26 August 2008

Maternity leave in the U.S.

from New York Times article "Give a Break to Americans Giving Birth," November 4, 2006

According to a 2004 study by Jody Heymann, an associate professor at the Harvard School of Public Health, more than 160 countries offer some sort of leave for new mothers, paid by the government. Those that don't include Papua New Guinea, Swaziland, Lesotho - and the United States.

The Family and Medical Leave Act provides up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for men and women. And even then it covers only people who have worked basically full-time for at least one year at companies with 50 or more employees. That means about 40% of working women don't qualify for leave under the FMLA.

Women in Games Conference

Women in Games Conference
University of Warwick, Coventry, UK
10-12th September 2008

This year’s conference will be looking at such things as what the perception of the games industry is to outsiders and reasons why girls are turned off technology at a young age.

Sign up rates of students studying Computer Science have fallen in recent years and women are very much in the minority. This is why Jane Sinclair and Sara Kalvala, both Associate Professors in Computer Science at nearby Warwick University, wanted to get involved in the conference. Computing in games is one career choice available to Computer Science graduates, though not always obvious to all, but a very attractive and creative industry to be in.

There is plenty of research going on into why and how women play games, and the way they are portrayed, and this is another aspect of the Women In Games conference that makes it so fascinating. Bringing together academia and industry to discuss all these ideas, and explore ways in which more women can be encouraged to seek careers in games makes for a unique conference.

Although concerned with women this conference is also open to men! The industry needs a meaningful dialogue between the sexes as it moves forward.

Deadline for registration is Friday 5th September, sign up now to ensure your place. Conference-standard accommodation is available on campus - no need to drive during the conference, parking is free, and evening meals and entertainment all included! Just sign up for accommodation when registering –follow the registration link on the 2008 page at www.womeningames.com.

Why Women Must Self-Promote

Fiona Cherbak of Game Recruiter gives advice on the job search.

"Through social conditioning that has nothing to do with our industry, but simply our society, women are less inclined to be assertive in such situations because they’re afraid of being judged or told "no." Meanwhile, there are men who quite easily put themselves out there and say, “Here’s what I’ve done, here’s what I can do and here’s why it’s valuable to you.”...

14 August 2008

Woman to Woman, Online

"Heather Armstrong’s wickedly funny blog about motherhood, Dooce, is more than just an outlet for the creativity and frustrations of a modern mother. The site, chock full of advertising, is a moneymaking machine — so much so that Ms. Armstrong and her husband have both quit their regular jobs...."

This article isn't about the game industry, but it does show advertiser interest in reaching the online female segment.

08 August 2008

Women and Games: What We Know and Don't Know About the Casual Link

"A recurring topic of discussion among casual game developers is Women Game Players. When casual games are taken into consideration, adult women make up more than half of all video game players by some measures. And when looking at only casual games, most authorities say their audience is predominately female by a shot... "

07 August 2008

The Growing Role of Women in Gaming

This short article has quotes from Arkadium and Rebel Monkey about designing games for women and the growing presence of women in game companies.