Starting the new year 2024 with a special version of “Womenize! – Inspiring Stories”. We talked to Madeleine Egger, Head of Womenize! at Booster Space. Madeleine discusses Womenize!’s goal of achieving gender diversity, inclusion, and breaking stereotypes in the gaming industry, emphasizing the importance of intersectionality and collaboration for holistic change. Read more about Madeleine’s vision for Womenize! in this interview:
Hi Madeleine! Considering the ultimate goal for Womenize! to become obsolete, what milestones or changes in the industry would signal significant progress towards achieving gender diversity and inclusion without the need for such initiatives?

True progress in achieving gender diversity and inclusion necessitates a deep embrace of intersectionality within the gaming industry. It means recognizing that individuals face unique challenges not only based on their gender but also considering factors such as race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic background.

The industry’s evolution should strive for an intersectional approach, where initiatives not only break gender barriers but also dismantle systemic biases that affect various dimensions of identity. This depth of inclusion ensures that the transformation goes beyond a superficial level, creating an environment where everyone, regardless of their intersecting identities, feels genuinely valued and represented in the gaming landscape.

Only then can we truly envision a future where initiatives like Womenize! are no longer necessary, having catalyzed a holistic change in the industry’s mindset.

In what ways contribute the “Womenize! – Inspiring Stories” interviews to breaking stereotypes and challenging preconceptions about women in gaming?

The “Womenize! – Inspiring Stories” interviews play a significant role in shattering stereotypes and dismantling preconceptions surrounding marginalized individuals in gaming.

By showcasing diverse narratives, experiences, and accomplishments of inspiring people every Wednesday, we not only challenge outdated assumptions but actively redefine the narrative. These interviews unveil the breadth of talent, creativity, and leadership that these individuals bring to the gaming industry, offering authentic and relatable stories from diverse perspectives. In doing so, we contribute to fostering a more inclusive and diverse environment by celebrating the individuality and unique contributions, inspiring others to break barriers and embrace their own distinct paths within this dynamic industry.

How does Womenize! aim to extend its impact beyond interviews, and what are the future plans and aspirations for the initiative?

Beyond our weekly interview format, Womenize! extends its commitment through the upcoming event in 2024 (probably taking place in early May), featuring talks, workshops, games exhibits, and networking opportunities.

From experience, it’s important to note that Womenize! warmly welcomes everyone, including cis-men, to participate, learn, and listen. By fostering an inclusive environment, the event seeks to encourage collaboration and understanding, recognizing that diversity benefits everyone in the gaming industry.

Additionally, we are working to broaden the reach of the event beyond Berlin, exploring opportunities in other German states, as well as considering intersections with the film and music industries, acknowledging the parallel challenges these industries share with the gaming sector.

Moreover, I’m considering introducing a mentorship program to enhance personal connections, recognizing the industry’s supportive spirit by cultivating mentor-mentee relationships, ensuring guidance and encouragement for women and non-binary people navigating across all stages of their careers.

Given the evolving landscape since the introduction of the initiative in 2015, the vision is to fully transform Womenize! into a more inclusive platform. Recognizing that the current name “Womenize!” might imply a focus exclusively on women, the idea is to adopt a new name. This transformation aims to address and uplift all marginalized individuals in the games industry.

As it becomes evident, there is no shortage of ideas; however, bringing these plans to fruition necessitates thorough research, a dedicated team, and, of course, the support of sponsors, partners, and allies within the industry.

In conclusion: Womenize! is not just a format, it’s a movement that strives not just for representation but for transformation, envisioning a future where diversity and inclusion are not the exception, but the norm.

Thanks for this interview, Madeleine!

Madeleine’s links: LinkedIn