Hangar 13 Games, the developer behind the superb Mafia: Definitive Edition, are sponsoring this year’s MCV/DEVELOP Women in Games 2023 Awards. We’ve taken the chance to chat to their UK studio head Rebecca Sampson about both their involvement with the awards and how the games industry is doing at supporting the women within it.
What is the appeal of sponsoring the Women in Games Awards, this year?
Having dedicated awards ceremonies commending the achievements of women within the games industry is a fantastic way of showing support and solidarity in recognising the nominees’ and winners’ successes over the past year. The MCV Women in Games Awards are a great opportunity for Women in the games industry and their allies to get together to celebrate past wins and look ahead to future aspirations. Hangar 13 is always in support of any opportunity to acknowledge and showcase the brilliant work that these Women are accomplishing.
Why the Career Mentor award in particular?
Having role models that young people can look up to and aspire to be is incredibly important within the games sector and for them to be able to look at some of the talent leading the way currently and see a more experienced version of themselves – someone who they see as a representation of who they are – is really powerful. There is still a lot of work to be done to increase the educational outreach and awareness of available games career options in schools that it is important to celebrate the achievements of those currently leading the way as career mentors.
It isn’t just for young people either, women at mid-level positions need to see more Women in leadership positions – who have a ‘voice at the table’ – and play a significant part in diverse decision-making.
How important is that your organisation supports the efforts of women working in the games industry?
We have always seen the incredible value of what diverse perspectives bring to an organisation, and especially within the games that we create. One of our key focuses have been to help support more women into leadership positions and being flexible has always been a priority of ours. We also know that outreach has great worth and by supporting awards such as these, and impressive organisations such as Women in Games, and Code Coven; Hangar 13 can widen our efforts to make more impact within the industry and not just for our studio.
Do you feel that the wider industry is heading in the right direction in its support for women working in games?
There has been a shift in the right direction with more Women of late moving into leadership roles, whether it’s as a people manger, a director of a department, or a studio head. Things are slowly shifting, but there is always more that can be done to increase the number of Girls and Women knowing that they can make a career in games a reachable and worthy ambition.
What other things can the industry do to support women in games?
They can continue supporting the initiatives focused around giving Women a platform to be seen and heard. They can also continue to educate and learn about how things can impact women differently within the workplace, continue to be flexible and continue to listen.