Xbox Announces Mentorship Program Lead by Women Leaders in Gaming
To honour and celebrate March 8, International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, Xbox has announced it will be launching a mentorship program.
According to the ESA, 45% of gamers identify as women, but even with those numbers, there’s a distinct underrepresentation of women characters being seen in video games. To push those numbers into perspective, of those who are game devs, only 30% identify as women around the world.
How does Xbox want to change those figures? “By increasing diversity and representation in the people who make games, we can create new and unique gaming experiences for everyone. ”
Over half of the Xbox’s leadership team is made of women with women at Microsoft representing a total of 29.7 percent of the core global workforce. To bolster these numbers, Xbox is looking to create a new mentorship for women, to build a community where everyone can be themselves and play together.
On Xbox Wire, Louise O’Connor, an executive producer at Rare, revealed a new mentorship program aimed at partnering women in gaming careers across studios and pairing them with upcoming talent. The goal is to offer 1:1 coaching sessions with leaders in several markets, including the US, UK, France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Japan, and Korea.
This initiative is something exciting to behold and more women need to be in the industry. The mentorship program was created to create meaningful engagements with women who are looking to start careers in the industry — one that is difficult to get a foot in. Thankfully, things have begun shifting to feel more inclusive over the last several years.
Kicking things off this month is the Inclusive Leadership @ Xbox Game Studios session at Game Developer Conference 2022. The talk features several key members of the Xbox team, including Mary McGuane, Xbox studio manager (Obsidian, Double Fine and InXile); Kate Rayner, head of technology for The Coalition; Shannon Loftis, former studio head for World’s Edge; Helen Chiang, corporate vice president, Minecraft franchise; Kim Swift, senior director of Cloud Gaming at Xbox Game Studios Publishing; and Bonnie Ross, studio head for 343 Industries.
Furthermore, throughout Women’s History Month, Xbox will highlight stories about representation in gaming from women gamers. Here are their stories.
On the Xbox Twitch channel, Xbox Plays streams will feature a different theme each week, including Women Streamer Takeovers, Women Game Creators, showcasing nonprofit organizations supporting women who want to pursue careers in gaming.
There will be a lot of ways to celebrate, be sure to check out the post on Xbox Wire for even more events.