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Team Junkfish Blog

Our Experiences in the Games Industry: International Women's Day

International Women's Day

On International Women's Day, we celebrate the invaluable contributions of women in the gaming industry, highlighting their impact on shaping a diverse and inclusive landscape. Over the years, women have played pivotal roles in various facets of game development, from programming and design to storytelling and marketing. Their creativity has enriched the gaming experience, bringing fresh perspectives and innovative ideas to the table.


We wanted to put together a short blog of experiences had by some of the women and non-binary folks at Junkfish, and how they would like to see continued growth in the industry.


Eva

Cartoon of Eva with dice and a cat holding a sword

Name: Eva


Role: Game Designer


Department: Design


Time in the industry: 3 Years






Working in the games industry

Working in the industry has been largely positive! There have been a few occasions where I felt I was talked over, but I suspect that is as much an artifact of working remotely and communicating through voice calls, since it's more difficult to gauge when a person is about to speak; it has been less so in person. I've only been to one game event, which was also quite pleasant! I didn't experience or witness any incidents personally.


Working at Junkfish

Working at Junkfish has been very positive! I have felt heard and respected from day one, both from my peers and from management. There has never really been a moment where I thought that I might be getting a different treatment because of my gender expression.


Changes you would like to see in the industry

A change in the general culture is definitely needed. There's still a severe lack of diversity in many companies (in terms of gender, orientation, race, ethnicity, etc.) and multiple perspectives help us create better, more innovative games.

"A change in the general culture is definitely needed"

Safe spaces should be created for people to talk about their experiences, and when they report incidents of misbehaviour, abuse, and harassment we should listen, investigate, and the people responsible should face consequences, no matter their rank in the company. Allowing such horrible behaviour to continue breeds a toxic culture of silence and oppression that hurts us all.

"Women are individuals with goals, hopes, and dreams, not blow-up sex dolls"

Also please, let's stop focusing on "female must be sexy" designs for women in games, regardless of the role they play in the narrative. Women are individuals with goals, hopes, and dreams, not blow-up sex dolls that exist for viewing pleasure.


 

zann

A cartoon version of zann as a melon wearing glasses

Name: zann


Role: Digital Content Creator and 2D Artist


Department: Art


Time in the industry: 1 Year 7 Months






Working in the games industry

Compared to the UK where Junkfish originated from, Singapore is a relatively small but thriving country in the video game industry. I studied animation at a vocational school but never actually got any professional animation industry related jobs after graduating and did graphic design work in local e-commerce companies. It wasn't anything remarkable, but the work I created during my days as a graphic designer had contributed to my portfolio.


Working at Junkfish

Junkfish is my first experience in the video game industry. I'm extremely thankful to be able to work alongside a team of hard-working, talented and humble people. They're meticulous and self-disciplined and I look up to them a lot, especially the people in the art team.


I have a lot of fun almost every day at work and sometimes ask myself "Is it really okay for me to have this much fun?" I heard a lot of things about women working in the video game industry and was always worried about encountering negative experiences myself, but being in Junkfish has been great!

"I have a lot of fun almost every day at work and sometimes ask myself "Is it really okay for me to have this much fun?"

I consider myself a seedling in this industry, but I had opportunities to try many new things here (that I thought I would never get the chance to) and I'm extremely thankful for that!


Changes you would like to see in the industry

Junkfish recently implemented the Menstrual Leave Policy a couple of months back. I hope more companies in this industry can better the working experiences of women and non-binary people by including policies such as this.


 

Sara

A cartoon of Sara with a cherry blossom background

Name: Sara


Role: Senior UI / UX Designer


Department: Art


Time in the industry: 5 + Years






Working in the games industry

I've always worked with kind and friendly colleagues who never treated me any differently because of my gender and always made me feel part of the team! For that, I am really thankful because I am having a lovely experience as a game dev.


Working at Junkfish

Working at Junkfish has been great! I've been at the company for nearly 5 years now, and I've always felt at home. People are really nice and great to talk to and it is amazing to share our stories and learn more about each other! Junkfish has had a lot of growth in the past years and we are still growing. I am very happy to be part of our journey as a company!

"Junkfish has had a lot of growth in the past years and we are still growing"

Changes you would like to see in the industry

It would be awesome to normalise that people are different and a person's worth is measured by their passion, skill and attitude, rather than gender, orientation and background. I would very much love to be known as a simple game developer rather than a woman game developer. In my opinion, there shouldn't be descriptor because, at the end of the day, I am just a person doing a job.

"Normalise that people are different and a person's worth is measured by their passion."

I'd also like to see less people abusing of their power and position to harass and molest co-workers - there have been plenty of articles about this in the past year alone. I am lucky to have never experienced any of this, but I can empathise with the victims.

"I'd like to see our industry taking care of game developers first by investing in their wellbeing and happiness!"

Last but not least, lay offs! There have been plenty of these as well. It seems that our industry is often geared towards unsustainable practices and fast paced production that values the product more than the people making the product. I'd like to see our industry taking care of game developers first by investing in their wellbeing and happiness!


 

Ellie

A cartoon version of Ellie holding a dice, with a microphone and a Togekiss

Name: Ellie


Role: Marketing Manager


Department: Marketing and Community


Time in the industry: 1 Year 1 Month






Working in the games industry

I am very new to the industry, having migrated from Higher Education over to Games, and can honestly say my experience of gender discrimination has been less now than it was in Higher Education. In my short time in the industry i've attended several events already (part of the role I guess!) and so far everyone has been great and I have had no real negative interactions (other than someone assuming senior staff would be male)!

"I am now a Women in Games Ambassador"

Although I've only been in the industry a year, I am now a Women in Games Ambassador and I hope I can continue to help further women's experience in the games industry.


Working at Junkfish

You hear many things about being a woman in the games industry and when I joined Junkfish I knew I wanted to start helping other women amplify their voices. Junkfish has been great at supporting me in achieving this. In the year since I've joined, I became the joint lead for the Women's work group, and helped co-write a menstrual leave policy that has since been implemented.

"Junkfish has been great at supporting me"

As with any company there are always issues that can be addressed and ironed out, but Junkfish is so receptive to change and progress that any issues that do occur are quickly addressed.


Changes you would like to see in the industry

Just because I have not experienced any sexism or discrimination myself in the industry, doesn't mean that it does not happen. The industry needs to start addressing serious concerns of inappropriate behaviour that women speak out on. There needs to be consequences for those who behave inappropriately, whether that's sexism, racism, ableism, or anything else, and no one should be protected just because of their seniority or experience.

"The industry needs to start addressing serious concerns of inappropriate behaviour"

I would also like to see more women in senior management roles. A typical expectation of many is that the senior management team will all be men, and while that often is the case we need to be asking ourselves why. Junkfish is somewhat guilty of this, and we currently do not have any women on the senior management team, however, almost half of our leads team are women and we are going in the right direction to see even more women in senior roles.

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