Virtuos Continues To Promote Women’s Role In The Game Industry | Vietcetera
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Jun 24, 2023

Virtuos Continues To Promote Women’s Role In The Game Industry

Vietnam’s largest external game developer keeps up its efforts in building a great workplace and bringing more female talent to the industry.
Virtuos Continues To Promote Women’s Role In The Game Industry

Nha Uyen, a 3D artist, has been working at Glass Egg – a Virtuos studio in Ho Chi Minh City for nearly 7 years. | Source: Virtuos

"When I talk about my game job, many wouldn't appreciate it as they doubt the industry's adding value to society. Some even consider my job as something not good," says Nha Uyen, a 3D artist at Glass Egg – a Virtuos studio in Ho Chi Minh City. "Men generally fill key positions in game studios. This underrepresentation of women in the industry's leadership creates invisible barriers holding female talent back from considering careers in games," she remarks.

Nha Uyen's observation isn't far from reality. According to Women in Games, an NPO that seeks a games industry, culture, and community free of gender discrimination, women made up only 22% of the games industry workforce in 2020 – a particularly small number given that around 50% of gamers are women. The proportion is skewed even further in leadership positions, with only 16% of roles fulfilled by women. Doubts about women's capabilities in technology-related and creative jobs, including game production, continue to be strong headwinds for women to pursue a career in this industry and succeed at it.

Vietnam’s game industry is booming and becoming increasingly appealing to young people. The country has approximately 28.4 million gamers and over 200 game developers and publishers. It generates an annual revenue of USD 200 million. Game enthusiasts now have the chance to work on a wide range of jobs in games, from game programming and design to game art, VFX, and project management.

As the largest external game developer in Vietnam, with more than 1,000 employees at Glass Egg and Sparx* studios, Virtuos is well aware of its role in promoting gender equity in games, starting right at its workplace. The Group is working towards a 40% women workforce and senior management by 2025.

Building an equitable and diverse game company

Since its establishment, Virtuos has introduced many human resources policies aimed at empowering women through an equitable workplace. All company recruitment and performance appraisal policies are gender-neutral, ensuring equal access to training and advancement opportunities for everyone regardless of gender and orientation.

"I don't agree with the common belief that marriage can have a negative impact on a woman's career progression. I have been fortunate to work in an open environment such as Virtuos. I wasn't asked about marriage and family intentions during my job interview. I am treated as who I am and trusted to do the job well regardless of my gender," shares Minh Tam, Art Producer at Sparx* - a Virtuos studio in Ho Chi Minh City.

Minh Tam and her colleagues at a training session on gender equity. | Source: Virtuos

Internal communications and training also play a crucial role in raising awareness of gender equity in the workplace. This May, Virtuos and Gender Equality Across Industries (GEAI), a project funded by the U.S. Consulate General, co-hosted a training program for its middle-management team. The program provided a scientific and multi-dimensional perspective on gender inequality and gender diversity, encouraging Virtuos’ employees to take action and contribute to a progressive workplace.

In addition, the Group implements different initiatives to foster the self-development and fair competition of female employees so they can go on and assert themselves in leadership positions. The talented female leaders at Virtuos studios have proved that women are qualified for and deserve to hold more impactful roles in the game industry.

“As a female Sparxer, I have always felt valued and empowered to express my opinions and personality. Numerous of our projects here are led by female colleagues, who enjoy unwavering support from their team members. Sparx* has truly created an inclusive workplace where everyone receives the support they need to be their best, regardless of gender,” Phuong Thuy, Associate Art Director at Sparx*, proudly shares.

Inspiring female game passionates

Glass Egg and Sparx* are widely recognized by aspiring 3D art students in Ho Chi Minh City. The studios have actively engaged with universities and training centers, organizing career orientation events and knowledge-sharing workshops centered around game production. As Virtuos studios, they have taken commendable steps to bridge the gap between the game industry and young Vietnamese talent, with a particular focus on empowering female individuals.

Acknowledging the unique challenges faced by women pursuing careers in the gaming industry, Virtuos launched the Women Game Changers (WGC) scholarship program in 2021. This initiative aims to empower and motivate aspiring Vietnamese female students to pursue game-related professions. In addition to financial assistance, scholarship recipients receive invaluable mentorship from accomplished women in the industry and gain practical experience through training programs within the professional game production environments at Virtuos studios.

Kim Chau and her future manager at the 2022 WGC Scholarship award ceremony. | Source: Virtuos

Looking back on her journey, Kim Chau, recipient of the WGC scholarship in 2022, highlights the confidence she obtained through the program. "The scholarship not only aided me in determining my career path but also enabled me to devise a comprehensive plan for personal growth, while igniting the drive to turn my ideas into reality," she enthusiastically shares. Kim Chau has successfully graduated and is now pursuing her dream as a game artist at Virtuos.

Achieving gender equality is a challenging objective for every industry, including the traditionally male-dominated field of game production. By actively fostering a more inclusive work environment and promoting a progressive vision for the industry, Virtuos is resolutely committed to making the game sector a more diverse playground with more participation of female talent. The Group believes a diverse team is essential in delivering the most comprehensive and captivating entertainment content that caters to everyone.

Virtuos officially kicks off the third edition of its Women Game Changers Scholarship Program

The scholarship program, in partnership with various institutes, is designed to empower and inspire female students to pursue their passion for gaming. The program aims to enhance their confidence and provide the necessary support to thrive in the industry. Discover more about the program and submit your application here to unlock exciting opportunities here.