International Women’s Day 2021: Meet Siwan
Continuing our series putting the spotlight on the women of Codemasters, it’s time to talk to Associate Producer Siwan.
Hey, could you introduce yourself to us – who are you and what do you do?
Siwan Owen – Associate Producer at the Cheshire studio of Codemasters.
Why do you think International Women’s Day is important?
There is no doubt about it, some of us live in a much farer world now however, there is still an urgent need for gender equality. This day is important because we need to remember the courageous acts of women like Emily Pankhurst who dedicated 40 years of her life to helping women gain the right to vote to the point of incarceration. “We are here, not because we are law-breakers; we are here in our efforts to become law-makers.” To the modern-day activists like Malala Yousafzai who was shot in the head after publicly campaigning for Pakistani girls’ rights to go to school.
How did you get into the games industry, what made you decide on the games industry?
My journey into the games industry was not your most traditional of paths. I studied Art & Design at Coventry University and ended up working as an exhibitions officer at an art gallery. I fell in love with the creative sector and event management. This role then led to working over a variety of events in the creative and digital sector of Manchester. I later hosted a few playtesting meet-ups where my network of game devs and studios grew. I was approached by an indie games studio who offered me the position of Assistant Producer and now I’m at Codemasters! My decision to take the plunge into this industry wasn’t because I’m a hardcore gamer (I do play games) but it’s simple, I love working with creative people and I’m learning every day!
What’s your career highlight so far, what are you most proud of doing?
I have been super lucky to have worked with a bunch of inspirational people across North Wales and the North West of England in a variety of different roles. Working for a social enterprise whose aim is to land young people in work within the creative sector, to helping an indie game studio grow their audience and their team from 5 to 27 during a pandemic. I would say that one of the things I’m most proud of is managing a group of meetups from writers’ groups, film groups to playtesting games. These were spaces I organised where like-minded people came together and shared ideas, created and networked. This then led onto hosting one of the countries largest CoderDojo’s which welcomed over 250 young people and their parents to take part in all sorts of coding competitions and playtests. We always need to be thinking about the next generation of creative content makers.
Do you have any female role models?
The women in my family inspire me every day.
What piece of advice do you wish you’d had when you started in the industry?
Focus your time. We all have the same 24 hours in a day, it’s how you manage your time that matters. I’ve come from an event background where completing loads of small tasks quickly was super rewarding. Game development required more focus. I would recommend they read into timeboxing and techniques on how to focus. This is easier said than done in Production when everything is on fire.
How do you think we can get more women in the games industry?
I was never aware of this industry as and industry when I was choosing a career path at secondary school, I just knew I wanted to work in the creative sector ( I actually wanted to be a car designer). I sometimes envy people who have a clear and defined career path but then on the other hand I wouldn’t have had the experiences I’ve had. We need to make subjects like programming and digital art more accessible and visible to young girls and this needs to start in primary schools.
What advice do you have for women trying to get into the industry?
You won’t regret it. Your approach might be slightly different to other but let your work speak for itself. You will be hired because you are good at what you do.
Tell us something about you we don’t know.
I used to build dry stone walls with my Dad in the summers I would return from university.
Want to read more about the women who work at Codemasters? Find more interviews here!