. It’s a big responsibility to identify and address discriminatory behaviour, but it’s something I am deeply passionate about and I do believe it contributes towards the awesome culture of open and honest communication here at Firesprite."
- Anita, HR Advisor

International Women's Day is an excellent opportunity to reflect upon and recognise the talent, contributions and achievements of women everywhere. Today we'd like to say a huge thank you to all of the women across our industry and beyond! A very special thank you to the incredibly talented women of Firesprite - and to our studio of allies. Together we're so proud to work together to break biases and craft exceptional experiences for our players!

We'd also like to take the opportunity to revisit the impactful insights our sprites shared in our interview series last year and the ways in which the topics they explored help us Break the Bias! Find and explore more from the amazing women of Firesprite when they shared their experience and answered these questions for our Women's History Month and IWD 2021 series:

How does your work help bring Firesprite's games to life?
When did you know that you wanted to work in games?
How did you start your career in games, what was your journey into the industry like?
Tell us about some of the games you’re most proud to have worked on throughout your career.
What can you tell us about the project(s) you're working on right now?
Which women in games inspire you?
Tell us something that you've learned from one of your fellow women of Firesprite.
Why is diversity important in the industry?
What advice would you give to women aspiring to work in the games industry?
How do we increase the number of women in games?

If you've been inspired these amazing women, join them! Check out our career opportunities here and build the future with Firesprite.