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Women Take the Controls

Top female figures meet to inspire the next generation of women in games

Wednesday 4th July/...Girls! Make Your Mark and the Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association (ELSPA) will hold the first Women in Games round-table discussion on Wednesday 11th July at the British Academy of Film & Television Arts (BAFTA).

The session will bring together senior female figures in the industry including Sharon Knight Vice President of Central Development Services, Electronic Arts Inc and Louise Ridgeway, Lead Designer at Rare Ltd. Other women attending represent a cross section of this dynamic industry including producers, developers, animators and researchers.

The round-table will celebrate women that have made their mark not only in computer games but also more broadly in technology and interactive media. Issues up for discussion include the role women can play within the gaming industry and how the playing demographic might be expanded to include more women. There will also be the opportunity to share experiences and inspire the next generation when a group of female students from Haverstock School Business and Enterprise College in Camden join the discussion.

Both Girls! Make Your Mark and ELSPA hope that this gathering of inspirational women will form an ongoing network for women in the games sector. "Many of the attendees have already expressed an interest in signing up to the Girls! Make Your Mark ambassador programme," says Alex Ritchie Women's Enterprise Campaigner at Make Your Mark. "We want to encourage young women and girls to make their ideas happen. It is important to have inspiring stories of young women who are already making their ideas a reality, and realistic role models from the gaming industry who can demonstrate that dreams, ideas and goals can be fulfilled."

Michael Rawlinson, Managing Director of ELSPA says, "ELSPA is proud to be involved and support this campaign; it both celebrates the success already enjoyed by leading women in our industry and acts as positive encouragement for other talented women to think about a career in the games industry."

Sharon Knight of Electronic Arts Inc believes the round-table will be an opportunity to facilitate a dialogue about how to successfully attract more women into the industry. Knight says, "If the market for interactive gaming is going to widen successfully to include more women, then more women need to be involved in designing, producing and marketing games. Innovative content beyond traditional sports and shooter titles is critical to extending the appeal."


About ELSPA -

ELSPA (The Entertainment & Leisure Software Publishers Association) was founded in 1989 to establish a specific and collective identity for the computer and video games industry. Membership includes almost all companies concerned with the publishing and distribution of interactive leisure software in the UK.

The Make Your Mark campaign is the national campaign to create an enterprise culture in the UK. It aims to inspire young people in their teens and twenties to have ideas and make them happen. The not-for-profit campaign is backed by an unprecedented coalition of businesses, charities, education bodies and government.

It was founded by the four leading UK business membership organisations - the British Chambers of Commerce, the CBI, the Federation of Small Businesses and the Institute of Directors. Their Director Generals sit on Make Your Mark's board. It is also supported by the Department of Trade and Industry and is endorsed by the Chancellor, Gordon Brown.

National organisations working closely with the campaign include:

Arts Council England - Association of Colleges - Black Training and Enterprise Group - Business in the Community - Department for Education and Skills - Department of Trade and Industry - Enterprise Education Trust - Learning and Skills Council - National Council for Graduate Entrepreneurship - National Education Business Partnership Network - National Federation of Enterprise Agencies - Prowess - Quality Improvement Agency - Scottish Executive - South-East England Development Agency (representing Regional Development Agencies) - Shell LiveWIRE - Social Enterprise Coalition - Specialist Schools and Academies Trust - The Prince's Trust - UnLtd - Young Enterprise

Enterprise Campaign Coalition members created the Fuelling Enterprise Culture prospectus - which challenges organisations to raise their game and encourage enterprise in ways that put young people in the driving seat. Anyone interested endorsing the prospectus or adding to the enterprise debate should visit The prospectus has widespread support including from the heads of businesses such as Royal Mail, BT, Dyson, eBay,, KPMG and Cadbury Schweppes.

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