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Empowering Women in Gaming

How Diversity Can Help the Gaming Industry Level Up

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gaming-women-minority groups-workforcediversity

Our panel of experts discusses the biggest obstacles women and minority groups face in the gaming industry, and how companies can overcome these issues to empower a more diverse and creative workforce. 


Stacy Gerke

Marketing Manager, Ingram Micro 

What do you think the gaming industry will look like in the next five years?  

The industry has seen an explosion with the pandemic as more people look for entertainment options, which includes gaming. We’ve seen huge growth in new players showing up in the market, along with avid gamers looking to buy into better quality products and services as they have spent more and more time in their homes.  

I am a believer that now that these new players are in this market, and they are here to stay, especially since a large area of growth was in subscription-based services, which comes with an automatic tie into a time length. As gaming becomes more and more accessible, more players will be seen across the board.  

What are some quick actions we can take to ensure a more diverse gaming industry?  

Better product and service offerings to a more diverse group, and not just making a gaming headset pink, but really diving into a more inclusive way of looking at each product. For instance, the average gaming mouse may not be a great fit for female gamers, and looking into the dynamic small shifts they can make to that mouse for a better offering can make or break how well a female gamer is able to play, especially in games that require speed and agility.  

Representation in the actual game/metaverse. Often, women are portrayed in a hyper-sexualized manner with few other options, and there are very few BIPOC, differently abled persons, and LGBTQIA+ persons. Adding these to the online world can make all the difference in the way people perceive the person behind the game.  

Ask gamers. Ask gamers what they are really looking for in their world. Are you providing them what they want, or what you think they want? Do female gamers really want a pink mouse and headset, or do they want something different, and you aren’t resonating with their needs at all? 

What are the greatest challenges women in gaming are facing today?   

Female gamers face a variety of challenges in the gaming world, from a lack of female-oriented product and solution offerings, to bullying in the online gaming world and more. There are regular news articles addressing the treatment of women in the gaming world, and as we see more and more female gamers come into this space, we aren’t likely to see it slow down anytime soon.  

However, with the influx of female gamers, we’ll likely see this slow down as it become more of a “norm” rather than an outlier. I’d love to see more corporations sponsor and back female gamers in this space and help drive the inclusivity messaging.  

How important is it to have female C-suite executives lead some of the largest gaming corporations in America today?  

Without women in key leadership roles in the gaming industry segment, it is exceedingly difficult to recognize and accentuate their needs and what opportunities there are for more diverse products and solution sets. As a female gamer myself, I’m more likely to be able to convey that message to my peers and those I work with regularly in this industry to help give female gamers a voice that is not only from their perspective, but also showing up more often in everyday business conversations. 


Rosie Katz

Adjunct Professor, University of Silicon Valley

What are some quick actions we can take to ensure a more diverse gaming industry? 

Scholarships for women and minorities in gaming colleges. Recruiters reaching out to Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Building relationships between college recruiters and minority-led organizations like Game Heads in Oakland and Girls Who Code. 

What are the biggest challenges women in gaming are facing today? 

Getting promoted at the same rate as their male counterparts. Affordable child care options and long enough parental leave (should be at least one year) to form good bonds with their children without having to leave their jobs. Opinions being valued in meetings. More female mentorship, sponsorship, and advocacy in the workplace. 

If you could wave a magic wand and immediately change something about the gaming industry, would what it be? 

More women at the top, in important meetings, making decisions. 

What do you think the gaming industry will look like in the next five years?   

We’ll start to see more games marketed and geared toward women, and more women in leadership positively influencing the industry. 


Shanna Gregory

Chief Program Officer, Women Who Code

How can online education help empower a more diverse gaming workforce? 

The future of online education is accessible, addresses the inequality in traditional education models, and emphasizes community-based learning. Companies dedicated to truly diversifying the tech workforce should hire these non-traditional tech workers and support organizations dedicated to creating a global tech workforce. 

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