Facebook Launches New Campaign To Promote Women In Gaming

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg points out that the game industry still has a big diversity problem.

Social networking behemoth Facebook has launched a new campaign that aims to promote diversity in the video game industry and encourage more women to get into the field. The network's new "Women In Gaming Stories" initiative includes a website that has videos featuring women in various roles across the industry, including game design, marketing, HR, sales, and more. The lead video features Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg.

"Gaming is one of the best examples of people connecting around their interests, and women have a really important part to play in this industry," Sandberg said. The executive went on to cite statistics about how women make up around half of all gamers worldwide, while some female characters are some of the best known recently, including Tracer from Overwatch, Aloy from Horizon Zero Dawn, and Chloe and Nadine from Uncharted: The Lost Legacy.

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Sandberg added that the video game industry needs to do more to encourage more women to join the video game industry as part of an effort for games to be better representative of the global population.

"Yet gaming still doesn't fully reflect the audience it serves or the stories it tells," Sandberg went on to say. "Women only make up 23 percent of the workforce, and women of color are even less represented. In this industry, women also face steretypes and prejudice that hold them back, just like they do in every industry. And when they become the target of online threats, it's even harder to convince young women that this is an industry full of opportunity; and industry that not only values their work--but needs it."

Sandberg added that Facebook wants to see games made that "speak to everyone." The Women In Gaming campaign is an effort to build a global community for women in the industry to share stories of the challenges they've faced and more about their experiences. Sandberg went on to say that Facebook will organise meet-ups so that women in gaming can come together for support and empowerment. Also on the website you will find links to talks from noted female game developers such as Brenda Romero and links to research where you can learn more about the facts on women in the video game workplace.

You can watch more than a dozen videos on Facebook's website in which women in the games industry such as Rovio CEO Kati Levoranta, King brand manager Natalie Mellin, and various internal Facebook gaming staffers discuss their experiences as women in the games industry. A Facebook representative told GI.biz that the company aims to have around 100 videos of this type on its website by the end of 2018, so that it can provide a better representation of the roles that are available in video games across all disciplines.

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