How Women Have Gone From The Sidelines To Leading The Way In These Industries


Gone forever are the days when women “belonged” in the kitchen; the times when women wore pearls and pretty dresses because that is what society dictated; the times when they were good enough only to raise kids; the times when they needed the approval of the opposite sex for anything other than completing some male figure’s picture. We do not mind one bit to look pretty or to cook great meals and to look after our families, but these days we have a much bigger say and things happen more and more on our terms!

We are proud to show a greater independence in all walks of life, also in areas which were in the past considered to be male territory. We make a difference, and we want the world to be aware of that!

When it comes to playing games which previously relegated the woman’s position to that of mere spectator, we are starting to show that we no longer remain on the sidelines – we take part!



If we look at the world of gaming, for instance, it soon becomes clear that women are fast catching up with their male counterparts. Video and computer gaming was once the exclusive domain of men, but take note: Women are no longer lagging behind. According to the Entertainment Software Association’s 2014 report, women now make up 48% of the gaming world; some sources quote 49%. Some say 52%! Just like men, women enjoy that feeling of “escaping” for a while, of enjoying some excitement, which normal routines just don’t provide.

The fact that women love gaming as much as men is becoming more evident as the above figures suggest; even well-known female personalities are starting to talk about their “obsession,” if you like, with gaming. Actress Mila Kunis is quite open about hers being ‘World of Warcraft’.

Social media also plays a part in getting women to enjoy gaming more than before. You no longer have to go into a store to buy the games (and feel “‘intimidated” by all the boys and men in there – although it is no longer strange to see women shopping for their favorite game); simply get our your smartphone and start playing. It seems women prefer social games such as ‘Farmville’ and ‘Words with Friends’ to more robust choices.

Although there are still people (mainly men, it seems) who are skeptical about women in gaming, more and more women are becoming very successful in the industry. Names like Siobhan Reddy (who runs the British studio responsible for producing Little Big Planet’) and Rhianna Pratchett (who writes computer games) spring to mind. Also look at Bonnie Ross and Kiki Wolfkill who were the leading forces behind the latest game in the ‘Halo’ series, which, on its first day of sale, easily beat the movies ‘ Skyfall’ and the ‘Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part 2’  in terms of sales!

It is true that women still have some distance to go before they’re on a par with men as far as gaming is concerned, but (as with any industry) as soon as the figures show where the market is heading, gaming will adjust to the trend. More women will start to get involved in programming, more women will start to fill important positions and more of the main characters in the games will be women.



Another example of a game which was ‘reserved’ for the guys in previous years is poker. We’re all aware that in poker circles names such as Phil Ivey and Daniel Negreanu are respected. Players and spectators alike know who they are and their success is widely known. But in recent years women have shown themselves to be great competitors too.

Take Vanessa Selbst as the perfect example of someone who has become a leader in her field. With winnings of more than $10 million in live poker below her belt, she is also a leading female member of the elite team that represents online giant PokerStars. Vanessa has shown what determination and drive can achieve. As a role model for women Vanessa has succeeded in proving that women, too, can make a difference and be someone to be admired by members of both sexes.


As women become more comfortable with breaking away from traditional points of view and how the world perceives them, they are also becoming more at ease with trying previously male-dominated games such as poker, both live and online. A good (and easy) way of starting out is getting to know the game online for free or participating in ladies events if you feel it is better suited for you. Poker is a great way to test your own resolve, enjoy healthy competition and, above all, have fun!


And then of course, there’s playing sports. Participation in the Ancient Olympic Games was reserved for men only. Women, it was believed, did not belong there and their participation would be “unpractical, uninteresting, unaesthetic and incorrect,” apparently uttered by the Father of the Modern Olympic Games (Pierre de Coubertin) in 1896.

The first females to compete were allowed in 1900 in events such as tennis and golf. In our day and age it’s almost unbelievable to think that women were not thought of as good enough, especially with the outstanding performances we see today. Athletes who have helped pull down the barriers include famous names like outstanding gymnast Nadia Comaneci, track star Florence Griffith Joyner (Flo-Jo) and swimmer Missy Franklin. 


Today some of the wealthiest, most admired athletes are women. Billie Jean King, who became a spokeswoman for female athletes the 60s and 70s, was at the forefront fighting for equal treatment of women in sports. She founded the very powerful Women’s Tennis Association in 1973, paving the way for equal rights for women in professional tennis. A true icon, Billie Jean was the first female tennis celebrity. Sure, there were other famous players before her, like Maureen (Little Mo) Connolly, but never before Billie Jean was the sports world made so aware of what women can achieve.

Who, for example, remembers the best tennis players of 30s? The only name that comes to mind quickly is that of the Brit Fred Perry. Any women? No. But that has changed with stars like Billie Jean, Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova, Maria Sharapova and, maybe the greatest of them all, Serena Williams, emerging. These women are all role models, admired for their courage to fight for their own success and that of others. They have made it acceptable for women to venture out of the house, onto the court and showing appreciative crowds their skill, pluck and how to become very successful.


Team sports for women have also been popularized in recent times. It is no longer strange for clubs, even countries, to field soccer teams and for spectators to support their favorite team. Just like their male counterpart, the FIFA Women’s World Cup is becoming a great competition and may soon be one of the world’s most important sports events. The 2015 competition took place in Canada and was won by the US on Sunday 5 July. The team has become  a sensation across the country and you can rest assured it won’t be long before their paychecks rival those of the men’s team.

Other team sports for women which are gaining steady ground include rugby and cricket in countries such as the UK, Australia and South Africa. This year, aside from the Women’s Soccer World Cup, the Women’s Ashes Series will also be played, which is only the third time the women have had a chance to play this iconic battle between England and Australia in a sport that is well loved by both countries.

Although some more work has to be done, women can take heart from the fact that we have come in leaps and bounds over the last decades as far as becoming stars and role models in previously male-dominated sports and games. It has empowered us in many ways, and it is bringing us great joy too. We shall not be intimidated: We believe in equal opportunity for all. Go out ladies. On your marks, set…go!


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.