Film Victoria has launched a fellowship program designed to encourage more women to pursue a career in the gaming industry.
The Women in Games Fellowship program has been established to help address the current gender imbalance in both the local and international games industries, according to the government body.
A study, published in 2014, by the Internet Advertising Bureau found 52 per cent of all gamers were women. Startlingly, females constitute just 10.5 per cent of the developer scene in Australia, according to a research paper by The University of Technology Sydney in 2014.
Film Victoria games and digital content manager, Clara Reeves, also a game developer by trade, said the issue was not just about social inequality, it was a business issue as well.
“If 50 per cent of your market is women, and you are not able to speak to that market it becomes a big issue. Just from a pure numbers point of view, if you are a business owner, it’s something you would want to address,” she added.
The program is designed to assist women to undertake fellowships and professional development opportunities to help them attain key creative, management and/or leadership roles in the Victorian games sector.
A number of grants will be available, at up to $25,000 each, with further details of the program to be announced on February 10.
“This is the first year we are running the program, so we will see what sort of applications and interest we get and will adjust the program to suit,” Reeves added.
“My hope is that this will be an ongoing program and that we will get great results. It is one of those things where we will shape it as we go.”
Film Victoria said fellowships could be proposed in a broad range of areas and undertaken through a variety of methods. Examples include, but are not limited to, business courses, internships with local or international companies, or structured mentorships.