More developers should avoid simply going for the applicant with the most experience when hiring, in order to boost diversity in the industry.
That was the suggestion from Fullbright founder Steve Gaynor while speaking at GDC.
The head of the Gone Home studio revealed on-stage that, in contrast with the male-dominated state of much of the games industry, five of Fullbright’s eight staff are women.
He added that this involved taking on staff that perhaps weren’t the ideal candidates for some positions. He used the example of artist Kate Craig, who joined Fullbright after working on Facebook titles.
"We didn’t decide to work with her because she was already the best person for the job,” recalled Gaynor. “She became that person. It’s often the people who are unproven that end up doing the work that changes us.
“This is not a rare story in our industry. All of us, right now, can think of the person who gave you your first chance. They opened the door for you.”
Gaynor explained that female applicants are sometimes less experienced than their male counterparts, simply because there are currently opportunities for female developers to begin with – subsequently meaning that fewer chances open up.
"You certainly need some senior people and to be fair, most of the senior people on our team are male,” he said. “But here’s the thing about positive feedback loops: they create self-perpetuating cycles. The men on the team have the experience and track record to be the best person for the job, because we’ve been given the chance to prove ourselves.
“Maybe you have a chance, because you’re involved with hiring, recommending people for new positions, or running your own studio, to hire a young woman who hasn’t had the opportunity to prove herself yet, but you know that she could if somebody gave her a chance.
“Maybe letting her in now leads to the whole industry, 10 or 15 years from now, having way more women who can stand up and say: ‘I am the best person for the job because I worked my way here. And nobody can take that from me, because years ago, somebody let me in.’"