Saudi Arabia harbors more gender-diverse gaming sector globally, experts say

The US average of women in the gaming industry is typically 20%, Liu said. Using those statistics, Saudi Arabia supersedes that number across its game development studios, Tams said during the panel. (AN Photo/Abdulrahman Bin Shalhoub)
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The US average of women in the gaming industry is typically 20%, Liu said. Using those statistics, Saudi Arabia supersedes that number across its game development studios, Tams said during the panel. (AN Photo/Abdulrahman Bin Shalhoub)
At Next World Forum, the largest esports and gaming conference worldwide, industry leaders and experts stated that Saudi Arabia statistically has a more gender diverse sector compared to its US counterpart. (AN Photo/Abdulrahman Bin Shalhoub)
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At Next World Forum, the largest esports and gaming conference worldwide, industry leaders and experts stated that Saudi Arabia statistically has a more gender diverse sector compared to its US counterpart. (AN Photo/Abdulrahman Bin Shalhoub)
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Updated 03 September 2023
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Saudi Arabia harbors more gender-diverse gaming sector globally, experts say

Saudi Arabia harbors more gender-diverse gaming sector globally, experts say
  • Jessica Tams, the CEO of Seven Falls, participated in a panel discussion featuring prominent female personalities in the esports industry

RIYADH: At the recent Next World Forum in Riyadh, the largest esports and gaming conference worldwide, industry leaders and experts noted that Saudi Arabia has a more gender-diverse sector compared to its US counterpart.

Jessica Tams, the CEO of Seven Falls, participated in a panel discussion featuring prominent female personalities in the esports industry, including Holly Liu of PKO Investments, investor Boyoung Kim, and adviser and investor Fan Shen.

The panel, “Breaking the Code: The Challenges for Women in Gaming Leadership,” explored female success in a male-dominated world as well as the significant challenges women faced, such as fighting stereotypes and making difficult career decisions.

The US average of women in the gaming industry is typically 20 percent, Liu said. Using those statistics, Saudi Arabia supersedes that number across its game development studios, Tams said during the panel. 

“Hopefully that will stay … because of the programs from the government and training, and because they are gender-blind, when they’re coming up, and they’re very data-driven, it’s enabled a lot of women to come up and have jobs,” Tams said. 

They drew an example from one of Saudi Arabia’s most prominent game development companies. 

Tams said: “I’ve noticed most of the companies in the gaming space are doing well, because having a diverse company makes better products. The companies that are very toxic, luckily are not producing this product for us. You can see a great example, actually, here in the Kingdom with Manga Productions, where they have over 60 percent women on staff.”

“They have programs for youth where they funnel them up, send them off to Japan and the US to get trained, and bring them back. They’ve noticed that a lot of the people that are coming back, because they’re so highly qualified, are actually women.”

In the US, finding women leaders in the industry is difficult. Griffin Gaming Partners attempted to track the number of female co-founder companies over the past year — but that wasn’t enough, Kim said. The numbers stayed stagnant and low, quarter after quarter, and it became a challenge to actively increase outbound activities to seek out those female founders.

Kim explained that the process involves “intentionally seeking out those opportunities. Same thing for recruiting: we took a data-driven approach, and noticed that there simply wasn’t enough coming down the pipeline from the initial application submission stage. 

“So, what we had to do was reach out to candidates with experiences that we’re looking for, or adjacent experiences if it had to be, and once they came through the interviewer pipeline, really training them, spending extra time giving them the unfair advantage — because they have an unfair playground when they join.” 

A study conducted by the University of California Los Angeles showed that women are more inclined to voice their opinions when there is a representation of at least 30 percent or more women in the room.

One major barrier for women in the gaming industry is the male-dominated company cultures, pay gaps, and lack of belonging as minorities. Women leaders are taking action by actively including women in the field, providing safe spaces for their growth, promoting themselves and other women, and creating opportunities. It is important to incorporate women into corporate and decision-making spaces, as diverse leadership teams lead to greater innovation, growth and creativity.

“I think it’s very important for any company to realize that because females, right now, fall in a lot more economic power. Having female employees in leadership to really capture that is really beneficial for the business,” Shen said. 


KSrelief runs volunteer medical projects in Sudan, Yemen

KSrelief runs volunteer medical projects in Sudan, Yemen
Updated 18 July 2024
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KSrelief runs volunteer medical projects in Sudan, Yemen

KSrelief runs volunteer medical projects in Sudan, Yemen

RIYADH: The Kingdom’s aid agency KSrelief continues to provide healthcare for vulnerable people in Sudan and Yemen, the Saudi Press Agency reported late Wednesday evening.

The project in Port Sudan for urology surgery, from July 13 to 20, involves 11 volunteers with training in various specialties.

The team members have already completed six surgeries.

A similar project is currently being implemented for orthopedic surgery in the Seiyun district of Yemen’s Hadhramaut governorate, with seven operations already completed.


