Each year on March 8, we celebrate the achievements of women from all walks of life on International Women’s Day. Representation and gender equality in the games industry is an ongoing discussion and something that we believe is critical to creating and fostering an industry we can all be proud to be a part of.
In observance of International Women’s Day 2022, this week we’re highlighting some of the incredible female industry leaders that we are honoured to have speaking at our upcoming Seattle conference. We could not be more excited to have them as part of our star-studded speaker line-up, and we couldn’t wait until May to get to hear from them and to share their brilliant insights with our PocketGamer.biz readers, so, we had a chat with them about business, games and, of course, what it means to be a woman in games. We recently spoke with Fertessa Allyse, who is a Game Producer at Funko Games. You can read our conversation here.
I think if you have faith in your skills and expertise those will prevail.Jacki Vause
Next up on our Spotlight series is Jacki Vause, CEO of Dimoso. Jacki Vause pioneered women into tech. She has been in the industry for decades, won awards and got all the t-shirts. Being a woman in Tech was never a barrier. Jacki has vast experience as a proven tech entrepreneur, business leader, mentor and single mother. In her career she has seen it all: she has flown high in First, crashed and burned, worked for nothing and phoenixed from the ashes to run some of the most successful companies. Jacki has been leading Dimoso, a specialist tech PR agency, for the last 11 years working with leading entertainment properties such as BBC, Disney, Marvel, Rovio, Warner and Channel 4 to name a few. Most recently she has been consulting with brands on their Metaverse applications and marketing.
PocketGamer.Biz: Outside development and publishing, where are the next big opportunities in the mobile games market?
Jacki Vause: Without doubt to me the next big opportunities lie in the convergence of entertainment (films, TV, audio), gaming and business applications.
What key trend should we be paying attention to in the next 12 months?
UGC for me is where it is at. I predicted this about 3 years ago over dinner with Dave Bradley. Taking that one step further, whoever is providing the tools and the platforms are ones to watch. Ludo.AI is a games creators dream with more resources for the early concept stage of games and content creation, Yahaha is an amazing UGC platform that promises heaps and obviously Anything World which promises a lot.
50% of the population needs representation in every industry - that applies to diversity too. If you have people making games that only appeal to one audience group there’s no innovation.Jacki Vause
What leaders/pioneers in games do you find inspiring?
I think strong badass women like Kelly Vero, Simay Dinc, Peggy Ann Saltz, Kate Green and Patty Toledo are incredible pioneers and forces of nature.
Why did you decide to go into the games industry?
I was lucky that the industry found me. I was very early into the mobile tech world and games were really the first apps for mobiles pre smart phones. In the early days I worked for Ciodemasters, Miniclip, Jagex and many more big names in the industry
Why do you think it is important to celebrate International Women’s Day?
I think we need to acknowledge women who are supremely talented as well as show the world what an amazing industry this is and attract top talent
Have you faced any barriers in your career due to being a woman? If so, how did you overcome them?
Of course, but I really didn’t see them as barriers - I think if you have faith in your skills and expertise those will prevail. I am always about learning and if there is ever an obstacle in my way I will learn more, be better.
What is the most important piece of advice you have been given?
Try always to put yourself in the other person’s shoes. Everybody can have a bad day or have things going on in their lives that you don’t know about. Try always to be authentic and empathetic.
In your opinion, why is it important that more women come into the games industry in the near future?
50% of the population needs representation in every industry - that applies to diversity too. If you have people making games that only appeal to one audience group there’s no innovation.
How important is it for women to lift each other up and what does that mean to you?
This is something that is very close to my heart. I have the luck and privilege to be surrounded by good women who want to empower each other. We are deliberately not a clique and are passionate about supporting each other and any talented people we work with - male or female.
I have the luck and privilege to be surrounded by good women who want to empower each other.Jacki Vause
How can we encourage more women to pursue careers in games?
More examples of women doing well in the industry and more education. I think our industry is trying hard.
On International Women’s Day, what is the most important message you want to send out to young women thinking about their careers?
Go and give it a go. Ask for work experience or internships. Dimoso has an intern programme and an affiliation with The University of North Carolina where we mentor and provide placements for graduates and we offer work experience for local schools.
Hear more from Jacki this summer
Want the opportunity to hear more from Jacki Vause and the Dimoso team? She’ll be leading the conversation at the upcoming Pocket Gamer Connects Seattle among hundreds of other incredible industry leaders. Make sure you secure your spot at our west coast conference today and save up to $275 with our Early Bird offer before prices rise.