Interview

HandyGames: Hiring more women has become 'one of our top priorities'

Not there yet, but 'we're making progress'

HandyGames: Hiring more women has become 'one of our top priorities'
According to a recent guest post on PocketGamer.biz by Women in Games Jobs CEO Gina Jackson, just six percent of the people working within UK games industry are women.

It's a surprising number, given that modern statistics suggest almost half of gamers are female.

Even in this environment, however, some companies are undoubtedly making more of an effort to attract more women than others.

Casual developer HandyGames, for instance, reached out to PocketGamer.biz after reading Jackson's article, explaining that the German studio employs many more women than the industry average – 20 percent of the studio's workforce is female.

"We firmly believe that women have a positive impact on the work environment, particularly in the traditionally male-dominated tech sector. This is why expanding the share of female employees has become one of our top priorities when hiring new talent," HandyGames CEO Markus Kassulke told us via email.

"Of course, one in five is still far from perfect. We're not there yet, but we're making progress."

So, in order to find out more about this progress, and how HandyGames is achieving its goals, we caught up with its other CEO – Christopher Kassulke.

Pocket Gamer: How big is the HandyGames team, and what proportion of your development staff is female?

Christopher Kassulke: We have more than 50 colleagues working at HandyGames and currently we have a 20 percent rate of females in our team.

Have you been actively working to achieve a more even balance of genders at HandyGames?

HandyGames is of course searching for a more even balance of genders, but it isn't always easy.

That's why we're supporting 'Girls' Day' this year – an initiative that sees technical enterprises host open days for girls. It means that we show girls how great and interesting it is to work in our fast growing industry.

It is also very important to provide a great work-life-balance for all your employees

Have your hiring policies changed as you seek to "expand the share of female employees"?

Not at all! Both genders have the same chance to get the job – we are just receiving more CVs from female talents nowadays as we have a great working environment and produce titles which are for a big audience.

Why do you think it's important to have a more even distribution of genders in games development?

Our audience has changed and so the games industry has changed. Thanks to the mobile and online games revolution we see games that fit more to a female audience.

Of course it's important to see more females in the industry. It is just a great experience to work with a mixed team no matter which gender, age and nationality.

Some people would be critical of the notion that you would deliberately try to take on more women, insisting instead that you should always just recruit the best person for the job. What would your response to that be?

We only recruit the best talents for the job, regardless of gender. We are happy to recruit more females nowadays and give women the same chance as men.
Thanks to Christopher for his time.
Staff Writer

PocketGamer.biz's news editor 2012-2013

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Chaz Conopo
I would- I'm on twitter @BlueBerriMoon if you like to get in contact.
Would love to apply but I live in the UK :S
Christopher Kassulke
send your CV to us just visit www.handy-games.com Chaz Conopo ;)
Chaz Conopo
I can understand recruiting the best talent for the job, but how can we get recruited when we need experience? I graduated from university nearly a year ago studying a games concept course and haven't had any offers since. I've worked on my portfolio and networked to be finally recognised by some in the industry but still had no chances in actually showing what I can do.
You can't get experience without being given that chance to do the job. Without experience you won't get an offer.