Saudi Arabia calls for UN Security Council resolution to compel Israel to end war, ‘starvation’ of Gazans

Saudi Arabia calls for UN Security Council resolution to compel Israel to end war, ‘starvation’ of Gazans
Updated 18 July 2024
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Saudi Arabia calls for UN Security Council resolution to compel Israel to end war, ‘starvation’ of Gazans

Saudi Arabia calls for UN Security Council resolution to compel Israel to end war, ‘starvation’ of Gazans
  • Tel Aviv must end its ‘aggression’ and allow for urgent delivery of humanitarian aid to besieged Gaza
  • UN failure to stop Israel driven by ‘short-sighted, selfish political interests,’ says Saudi envoy Abdulaziz Alwasil

NEW YORK: Saudi Arabia’s permanent representative to the UN, Abdulaziz Alwasil, on Wednesday called on the UN Security Council to adopt a resolution that would compel Israel to end its war on Gaza.

Alwasil said Tel Aviv must comply with the Security Council’s own resolutions, which call for an immediate ceasefire and the delivery of aid into Gaza.

He said Israel, as the occupying power, must be forced to respect international law. This includes implementing the International Court of Justice’s provisional measures to end the genocide being perpetrated on the Palestinian people.

Alwasil said the UN Security Council, since the beginning of the assault on Gaza 10 months ago, has been holding “meeting after meeting to no avail.”

Meanwhile, the world continues to witness the Israeli “war machine deliberately targeting civilians and imposing the harshest forms of collective punishment by killing, displacing, starving and imposing a blockade on civilians.”

Alwasil added: “All of these blatant violations are happening before the eyes of the world and the international community continues to turn a blind eye.

“And this inaction pushed the occupation power, which is hiding behind a solid wall, to take advantage of this weakness and international silence to impose its inhumane, violent practices unabated.”

The Saudi Arabia envoy was speaking at a signature UN Security Council meeting called by Russia, which is holding the rotating presidency of the body for the month of July. It was chaired by Moscow’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

Alwasil lamented the failure of the Security Council to stop the war, which he blamed on members of the body being bound by “short-sighted, selfish political interests that have impeded its ability to take the necessary firm actions to stop the Israeli aggression.”

“The failure by the international community and the Security Council to protect the innocent civilians has led so far to the killing of 38,000 people and the injury and maiming of tens of thousands, most of whom are women and children,” said Alwasil.

He added: “How can such a forced displacement that is recurrent in Gaza be justified? How can we stay silent in the face of this systematic starvation and deliberative blockade? How can the international community stand idly while a major humanitarian catastrophe is taking place before our eyes?”

Alwasil vowed that his country would continue to support the Palestinian right to self-determination and the establishment of a state on the lines of 1967 with East Jerusalem as the capital.

This would “ensure comprehensive justice (and) peace in line with the Arab Peace Initiative and the relevant resolutions of international legitimacy.”


Saudi crown prince, Russia’s Putin discuss relations 

Saudi crown prince, Russia’s Putin discuss relations 
Updated 18 July 2024
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Saudi crown prince, Russia’s Putin discuss relations 

Saudi crown prince, Russia’s Putin discuss relations 

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has made a call to Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Saudi Press Agency said early Thursday.

The pair discussed ways of enhancing bilateral relations in all fields.

The call also reviewed issues of mutual interest.


Saudi crown prince, Iraqi PM discuss relations 

Saudi crown prince, Iraqi PM discuss relations 
Updated 18 July 2024
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Saudi crown prince, Iraqi PM discuss relations 

Saudi crown prince, Iraqi PM discuss relations 

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman made a call on Wednesday to Iraq’s Prime Minister Mohammed Al-Sudani, the Saudi Press Agency said.

The pair discussed ways of enhancing bilateral relations in all fields.

The call also reviewed issues of mutual interest.


Saudi Arabia condemns Israeli strikes on UN school in Gaza

Saudi Arabia condemns Israeli strikes on UN school in Gaza
Updated 17 July 2024
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Saudi Arabia condemns Israeli strikes on UN school in Gaza

Saudi Arabia condemns Israeli strikes on UN school in Gaza

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has condemned Israel’s targeting the UNRWA-run Al-Razi School in Nuseirat camp in Gaza, and Al-Attar area in Khan Yunis, killing dozens and injuring hundreds, the Kingdom’s foreign ministry said.

The statement described the attacks as “a series of repeated violations by the Israeli war machine against defenseless civilians.”

Israeli airstrikes killed more than 60 Palestinians in southern and central Gaza overnight and into Tuesday, including one that struck an Israeli-declared “safe zone” crowded with thousands of displaced people.

Tuesday’s deadliest strike hit a main street lined with market stalls outside the southern city of Khan Younis in Muwasi, at the heart of the zone that is packed with tent camps. Officials at Khan Younis’ Nasser Hospital said 17 people were killed.

Saudi Arabia renewed its categorical rejection of the continuation of Israeli genocidal crimes, and demanded an immediate ceasefire and ensuring the protection of civilians, relief facilities and their workers.

“The Kingdom holds the Israeli occupation forces fully responsible for their continued violation of all international and humanitarian norms and laws,” the statement read.

Saudi Arabia also reiterated the legal, humanitarian and moral responsibility placed on the international community to put an end to these ongoing violations of international law and international legitimacy resolutions by the Israeli forces.

The Kingdom said the failure to do so “not only reflects the inability and weakness of the international community institutions, but also portends consequences that go beyond this crisis and affect the foundations of international legitimacy and credibility, and the extent of our ability to maintain regional and international security and stability in the future.”

-With AP