Looking at the number of female players it’s quite astonishing that being a woman in the gaming industry is still not as common as it should be. Despite almost half of all gamers identifying as female, according to the latest IGDA Developer Satisfaction Survey, only 23% of gaming professionals are women.
Women are still widely underrepresented in the gaming industry, especially in mobile gaming. They make up less than 30% of gamers competing in eSports although they’re just as talented, passionate and competitive as their male counterparts.
But why is that? Reasons range from fewer women getting into STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects and other tech-focused studies, a corporate culture that is often perceived as bro-y and intimidating for women, to underlying gender biases when it comes to recruiting and hiring female professionals.
Watch this Pixar short film for a perfect example of a ball of yarn hijacking the bro-tastic culture she felt forced to fit in.
Be the change you want to see
What do we do at Kolibri Games to prevent incorporating this kind of behavior into our own work environment? Our aim is to become the most inclusive and diverse workplace. We acknowledge that the success of our games would not be the same without recruiting and engaging the best women in the industry.
Leontine is heading one of our newest game teams and she, quite honestly, is killing it. Having a few years as a gaming professional under her belt before joining Kolibri Games in 2018, Leontine knows all about the challenges women face in the gaming industry and luckily she also has some advice in store for other female gaming enthusiasts aspiring to take the first big steps in their career.
Despite starting out as a game design intern, Leontine still felt too young to start her career in gaming right away: “I wanted to finish my studies first, even though they had nothing to do with gaming per se. But gaining experience in different areas just made it even more apparent for me that I also had to pursue my private passion for gaming professionally.”
After finding out what she really wanted, she began looking for a job that fit her needs: providing stability but also giving her opportunities to learn and grow. That culminated in her joining Kolibri Games as Junior Product Manager in October 2018.
Read why at Kolibri Games we let you choose your own workplace with our “4+1” Flex Work System here
Coding games and Coding Conduct
Seeing other women getting hired and promoted set an example for Leontine and made her feel comfortable to also ask for more responsibilities: “For me, the culture at Kolibri Games makes all the difference. From my first day on I’ve always felt respected and that my opinions are truly valued.”
Leontine remembers situations in former work engagements where she was confronted with sexist remarks and being spoken over in meetings. “So I don’t take this as a given but at Kolibri Games I’ve never encountered any of these things. I really value that it’s okay to be honest and vulnerable with the people you work with. Because it always helps to get another perspective on your problem and establish an open feedback culture. Our internal workshops on inclusion and diversity greatly help to get everyone on board to check their own bias,” says Leontine who welcomes the introduction of inclusion and diversity initiatives at Kolibri Games like setting a code of conduct.
Bye Bye impostor syndrome!
Leontine herself is the best example of her own words progressing from Junior Product Manager to Product Lead of her own team. When looking back Leontine would advise her younger self to just go for it: “I know it’s not as simple as that but the sooner you realize that everyone has this inner voice of self-doubt and you are not alone with it, the easier it gets. Sometimes you just have to push that voice aside and be proud of what you’ve already achieved. If you are motivated and willing to learn, don’t take yourself out of the race!”
At Kolibri Games we couldn’t agree more. We want to make games for everyone and our workplace reflects the diversity of our players and community. If you want to know more about our initiatives, we also signed the declaration of the German games industry for more diversity which was just nominated for an Impact of Diversity Award.
But there is always room for improvement, so check out our open positions below and get your career in gaming started!
You’re especially interested in our product teams? Leontine can you tell you all about how to become a great product manager in this article.