Pro Helvetia is launching its first-ever call for participation for women in the interactive media sector with «She Got Game». This mentoring and networking programme aims to strengthen equal opportunities in the game industry, both in Switzerland and in the regions overseen by Pro Helvetia’s liaison offices.
Although the cultural sector is making steady progress in gender equality, research continues to show much need for action. This is also true for the game industry. Surveys by the non-profit organisation «Women in Games» show that while in 2020 only 22% of video game employees worldwide were female, the share of female gamers was 50%.
Pro Helvetia’s «She Got Game» addresses this imbalance. This new mentoring and networking programme is designed to break down barriers to access, qualification, networking and visibility for women in the game industry. It offers participants one-on-one mentoring with proven experts as well as online lectures, peer-to-peer forums and an opportunity to showcase their work. The manifold offerings enable promoting entrepreneurial and professional competencies and achieving practical objectives.
«Success in the game industry requires not only talent, but also sustainable networks. ‘She Got Game’ strives to open doors and strengthen the influence and narratives of women in the game industry. The necessary structural change of the game industry towards more equal opportunities is also a question of individual empowerment. Central to the future development of this sector is literally bringing the great potential of its female players into play», says Philippe Bischof, Director of the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia.
Pro Helvetia is launching its initiative to develop an informal, international network and a professional community of women in the game industry in association with its six liaison offices.
Lucy Yuxi Lu, Head of Pro Helvetia Shanghai, sees the call for participation as an opportunity for exchange between the Swiss and international game industry: «Just as remarkable as the growth of the Chinese game industry and the increasing number of female users is the gender imbalance among developers. We hope that this programme will establish connections and networks for the mutual support of independent Chinese female developers on an international level, as well as foster diversity in the industry».
One of the «She Got Game» mentors is Stephanie Darrah, a British business development manager. She explains:
«I’m very excited to be invited to mentor the next generation of women in the game industry. (…) I’m honoured that it’s my turn to be a mentor and give something back.»
Pro Helvetia is initiating the «She Got Game» call for participation as part of the 2021–2024 Federal Cultural Policy, which aims to ensure adequate gender representation in all relevant areas of cultural creation.
This call is aimed at all game designers who identify as women. «She Got Game» will run from 2022 to 2024.
«She Got Game» Mentors
- Stephanie Darrah, Business Development Manager, Playtonic Ltd
- Dajana Dimovska, Co-CEO and Business Development Manager, NapNok Games, CEO Indium Play
- Yasemin Günay, Co-Founder, Koboldgames
- Violetta Leoni, Executive Producer, One-O-One Games
- Dasha Nasonova, Game Designer and Architect, Founder of Adagia
- Martina Santoro, Founder, OKAM studio; Founder, Latam Video Games Federation
- Natasha Skult, Founder and CEO, MiTale; IGDA Chair
- Chriss Vasquez Reyes, Producer, Gamaga; Partner and COO, Racoon Party Games; PR, Iguanabee
- Allison Yang Jing, Game Director and Researcher
- Poornima Seetharaman, Director of Design, Zynga; Women in Games Ambassador
- Sithe Ncumbe, Associate Producer, Nyamakop; Strategic Advisor, Black Game Developer Fund
SwissGames is an initiative to promote the Swiss games cluster at home and abroad. Under the umbrella of SwissGames, we organize or support Swiss participation in more than 20 events per year and help Swiss developers gain visibility, build relationships with the international games industry and access the global market.