There have been a lot of shakeups in the industry. One that is largely characterized by rapid growth and constant evolution. The video game industry has seen an increase in the appointment of women in key leadership positions in gaming companies globally but is the industry doing enough?
We sat down with Boyoung Kim, an investor at Griffin Gaming Partners, to delve deeper into the challenges and opportunities for women in gaming and investment.
When asked about the avenues through which the industry could bolster its support for women entrepreneurs in gaming, Kim's response was unequivocal: tackle unconscious bias.
She cites a study from Harvard Business School and Wharton that illuminated a stark reality – male voices dominated the pitch rooms, even when presenting identical pitches to their female counterparts. "Unconscious bias is a real problem," Kim mentions, "and it's essential for investors and hiring professionals to undergo bias training to shape a more inclusive gaming industry."
The gender pay gap, a topic that remains central to discussions in various sectors, unsurprisingly also is a key aspect in gaming. Kim acknowledges the gender gap in funding for female-led gaming ventures, sharing that while 24% of Griffin Gaming Partners' portfolio companies are female-founded, a figure that notably surpasses industry averages, there's much ground still to cover.
A key solution, she believes, lies in incorporating more female decision-makers on the investment side. With only 4.9% of U.S.-based VC partners being women, change needs to emanate from the very foundation of the investment ecosystem.
The 'glass ceiling', a term that resonates across the broader tech industry, remains palpable in gaming. While the industry has seen some strides, women in executive roles are a minority.
Kim references a UCLA study that underlines the importance of representation – with groups that included 30% or more women, participation and voice were notably more equal. "Simply by getting more women in the room, companies can elevate women and help them succeed," Kim says. She emphasizes the industry's need to be intentional in pushing past this 30% threshold to truly harness the benefits of diversity.
Reflecting on her own journey in the gaming world, Kim's advice to other women is forthright and empowering. "Be prepared to be outnumbered," she begins, highlighting the reality many women face in male-dominated sectors. However, her focus is on proactive measures: creating spaces for women, organizing events, and fostering a community of mutual support.
Kim shares her own experiences at Griffin Gaming Partners, where dinners and events for women serve as catalysts for connection.
Boyoung Kim's insights not only shed light on the existing challenges but also spotlight the pathways toward fostering an environment conducive to women's growth in the gaming industry. As more women take center stage and forge ahead in a new direction, the gaming world is set to undeniably more dynamic.