Meet the Squad: Women @ SI - Part 1
Talent wins games but teamwork wins titles.
It’s through collective passion and collaboration within the studio that we are able to continue to break new ground with each edition of the Football Manager series.
This hinges on not only the technical capabilities of our teammates, but also our diversity of thoughts and perspectives. It’s something we hold dear to our hearts here and we are very proud to be an equal opportunities employer, which encourages applications from all relevant candidates.
We wanted to showcase some of the fantastic female voices at our studio and to that end, we’ve interviewed three of them to learn about their pre-conceptions before working for us and their experiences since joining the squad.
Dhari: Hi, I’m Dhari. I work at Sports Interactive as a Junior Marketing Artist. Outside of work I love to travel, I play games, I draw a lot, and I love anything to do with Marvel or Harry Potter!
Before joining SI, I knew that the gaming and tech industries were male-dominated and women were usually few and far between or had negative experiences working in these areas. However, I had heard more and more positive experiences as the industries evolve and become more modern, so before starting at SI I felt optimistic that things are going in the right direction. The fact that Sports Interactive is a Women in Games Corporate Ambassador was one of the things that indicated to me that this would be a safe and inclusive environment to work in as a woman.
I grew up around a lot of games and did a LOT of drawing, so design and gaming was something I was always interested in. I began pursuing design as a field more recently and stumbled across the position at SI; which combined two things I really love, so I would’ve been a fool not to apply.
At first, I thought the job description fit well and I would do well, but the more I researched the company the more I thought the values would be a good fit too. I am adamant about working at a company that finds the same things important as I do, and a big thing for me is levelling the playing field in male-dominated industries, and making them open and comfortable for all to thrive in. My first impression of SI was that they cared about that too.
Now that I’ve been working here for a while I can confidently say this first impression was right. I feel I can genuinely speak up, put my opinion forward and be heard. Working at SI has further solidified for me that things are changing for the better.
With companies like SI genuinely caring about cultivating a healthy, open and equal atmosphere for everyone to thrive in, it makes me optimistic that other companies in the industry will and are following suit.
Some advice I would give to other women aspiring to work in tech or gaming - I think the days are gone/going where women would avoid working in fields we wouldn’t see women back in the day, so instead of saying ‘just go for it!’ and ‘be brave!’, I’m going to say this: your time, energy and talent is valuable.
Choose a company that believes what you believe, embodies those values and puts them into practice publicly. From the new starters to those who’ve been there from the start, if they practice what they preach, it’s a great sign that you’ll thrive working with them.
Chloe: Hi, my name is Chloe Woolaway and I’m a Research Coordinator here at Sports Interactive. I’m a keen footballer and play in the Eastern Region division of women’s football for Southend United. I also enjoy playing cricket, going on skiing and city break holidays and I’m an avid TV series watcher.
I found myself on the SI website about two years ago looking at opportunities and one thing that stood out to me was that SI was awarded a ‘Best Places to Work’ Award. As someone who was looking for jobs in an industry where females are the minority, that was very reassuring. I knew I would be entering a male-dominated industry but as someone who has grown up playing football, I’ve loved taking on the challenge of being a female breaking into a male-dominated field.
All my life I’ve been watching men’s and women’s football of all levels, across the world. I’ve been a football coach and even dabbled in officiating. So, I’ve always had a real passion for how the game works and seeing it from all perspectives.
As I got older and reality hit that I probably wasn’t going to go pro, I knew that I could use my broad knowledge of the game to support the development of women’s football and hopefully find a ground-breaking project that I could be a part of. After a stint working in the live sports TV industry, I came across the role that I am in now and haven’t looked back.
I’ve been in my role a year and I really have loved every second of it. The people here at SI are so welcoming and eager to support you however they can and everyone is treated as an equal. This has been a constant from the very beginning, even during the interview stages. My initial interviews and contract meetings were taken by my manager and a colleague in HR who are both female.
So, any preconceptions I did have about SI being a male-heavy workplace were settled before I even started the role. As a female entering the gaming/football/tech industries, touches like this went a long way to make me feel a sense of inclusivity.
For any women out there reading this and wanting to breakthrough into a male-dominated field I will say, be confident, enjoy what you’re passionate about, push yourself out of your comfort zone and embrace the challenges you may face together with a supportive network.
Lydia: My name is Lydia, I'm a QA Tester at Sports Interactive - I'm a huge fan of animation and learning about history!
Before I joined the gaming industry, I didn’t really know what to expect. I’d just finished a degree in a totally different field and my knowledge about the industry seemed very contradictory. On the one hand, so many people within the industry seemed very supportive and friendly, but on the other, there had been a lot of negative press coverage about the treatment of certain groups. I didn’t really know what to expect, other than that a general level of vigilance would be required to ensure I found a place that was the perfect fit for me.
Firstly, an important thing to me was that Sports Interactive was a company that I knew quite well and was familiar with.
My brother was a huge fan of Football Manager 2007, so I gained a sense of what the franchise was very early on in life (even if I was too young to know how to manage a team back then!). I looked at the reviews on Glassdoor and the accolades the company had received, which made me feel far more confident about the company culture.
I joined SI four days after graduating, so not only was I trying to work out expectations of my first job in the industry, but also my first full-time job more generally. I definitely didn’t expect everyone to be as friendly as they were, though. I was really positively surprised by how easy people made things for me. I thought the transition from university to work would potentially be difficult, but I was always given huge amounts of support and encouragement from both my team and everyone else in the company.
I think my favourite thing about working at SI is the flexibility and openness. People are able to work to their own strengths, and people are always supportive of everyone in their team. It makes things feel a lot more personable, as if your own work has an impact on what you do.
A Final Message
We understand that it isn’t easy to break into what has historically been a male-dominated area, but it’s a barrier we are working hard to break down.
Not only do we actively promote and work with like-minded organisations to reaffirm this message but we are dedicated to ensuring that our studio doors remain open and inclusive to people of all genders.
If you think we could be the place for you to continue your career, then head to our Careers page to discover all the open roles that we are currently recruiting for.