Women account for more than half of all gamers, according to recent statistics, but they only make up a very small percentage of the gaming industry’s workforce. EA is looking to change that.
According to Chief Operations Officer Peter Moore, this has been a focus of the company’s hiring practices for the past several years. In a recent interview, Moore said:
“We all need to step back sometimes and think about the environments we create for our people, the opportunities we create for people internally, and equally importantly how you bring new blood into the company. It can’t all be white males. As a result, I think that hiring managers at EA over the last couple of years have had a sharper focus on diversity. I know that my teams around the world have.”
A look at a few of EA’s biggest projects reveals that they’re putting their money where their mouth is – the Sims development team alone is comprised of about 40% women, and Moore says that there’s a “large female development presence” on the developer’s mobile team, as well.
Women play a major role in the development of a lot of your favorite EA games, like Star Wars: Battlefront.
There are several women at the helm of popular titles at EA, including Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst executive producer Sara Jansson, Star Wars: Battlefront senior producer Sigurlina Ingvarsdottir, The Sims 4 executive producer Rachel Franklin, and Amy Hennig, who heads an as-yet-unnamed Star Wars project. Women also lead entire divisions of the company; the head of EA’s mobile team is Samantha Ryan, and Jade Raymond heads their new Motive Division.
Hiring women already looking for a career in game development is a start, but EA wants to do more. To that end, they recently invited more than 30 high school-aged girls to their Bay-area campus for a seven-week Girls Who Code program, helping to inspire young women to pursue careers in the industry.
Moore also hopes that the recent, first-time inclusion of women’s teams in FIFA 16 will boost the interest of women in the FIFA series – a stepping stone to getting more women to want to make the games they love to play.
Is EA the new model for progress in gender diversity in the industry? Know of another AAA developer that does it better? Give us your thoughts in the comments below.