Women have been a fundamental part of esports since the very beginning, playing important roles across the industry. And yet, far too often, esports is still thought of as a “guys game.” Here are a few of the organizations across the world that are pushing for recognition of women in esports.
By: Paul J. Foster, Chief Operating Officer, Global Esports Federation
At the Global Esports Federation, our vision for esports is a community that welcomes and supports all who want to be involved. This radical inclusivity is at the core of who we are and all that we do.
For far too long, esports specifically, and gaming more broadly, have been narrowly focused on male professionals and male audiences, even as the fundamental data points on the industry tell a different story. According to a study released this month from the Entertainment Software Association, women over 18 years of age are now the largest demographic population for the industry at 36%, just in front of men over 18 years of age, who come in at 35%. Teenage boys, the long-coveted demographic for the games industry, lag far behind both at only 17%.
Despite the evidence that shows a broad and diverse audience for esports and games, women have been largely marginalized by the industry. In the face of this adversity, a number of trailblazing organizations have made it their mission to support the advocacy of women’s issues in esports and games. Here are a few worth knowing about:
AnyKey is a non-profit organization in esports that is expressly focused on improving diversity, inclusion, and equity in esports. Founded in 2015 by Dr. Morgan Romine and Dr. TL Taylor, AnyKey has promoted and produced esports events and published essential white papers on how to promote important esports values throughout the esports world.
Women in Games
Since 2009, Women in Games (WIGJ) has worked to fight gender discrimination in the games industry. A non-profit organization, WIGJ has provided job search and placement services, awarded scholarships, produced an annual conference, and organized tournaments to support competitive gaming initiatives for women.
British Esports Association
In 2019, the British Esports Association launched a new initiative, “Women in Esports”. The plan includes a council that regularly meets to discuss how to improve conditions for women in esports, and they also collaborate with other organizations in esports around awareness campaigns.
Female Esports League
Female Esports League (FSL) is Southeast Asia’s premier female gaming circuit which provides a platform for female gamers to engage, empower and elevate each other in order to create a path towards female representation in the top tier of esports. Based out of Singapore, FSL has been running events focusing on inclusion since 2019.