Marie-Claire has had a long career inspiring others to achieve. She is the CEO of Women in Games, a not for profit founded in 2009. Since joining as CEO in 2016 she has taken Women in Games from a tiny grassroots volunteer organisation, operating in the UK to a globally recognised leader in the field of Gender Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. She joined in 2016 after a career in education, directing one of the first and most successful Games Art Design BA and MA programmes in the UK at Norwich University of the Arts (NUA). She continues to support the education sector as Chair of the Industry Liaison Group at FutureWorks Manchester, Trustee for the Open College of the Arts and Trustee for the BGI.
Women in Games has just published The Guide: Building A Fair Playing Field. Recurring revelations about working cultures in the games sector reveal that there is an urgent need to adopt the fair playing field approach in relation to gender. The most important ingredient in making real, systemic change, is leadership. Women in Games recommends leaders across the games and esports sectors commit to genuine change, by providing the driving force behind actions designed to bring about fairness. In practical terms, this means being publicly aligned to clear goals, and providing visible, high-level leadership in the ongoing process of successfully achieving those goals. Unless leaders actively plan and set out how they are to be achieved, progressive ideas, policies, objectives and required outcomes will gather more dust as papers in a drawer, or stay as box-ticking exercises. It is not enough to simply increase female representation numerically and call this ‘diversity’. A diverse workforce can only thrive if fairness is built into every aspect of the structure in which it operates. Employing more women is the first step, but it should be integrated into the creation of a culture of belonging. Marie-Claire Isaaman and Sharon Tolaini-Sage – the co-authors of The Guide – will discuss why this document is important, and offer some advice on how studios can Build A Fair Playing Field themselves.
We are so lucky to have Develop here in the UK. It’s a unique event where you can come and discover new things with people who care passionately about video games. It’s a sea full of new ideas.
Develop:Brighton is especially unique - it’s by the seaside and there’s a lovely relaxed tone that goes with that.The talks are cool, the networking is cool and having the opportunity to catch up with people – that’s always the excitement for me!
A lot of the opportunities that come from being here are speaking to other developers who are doing exactly the same thing as you. And there are some good parties – it’s very much a pleasurable work experience!
It’s fantastic to have such an event that provides this opportunity for all the game devs, indie devs and other organisations to get together to showcase what they do, meet and interact.
I absolutely love coming to Develop, it’s a brilliant, brilliant conference – you just know you’re guaranteed to meet everyone.
Jo Twist, OBE
Develop:Brighton’s a great conference. It’s got a spread of people from all parts of the games industry talking about such a wide range of topics.
I really like Develop, I really like the intimacy of it and I love the location.. there’s a good diversity of talks going on so there hasn’t been a time when there’s nothing I want to see.
If you really want to have a good interface with the British game developer community then this is the place to come.
It’s really nice to see some of the younger people in our studio come to Develop, interact with other people in the dev community and make new contacts. I think it’s really important to learn from other people.
Develop is important – the networking is very important. And go to talks they’re inspiring and get your creative juices flowing, they can make you think and you’ll learn how other people do things.
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