WHAT WE TALK ABOUT WHEN WE TALK ABOUT WOMENIZE!
Last week, a number of Staramba staff went to WOMENIZE!1, a one-day event held as part of gamesweekberlin. WOMENIZE! is contains talks, presentations, and discussions on careers, leadership, the types of roles within the digital industries, founding, women in eSports, and the wider video game industry.
I’ve written in the past about female representation within Staramba and around our products. When we first began, the proportion of female employees on our staff was fewer than 10 per cent. That gender gap has since increased to a quarter, and we aim to surpass 30 per cent in the next few years. We’ve also made efforts to improve the gender representation in the beta testing of MATERIA.ONE.
As part of our corporate benefits, a number of our staff attended gamesweekberlin2. As part of that, a number of our female colleagues attended WOMENIZE! in order to hear more about women in tech. Below are some of their thoughts.
Originally from Romania, Dana is a project manager on one of our experience teams. Having worked in the games industry for the last decade, she singled out the opening talk.
DANA: “As Berlin is a hub for technology within Europe, it would have been nice if the event had been bigger. I’m not a gamer myself but there was a discussion by Lena Alter3 and Melek Balgün that talked about their experience in the industry and how they have navigated through it. It wasn’t a negative journey but they had to build a community and find support from other women in technology and gamers. They were gamers themselves and started going to events and creating content on the YouTube. From this, they started learning from one another and the comments they received. The challenge was about how to navigate though and discern which feedback was helpful, and which wasn’t. But they found that when they applied the feedback, they often then get told the opposite thing. Overall, I felt it touched on many valid points and would be useful for younger women looking to start a career in games.”
Manuela is creative director at Staramba. She attended as part of our marketing push to hire more people to work on developing MATERIA.ONE.
MANUELA: “What was most interesting about WOMENIZE! was that it was not just for women. There were a lot of men in the audience, which was great to see. I really enjoyed Sarah Noack’s4 talk about recruiting in the industry called ‘How to Grow a Pair as a Woman: A Female View on Courage’. I thought that was really inspiring for women trying to make their way in the industry. I’d love to see events like this extended to other industries like computer science.”
Lydia works as VP Marketing at Staramba. She also found the talk given by Rachel Quirico to be inspiring, citing Quirico’s pinpointing of the importance of cohesion and support among women, especially among eSports.
LYDIA: “I liked the event overall, but to point one talk out, it was the talk by Rachel ‘Seltzer’ Quirico. Quirico spoke about the development of eSports from a hosting and talent point of view. I liked this quite a bit because she was also bringing up points of how a lot of games at least try out eSports because they finally see the potential of a competitive ecosystem within a product with the goal of potentially fostering a longer product lifecycle. Another good point as to why I liked this talk was that there were a lot of questions by the audience that were thoroughly answered.
Lydia was also impressed by the talk Tamer gave, which was centred around narrative design:
LYDIA: “Even though this was focussed on mobile gaming (she works for King after all) there was still a lot of good content that is totally applicable in a lot of other fields that might not only be gaming but also non-gaming products as well. On top of that, it was really well presented.”
All of our female colleagues at Staramba said that the event was useful and hoped that it would grow and become more popular in the coming years. We certainly hope so, and we plan to come back time and time again!