Inspiring Women in Games in partnership with BAFTA Young Game Designers

The Inspiring Women campaign and BAFTA have teamed up to host a BAFTA YGD workshop and speed networking event for girls to inspire them to consider a career in the games industry. The event was with 60 pupils from state secondary school Skinners Academy in Hackney.

During the event, women from the games industry explained the various careers available in games and gave feedback on the young participants’ own game ideas, which they can enter into the nationwide BAFTA YGD competition in association with Nominet Trust.

The Inspiring Women campaign

The Inspiring Women campaign aims to get women pledging one hour a year to talk with girls in state schools about their careers.  Everyone – from 18 year old Apprentices to CEOs – can register to take part in this national campaign. In 18 months over 15,000 women have already signed up. We have hosted themed events spotlighting different sectors, including the arts, finance and sport.

BAFTA Young Game Designers

BAFTA YGD is part a year-round programme of activity which gives young people and educators unique insights into the games industry and access to the creative minds behind some of their favourite games. Support includes: a dedicated website (; a web series, that takes a light-hearted look behind the scenes of the games industry; a range of teaching resources; an online ‘feedback hub’ where young people can submit ideas or questions to a games expert; and live workshops around the country.

The BAFTA YGD competition aims to inspire the UK’s game creators of the future by giving 10-18 year-olds the chance to design and make their own game. The winners will be named at an awards ceremony in July.

Amanda Berry OBE, Chief Executive of BAFTA, said: “We’re delighted to be working with Inspiring Women and Skinners’ Academy to introduce these young women to a range of women with exciting roles in the games industry. We hope the students are inspired to create their own games, enter the BAFTA Young Game Designers competition, and perhaps join the games industry themselves one day.  Gender or background should never be a barrier to following your dreams.”

Inspiring Women campaign champion, Miriam González Durántez, says: “I am delighted that BAFTA and the Inspiring Women Campaign are working together in bringing the games industry closer to young women. The games sector is a fast-growing industry worth more than £1.4 billion to the UK economy which offers plenty of opportunities for girls – as many as for boys -. This event will show the students all the different roles they might apply for in the Games industry and be part of one of the most creative and innovative sectors in the UK.”

Xandra van Wijk, game designer at Kind Digital Entertainment, makers of Candy Crush, said: “Based on my own experience, having a female role model in the games industry was instrumental in my decision to pursue a career in games. I’m happy to participate in events like this if it could inspire more women to join this amazing, creative industry!”

Participating women:

  • Hollie Bennett, UK Digital and Community Manager at Sony Computer Entertainment Europe
  • Katherine Bidwell, Co-Founder of State of Play Games
  • Sophia Coney, Producer, Gamesys
  • Charu Desodt, Games Producer (SingStar), and BAFTA Breakthrough Brits honouree
  • Caitlin Goodale, Graphic Designer, Microsoft’s Lift London Studio
  • Charlie Harris, Head of Studio Localisation & ESD at SEGA Europe Ltd
  • Emily Kay, music licensing and copyright, Sony
  • Anaick Lynch, 3D Environment Artist, Creative Assembly
  • Elizabeth Mercuri, Games MSc student and recipient of a Prince William Scholarship in Film, Television and Games, supported by BAFTA and Warner Bros.
  • Holly Pickering, Art and Narrative Designer, Brave Plan
  • Kerry Rizzo, Games Events Producer, BAFTA
  • Elli Shapiro, develop, Sony
  • Xandra van Wijk, Game Designer,  King
  • May Wong, Designer
  • Catherine Woolley, Senior Designer at Creative Assembly