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  • UK Government Minister gives support to Women in Games Jobs initiative

    A very successful networking lunch and conference took place in Brighton yesterday at the Develop conference with over 70 women attending to hear Sheri Graner-Ray give an inspirational keynote address. The conference started with David Smith reading out a message from Lynne Featherstone MP, Minister for Equalities. In the letter the Minister warned the industry that its long time domination by men needed to change. “Companies that can’t see the value that women bring to the workplace are extremely short-sighted as they lose out on talent and skills of half the population. They risk being uncompetitive in a very fast-moving world by not being able to choose from all available employees.”

    The full statement is reproduced below.

    “With the likes of Lara Croft, Jill Valentine and Alyx Vance well established on the nation’s consoles there are no shortage of female characters in videogames, but behind the scenes things have for too long been dominated by men – perhaps explaining why the likes of Miss Croft look the way they do!

    “This is a problem not just for women who want to work in gaming and girls who are given unrealistic expectations about how they should look. It’s a problem for the industry as a whole, as organisations filled with people who look the same, sound the same and have the same life experiences can all too easily end up thinking the same.

    “Diverse organisations reflect their customers better, are likely to understand them better and offer better products and services as a result. Companies that can’t see the value that women bring to the workplace are extremely short-sighted as they lose out on talent and skills of half the population.

    “They risk being uncompetitive in a very fast-moving world by not being able to chose from all available employees. Equality is as good for businesses as it is for women and society.

    “As a government we’re working hard to support women in the workplace, for example looking at making the right to request flexible working available to all and introducing a system of shared parental leave. But this is not something the government can do alone – we need the private sector to do its bit as well.

    “That’s why I was so pleased to hear about this conference, and I’m really sorry that I’m not able to be there personally. I’m glad you’re also considering what more can be done and I look forward to hearing your conclusions. Best wishes for a successful conference.”

    More reports from the lunch and conference will follow at Women in Games Jobs.

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