ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — Today women make up nearly 50 percent of the workforce and more women are graduating college than men. However, only about 24 percent of women work in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields. But the gaming technology industry is slowly making a dent in closing this gender gap.
Growing up, it wasn’t enough for these two gaming grad students just to play video games.
“Working in the video game industry has been a dream of mine.” Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy student KC Brady told Ivanhoe.
Fellow student Summan Mirza said, “I wanted to do new things. I wanted to do exciting things. I wanted to be creative.”
That creativity drove Summan, KC and their team to invent a video game controlled by your eye.
“Something that no one in our program has done before.” Mirza explained.
They are both also preparing to enter a male-dominated industry. In 2009, women made up only 11 percent of the professionals working in the gaming world. Now that number has doubled to 22 percent.
Mirza continued, “A good portion of women are gamers ya know and so … not only that but it’s just such an exciting field. I don’t know why women wouldn’t want to join.”
Unfortunately, this jump in women employment is not happening in other related jobs. The engineering field is only comprised of 14 percent women and has been stuck there since 2000.
“As gaming keeps moving towards the forefront of technology, more people, people of all sorts of demographics will come and join and be part of this,” stated Mirza.
Their advice to young girls: ignore the naysayers.
Brady said, “It’s not just art designers and programmers either, women can do anything in the gaming industry. You kind of just gotta take that chance and go for it.”
“You have to put yourself out there. It will always pay off even if you fail. If you fail, you learn something and when you win that’s another step forward,” encouraged Mirza.
According to Payscale.com, the median salary for an entry-level game designer is around $50,000. Another step forward in breaking the glass ceiling.
Women currently make up 31 percent of the students enrolled in College gaming programs around the country. And gaming is growing. Colleges like the University of Utah are beginning to sponsor Varsity E-Sports programs, and offering scholarships to students who compete. By the way, Summan, KC and their team recently won awards for their game at the Intel University Games Showcase 2017.
Contributors to this news report include: Milvionne Chery, Producer; Tony D’astoli, Videographer; Roque Correa, Editor.