Sharon Hodgson, Chair of MP's Games Group and Facebook's Catalina Lou to headline Women in Games Conference

Sharon Hodgson, Chair of MP’s Games Group and Facebook’s Catalina Lou to headline Women in Games Conference

Video Games

Women in Games WIGJ, the games industry diversity organisation, is pleased to announce that Sharon Hodgson, MP for Washington and Sunderland West, and Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Video Games will present the key note address at this year's European Women in Games Conference. In the 100 years since some women won the right to vote, WIGJ is interested to learn how the struggles for women to be taken seriously in Parliament compare with the campaign for women to be taken more seriously in the games industry. 32% of UK MP's are women, which is significantly higher than the number of women working in the games industry.

Sharon Hodgson, Chair of MP's Games Group and Facebook's Catalina Lou to headline Women in Games Conference

 
Sharon was first elected as the Labour MP for Gateshead East and Washington West in 2005. After boundary changes, Sharon was re-elected as the MP for Washington and Sunderland West in 2010, 2015 and 2017. In October 2013, Sharon was asked to take on the Women and Equalities brief, working with Gloria De Piero campaigning for a better deal for women and other minority groups across Government departments. In October 2016, following Jeremy Corbyn’s re-election as Party Leader, Sharon was made Shadow Minister for Public Health, which is her current role. In addition to her role as Chair of the APPG for Video Games, Sharon currently Chairs the All-Party Parliamentary Groups on Ovarian Cancer, Art, Craft and Design in Education, Dyslexia and SpLD, School Food, and is Joint Chair of the APPGs on Breast Cancer and Ticket Abuse.
 
Sharon Hodgson said “‘I am delighted to be addressing the Women in Games Conference. It is a truly fantastic opportunity for the industry to come together and discuss ways in which Women can be better represented in what is a thriving sector in our economy.
 
As the only Sharon to have ever been elected to Parliament, I am all too familiar with the barriers that women have faced in politics, and I know that women in the games industry will have faced similar barriers. Although progress has been made, there is much more work to be done before we reach the stage where our politics truly represents society. The Games industry can, and should lead the way in ensuring women’s voices are heard across society.”

In addition WIGJ is pleased to welcome Catalina Lou, EMEA Sales Director Video Games at Facebook.
 
Catalina has 16 years in international sales with 10 years at Electronic Arts, latterly as General Manager at EA Play4Free before joining Facebook at the beginning of 2018.

Catalina will be speaking about why diversity in the gaming industry matters today as well as Facebook's Women in Gaming campaign, where the company provides a platform to share challenges, opportunities and aspirations to move the industry forward.
 
Catalina Lou commented: "Facebook has a rich history in broadening the audience for playing and building communities around games, but there’s more work to be done. Today, the gaming industry doesn’t fully reflect the audiences it serves or the stories it tells. Facebook is committed to supporting diversity initiatives in games and encouraging people from minority and diverse communities to lean in to the industry and into leadership positions. We are excited to be the headline sponsor of this year’s European Women In Games Conference and are looking forward to sharing some inspiring stories and demonstrating Facebook's commitment to transform the gaming industry for the better."
The Women in Games Conference, sponsored by Facebook, takes place on the 11th-12th September at City, University of London and tickets are on sale at https://ewigconf2018.eventbrite.co.uk/
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